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About referencing tools

There are a number of tools which you can use to help you store references and to build your reference list.  The main system we currently support is RefWorks, although there are other free tools available which you use on both desktop and mobile devices.

Note that there are two versions of RefWorks currently available.

New RefWorks has an easier to use interface than the previous version and we recommend all new users start using this version. See our New Refworks guide to help you get started.

Existing users can continue to use the  RefWorks Classic, but you can choose to move over to the new version at any time. 

RefWorks Classic

RefWorks is a web tool which provides you with your own personal reference management database. Not only can you use RefWorks to record and store references that you have used to support your assignments, RefWorks also creates bibliographies online in a variety of reference styles from your references.

As a Staffordshire University student or staff member you can access RefWorks from any Internet connected computer; there is no need to install any software.

You can use RefWorks to:

  • Quickly store references directly from journal databases and book catalogues or by entering them manually
  • Organise your references into folders for different assignments or subjects etc.
  • Easily create bibliographies or reference lists in a format of your choice; for example in the Staffordshire University Harvard style,  APA or Oscola
  • Share your references for group work and collaborative research.

You might want to use the new version of RefWorks and more information can be found via

All students and staff at the University have a RefWorks account.  There is a link to RefWorks under the Essentials pane on the Library Resources web page, or you can use the link below. 

 Access RefWorks: Login to RefWorks

On the login screen enter your normal username and password and click login.

The video below shown where to locate the link and how to login to RefWorks.

In January 2105 we changed the way we access RefWorks.  If you had a RefWorks account prior to this date you will need to migrate your account to ensure you have access to your stored references. The video below explans this process:

There are several ways of adding your references into RefWorks:

  • Directly exporting a references from information resources such as the Library catalogue, Summon or specific databases into RefWorks
  • Searching an information resource, saving a text file of your references and importing the text file into RefWorks
  • Searching an information resource from within RefWorks and copying references from that resource into RefWorks

Note: You cannot import directly from a Microsoft Word file into RefWorks

We have created a number of videos to explain how to manage your references within RefWorks 

You can export your bibliography as a text, html, rich text or Word file.

Export as a file

  1. Click on the Create Bibliography button.
  2. Choose an output style.  You can select the Staffordshire version of Harvard, APA or OSCOLA
  3. Under Format a Bibliography from a List of References, use the drop-down menu to choose what type of file to create (HTML, RTF, Word).
  4. Select All References or specify the folder which contains the references you need.
  5. Click on Create Bibliography.
  6. Click on the file download link.
  7. Save your bibliography

There is lots of support available for RefWorks.  A good place to start is with the online guides from ProQuest who supply RefWorks

This video from ProQuest provides a good introduction to get you started:

We have also created a number of videos to explain how to manage your references within RefWorks and how to create your bibliography.

Further Information

Download these self-study guides to practice using RefWorks on your own.

Other Tools

RefWorks is one of the two officially supported referencing package at Staffordshire University.  Other tools are available and some are listed below, but the ASK team have in-depth knowledge about RefWorks.