There are two versions of RefWorks: Old/Legacy RefWorks and New RefWorks. This guide can help you set up an account and get started using the Old/Legacy version of RefWorks. If you aren't sure which version you are using, compare logos. If you think you're using a different version than this, go to the New RefWorks guide.
Boston College students, faculty, staff and alumni can use Legacy RefWorks to:
For assistance, see "Citation Manager Help" on this page, e-mail a librarian or call the O'Neill Reference Desk at 617-552-4472.
On the Legacy RefWorks login page, click "Sign up for a New Account."
Use any email address, choose a username and password, and follow instructions. In Legacy RefWorks, you can sign up for multiple accounts. Keep in mind, however, that multiple accounts may complicate your eventual migration to New RefWorks.
This video will explain why it’s a good idea to use a citation management tool, and introduce you to the basic functions of Zotero. For links to style guides and more, see our Citation Guide.
As a new version of RefWorks was being created, a series of corporate buyouts within a few years created a confusing environment for development and planning. Ex Libris seems to be adding some stability by committing to maintaining the old version of RefWorks (Legacy RefWorks) as long as people are using it, and accelerating development and fixes for New RefWorks.
RefWorks began developing a new product called "Flow" several years ago. Then ProQuest bought RefWorks and re-branded "Flow" as "New RefWorks" and started to develop it as an eventual replacement for RefWorks. The initial plan was to discontinue Legacy RefWorks in 2018; libraries responded by making transition plans and asking for more time, and ProQuest extended Legacy RefWorks for an additional year. Ex Libris then bought ProQuest in Fall 2017, and is now accelerating the process of product updates and bug fixes for New RefWorks, Write-n-Cite, and RefWorks Citation Manager. Ex Libris has also decided to continue supporting and maintaining Legacy RefWorks indefinitely; their approach to New RefWorks is to make it good enough that people will prefer it, and eventually migrate on their own. For the foreseeable future here at BC, both versions of RefWorks will be available, and BC Libraries will support both.
Generally speaking, people with higher demands for a citation management tool (graduate students and faculty) have had problems with bugs and incomplete features in New RefWorks. People with lower demands (undergraduates and some faculty and graduate students) have found it easier to use than Legacy RefWorks, and its limitations unproblematic. Problems with New RefWorks should quickly begin clearing up in 2018, and additional features will appear monthly. If you are curious, it is worth testing various functions from time to time throughout the year.