Skip to Main Content

RefWorks Cancelation: Migrating RefWorks

Introduction

Migrating your citations from RefWorks to Zotero includes three steps: 

  1. Create a Zotero Account and set up Zotero as your new citation manager. (information on how to do that can be found here
  2. Export your citations from RefWorks onto your computer 
  3. Import your citations from your computer into Zotero 

How to Move Citations from RefWorks to Zotero: Export

 In Zotero, folders are called "collections" and groupings of collections appear under the "My Library" dropdown. 

Step 1: In RefWorks, locate and click on the folder you want to export to Zotero

You can also select individual references by clicking their check boxes, or select all references at once by going to "All References" and leaving all the check boxes unchecked. 

In RefWorks on the left hand side, select the 'My Folders' button and then select the folder you would like to export.

Step 2: Once in the folder, locate the 'Share' button along the top and select 'Export'

The Share button is along the top of the RefWorks program, after clicking on it there will be two options: Share folder and Export references. Choose Export References

Step 3: Select 'RIS Format' and click 'Export'

  • BibTex also works, but many find the most complete transfer occurs with RIS

Export References have two options. The first is under 'From', choose All references. The Second is under Format, choose 'RIS Format'

Now your citations are downloaded onto your computer. Next, we'll upload the citations into Zotero.

How to Move Citations From RefWorks to Zotero: Import

Please note: PC and Mac computers display Zotero with small variations, but the process is the same. 

Step 1: Open Zotero Desktop version and click 'File', then select 'Import' 

A purple arrow points to the "file" button in the Zotero software

Step 2: A pop up will appear asking "Where do you want to import form?" select "A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.) and click "Next" 

Select "A File (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.) and select "Next"

Step 3: Zotero will automatically take you to your computer's "Downloads" folder. Next, select the 'export.ris' folder

from the computer start menu, the download folder is select with a purple square around it. to the right, the downloaded files from the last two days are shown and the export.ris has a purple square around it

Step 4: Zotero will show import options, click "Next" and wait for Zotero to import. 

  • Check the box next to "Place imported collections and items into new collection" if you are migrating one folder at a time 
  • Select "Copy files to the Zotero storage folder" 

Import Options are Place imported collections and items into new collections and File Handling

Step 5: After Zotero imports the citations, click 'Finish'

  • If you have additional folders to migrate, delete the export.ris folder and go back to RefWorks to export the next folder of citations. Follow the steps again and select the new export.ris file and import into Zotero