Managing Citations : Google Scholar & Refworks

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Refworks Managing citations and creating bibliographies used to be alot of work. Tools like Endnote made things slightly easier, but it was still a bit of a hassle to export all the citations, download those and manage them. But, in recent years the combination of two tools made my life a whole lot easier – Google Scholar and Refworks. I now rarely spend more than half an hour creating a bibliography for my submissions.

Google Scholar How does this work? Refworks is an online citations manager and Google Scholar is the best search engine for scholarly publications currently available. Google Scholar’s preferences has an option to export the citations to a citation manager and one of the options is Refworks. Once you set that and login to your Refworks account, finding your citations through search and importing it to Refworks is a breeze.


Not sure what I mean? This next video will demonstrate things better:



If you need step by step instructions, here is my adaption of Rutgers University ‘s :

  1. Perform a search for your topic in Google Scholar (
  2. If you want to import the citation into RefWorks, click the link “Import into RefWorks” which appears at the bottom of the citation. Please note that you  can only move one item at a time from Google Scholar into RefWorks.
  3. Login to RefWorks from the login center.
  4. Click “View Last Imported Folder”. You can click the pencil icon to make any adjustments to this citation. You can also select a specific folder for this citation or it will go into the last imported folder.
  5. When you are done with any changes, click on “Save Reference”. You will now see a pop-up message in red that says, “This reference has been saved.” You may move on to other tasks or return to Google Scholar and import additional citations


You can also consider using RefGrab-It bookmarklet to ease things up if you’re not using Google Scholar or you already have the journal open.

I somehow still see people doing things the old way, and with this available – it’s hard to understand why. Try it out, your bibliography creation process will never be the same.

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