Citation Managers

Step 1: Install the RefWorks Export Bookmarklet

The RefWorks Export Bookmarklet will export your references (with tags, notes, and PDFs) from RefWorks with one click. A bookmarklet is a browser bookmark with computer code. Recommended browser: Google Chrome. This bookmarklet does not work with Safari, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge.

To use a bookmarklet, make sure your browser is configured to:

  • allow pop-up windows
  • accept third-party cookies
  • enable javascript

Also make sure your bookmarks or favorites bar is visible:

  • Chrome (recommended): Ctrl + Shift + B will show or hide the bookmarks bar
  • Firefox: "Alt" will display the menu bar. Select "View > Toolbars > Bookmarks Toolbar"

Click and drag this bookmarklet up to your browser's favorites or bookmarks:

RefWorks 3 Export Bookmarklet

To manually create this bookmark, select and copy the text below, then right click the bookmark toolbar to create a new bookmark (Add Page in Chrome), and paste the copied text in the url field:

javascript:function initiateIt(){var script = document.createElement('script');script.src ="";document.head.appendChild(script);}initiateIt();


Special thanks to Kansas State University Libraries' IT staff who designed the RefWorks Export Bookmarklet.

Step 2: Use the bookmarklet to export your RefWorks library

Log in to your RefWorks account then click the RefWorks Export Bookmarklet.

A few things to keep in mind...

  • If you have many files this may take time. Be patient. If you click it more than once you may need to log out of your RefWorks account, clear your browser's cache (Ctrl+Shift+Delete in Chrome), and log in again to start the process over.
  • Depending on your browser settings, you may be prompted to allow the page to download more than one file. Click yes if you see this prompt.
  • Remember where you're saving your downloads so you can find them easily for the next step.

When the export is finished, two items will be downloaded. The first is a .ris file that contains all of the citations from your RefWorks library. The second is a zipped folder that contains all of the attached files from your RefWorks library.

Step 3: Import citations into your new citation manager

  1. Create an account, download Zotero, and open it. (For more details on getting started with Zotero, see
  1. In the Zotero installed on your computer, select File from the top bar, then Import. When the Where do you want to import from? box appears, select A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.).
  2. Select the .ris file that you exported from RefWorks and select Open. All done!


  1. Create a Mendeley account then download and open Mendeley Desktop. (For more details on getting started with Mendeley, see
  1. Select File, then Import, then the BibTeX (*.bib) option.
  2. Select the Text (*.txt) option at the bottom right to find the text file that RefWorks exported, then select Open. All done!
  1. Create an EndNote Basic account and log in. (For more details on getting started with EndNote Basic, see
  2. Select Collect and then Import References.

  3. Choose File to browse for the file you exported from RefWorks, select RefMan RIS as Import Option, select New group from To, and click on Import. All done!
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Step 4: Import PDFs into your new citation manager

  1. The RefWorks Export Bookmarklet saves your files in a compressed or zipped folder. To extract these files right click on the zipped folder and select "extract all" or select "extract all" from the Compressed Folder Tools menu.
  2. Open the "archive" folder containing the extracted files and your new citation manager side by side.
  3. Click and drag each PDF from the folder on your computer to the record in your new citation manager.