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Reference Management | Migrating from RefWorks to a Replacement

Exporting from RefWorks

If you want to maintain the same folder structure in your new reference manager, you should export your citations from RefWorks one folder at a time. We don't recommend that you export more than 500 references at a time from RefWorks. If your library is larger than 500 references, split them into folders and export them one at a time.

To Export:
  1. Login to your RefWorks account. Note: If this login doesn't look familiar, you may be using Legacy RefWorks (see instructions).

  2. From the left navigation pane, click on My Folders and select a folder to export from the list, or you can select All References if you wish to export your entire account at once without retaining folders.

  3. Check the Select All box (just above your list of references) and click the Share icon.  Share menu to export references

  4. Choose Export References.

  5. Choose the following options:
    • From -> All references in [Folder Name]
    • Format -> RIS Format
    • Click Export
  6. Repeat these steps for each folder. You may wish to save each RIS file with the name of the folder you exported for easy identification later on. Make note of where you save the file(s) before moving on.

With your RIS files saved, you can keep in a safe spot for retention or choose to move them into a new reference management program for easy access and editing.

Saving Attachments 

RefWorks cannot export attachments in bulk. You will need to open and locally save individual files from RefWorks, then add them to the new record. 


  • You may not need every attachment in your collection. Consider only downloading files for projects that you are actively working on.
  • URL links for full-text are saved when exporting records as above, so you will still have the ability to access the full-text when needed.
  • You can also request full-text articles from KRS as required.
  • If saving attachments, remember to name these files so they can easily be identified and matched to the new record.