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RefWorks Instructions: In-text Citations

RefWorks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool -- it's designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.

Tips about Write-N-Cite

  1. Reference citations come from your regular RefWorks account.
  2. Write-N-Cite is a separate program from RefWorks. You MUST download it to your desktop and open it from there.
  3. Write-N-Cite puts CODE/a Placeholder into your paper, not the actual citation style. Code can be translated to any particular style -- APA, MLA, Turabian, etc.
  4. Translating code to the style requires clicking on the Bibliography tab in Write-N-Cite.


RefWorks Write-N-Cite utility allows RefWorks users to access their bibliographies from within Microsoft Word. This enables easier creation of in-text citations as well as works cited pages or bibliographies. You must have a RefWorks account to use Write-N-Cite.
Instructions on how to download Write-N-Cite for all versions including the latest version of Windows and Mac

  1. Log into RefWorks. Click on Tools > Write-N-Cite for instructions to install the plug-in.
  2. The Write-N-Cite button will appear in your MS Word toolbar (Word prior to 2007) or under the Add-ins Tab (Word 2007 and after)
  3. In Word, click on the Write-N-Cite button, and a new window will open. Log in then in the Write-N-Cite window you will see a list of all of your references; you can find folders by clicking View > Folder. Find the reference you want to cite.
  4. Back in your Word document, place the cursor in the text where you need to insert a citation. Then, go to the Write-N-Cite window and click on Cite to the left of the reference you are citing. A placeholder (looks like this: {{239 Anderson, Andy 2011}} ) will appear in your text. 
  5. Once you have finished, click on Bibliography on the Write-N-Cite toolbar. Choose your Output Style and click on "Create Bibliography". The placeholders in your paper and a bibliography will now have been created and formated in the style you chose.
  6. Save to your paper.

Trouble Shooting


Pop-up Blockers and RefWorks:

If you are having trouble with RefWorks when using Internet Explorer 7 (IE) and exporting from some databases (Ebsco in particular), you can add the database and RefWorks as trusted sites in IE:

  1. From the IE menu, select Tools => Internet Options.
  2. Select the Security tab then select the Trusted sites Zone and click on the Sites button.
  3. In the Trusted Sites window, unselect the option to Require server verification and add the following to your trusted sites list: * and * (for Ebsco)  

Write-N-Cite on Windows:

Some issues on Windows may be cause by Windows' Firewall blocking Write-N-Cite's access to the internet. Try this to add Write-N-Cite as an exception for the Firewall:

  1. Click on Start >> Control Panel >> Security Center >> Windows Firewall, this should open the firewall settings dialog box.
  2. Click on the Exceptions tab at the top of the firewall dialog box.
  3. Click the button that says Add Program.
  4. Click Browse to browse to the location of the WriteNCite.exe file on your computer, it should be in the following directory: C:Program FilesRefworksWriteNCite.exe
  5. Select the program and click Ok to close the Add Program box.
  6. It should now appear in the list of exceptions with a check mark.


Write-N-Cite and MSWord Not Cooperating:

 There is currently a problem with Write-N-Cite III in which it does not recognize the MS Word document and fails to insert in-text citations. Refworks (the company) is working to resolve the problem. As a workaround Refworks recommends:

  1. "First, the user open their Task Manager and shut down every Write-N-Cite process that might be running.
  2. Then open MS Word and then the Write-N-Cite plug-in.
  3. "The other method is to restart the computer which will achieve the same results as using the Task Manager."

Refworks One Line/Cite View:

If Write-N-Cite is still not working, you can insert in-text citations into your Word document by using the Refworks One Line/Cite View (See tutorial).