Citation Management with RefWorks

How to move to the new RefWorks, and things to consider before you do so

Prior to upgrading, read this!

Read this if you currently have a RefWorks 2.0 (Legacy) account through Naval Postgraduate School.

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON A PAPER OR THESIS THAT HAS REFWORKS REFERENCES IN IT, proceed very cautiously! Documents that were started with RefWorks 2.0 (now called Legacy RefWorks) should be completed with RefWorks 2.0. You cannot mix and match - either all references must be inserted from RefWorks 2.0 or all must be inserted from RefWorks 3. So, if you already have a paper or thesis in progress that has references inserted from RefWorks 2.0, you will have a few choices:

  • Do not upgrade if you are graduating soon and are well along in your thesis using RefWorks 2.0. (THIS IS THE OPTION WE RECOMMEND)
  • Do not upgrade if you are happy with RefWorks 2.0 and will be graduating or leaving NPS before the end of 2017
  • Finish the paper(s) you are working on in RefWorks 2.0, then upgrade if you are going to be continuing to use RefWorks 
  • Upgrade to RefWorks 3 but continue to use your 2.0 account for the paper(s) you have already started with it 
  • Upgrade to RefWorks 3.0, remove all the Word document inserted references from 2.0, and reinsert them using RefWorks 3


  • Do not upgrade if you are happy with RefWorks 2.0 and will be graduating or leaving NPS before the end of 2017
  • Upgrade to the new RefWorks

NOTE: ProQuest (owner of RefWorks) will continue to support RefWorks 2.0 until the end of 2017. If you will be using RefWorks beyond 2017, you will need to upgrade on or before that time.

Upgrade Using the Link in RefWorks 2.0

To upgrade:

Step 1: Log into your RefWorks 2.0 account at

If you have forgotten your login information, on the login screen, click where it says "forgot your login information".  Once you have retrieved your login information proceed with Step 2

Step 2: Click on the link at the top left that says "Move to the newest version of RefWorks from ProQuest"

Step 3: Log into the RefWorks 3 login screen that pops up with your same login credentials

Step 4: Enter your information (name, etc.) when prompted to do so, and click on Next. RefWorks recommends that you use a different password for your new RefWorks account (not the same one you used for your RefWorks 2.0 account).

Your references (including any attachments) will be imported into your new RefWorks 3 account.

To change your email or password, in the upper right hand corner use the pulldown menu and select Settings.

Your old "Legacy" RefWorks 2.0 account will remain active. We suggest leaving it intact in case you need to use it in the future. For example, if you have already started a paper using the references in your Legacy account, you will need to continue working with that account for that paper.

Other Ways to Create a RefWorks 3 Account

If you would prefer to explore the new RefWorks 3 in a “clean” account and then export your references from RefWorks 2.0 later on if you so desire, instead of upgrading following the directions above, you can create a new RefWorks account as described below.

To sign up with an NPS email address, then simply go to and sign up for a new account using your NPS email address and a different password than you use for your RefWorks 2.0 account.

If you are an NPS student, faculty or staff member and prefer to sign up with a non-NPS email account, then go to During the process of opening the account you may be prompted for an activation code.  You can use your NPS credentials to access the code on our Wiki.  If you do not have NPS credentials you will need to contact us at Ask a Librarian to obtain it, and we will have to confirm that you are indeed affiliated with NPS.

Alumni will have to obtain a library alumni account prior to being given the RefWorks 3 activation code.

If you have questions or encounter difficulties

RefWorks Tech Support:  email or call 1-734-997-4440 or 1-800-521-0600 ext. 74440