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How do I use RefWorks with Google Docs?


Answer: If you are using Google Docs to write a manuscript, you can still use your RefWorks library of citations and have RefWorks format your paper and bibliography by using the RefWorks online interface. The steps below will walk you through this process. Please note, Microsoft Word is still needed, but the full manuscript can be written in Google Docs.

Step by Step: 
  1. Log into your RefWorks account.
  2. Open your Google Docs manuscript and type your text.
  3. In RefWorks, find the reference you would like to cite, and click on its Cite icon :


  4. A box will open with the RefWorks temporary citation placeholder.
  5. Click on the Select button and copy the placeholder (e.g. CTRL+C):


  6. In your document, place your cursor where you want the citation to appear and use the word processor's paste function (e.g. CTRL+V) to insert the citation placeholder into your document.
  7. Repeat these steps as needed. You can use multiple citations at a time. Make sure to clear the Citation Viewer each time you wish to cite a different publication, as RefWorks does not do this automatically.
  8. When you are completely finished editing your manuscript, format it and the bibliography using the following steps. 
  9. In Google Docs, download your file as a Microsoft Word document:


  10. In RefWorks, from the Bibliography menu, select Create Bibliography:


  11. Select your desired Output Style :


  12. Select the format a paper and bibliography option :


  13. Click select a file and browse to your saved document :


  14. You will see this message in the lower right of your screen while RefWorks processes your document :


  15. You will see this message when your file is finished :

    RefWorks will save the edited file (with the prefix "Final-") to your browser's standard download location; make note of this location, and move the file or save it elsewhere as needed. Open the edited file in Microsoft Word to verify and print it with the bibliography.

  16. If changes are needed, make them to your original document, and repeat steps three to thirteen as needed.
  17. You can upload the formatted manuscript to Google Docs using the following steps.
  18. In Google Docs, select File | Open:


  19. Select Upload, then follow the prompts to load your document:

For additional information about using RefWorks, Ask a Librarian here or at