Referencing and RefWorks

Referencing and RefWorks

Referencing, Citing and RefWorks

Importance of Referencing and Citing

It is essential that you correctly indicate in any written work when you are referring to or using the ideas and words of others. Failing to do so could lead to accusations of plagiarism - the unacknowledged use of other people's work. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that you are referencing and citing correctly. Further information and several Library Guides on Referencing can be found near the bottom of this page. There are a wide range of software solutions for managing your references, and to help you to write your work with correctly presented references. RefWorks is one such tool and is free for all University of Aberdeen students and staff to use. 


What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is web-based Reference Management Software that allows you to import and save references from online academic databases and other sources. You can then use these references when writing essays, dissertations etc., as it helps with formatting the references in the correct style and creating a bibliography or reference list for any piece of written work. RefWorks uses Word add-ons to help with the writing. These add-ons appear automatically on all classroom PCs but will need to be installed on your own machine. Details on these writing tools given below.

Referencing with RefWorks

Details below on creating new ProQuest RefWorks accounts.

ProQuest RefWorks

All new users must use the new upgraded ProQuest RefWorks to manage their references and correctly format them within written work. To create an account and begin using this useful software consult the library's ProQuest RefWorks - Quick Guide.

Further guidance is also available:

Getting Started with ProQuest RefWorks - series of short videos

ProQuest RefWorks LibGuide


Writing Tools - Reference Citation Manager or Write-N-Cite?

RefWorks allows you to create and manage a web-based collection of the references you may use when producing written work. It also allows you to correctly format those references by using Writing Tools that operate as add-ons within Microsoft Word. There are two different tools available, and the one you use depends on a handful of factors. 

RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM)

RCM is the newest RefWorks writing tool that accompanies New RefWorks. It has already been added to Microsoft Word on campus classroom PCs. 

Write-N-Cite (WNC)

WNC is the previous generation of writing tool and does not support the newest operating systems. It is not compatible with Word 2016 on a Mac.


Detailed guidance on choosing between RCM or WNC

Other Reference Management Software

See PDF for a comparison of popular Reference Management software and methods.

Referencing Library Guides

Referencing and Citing - Guides

It is essential you record what you have read and referred to in your written work, both within the text (citing) and at the end of your written work (bibliography). It is vital that you acknowledge what resources – print and electronic (including the Web) - you have referred to in your assignment, dissertation or thesis. If you don’t, you can be accused of plagiarism - the unacknowledged use of other people’s words and ideas. This is cheating.

Check your course handbook or ask your supervisor about the preferred citation style for your School.

REMEMBER - you can lose marks for poor referencing.

Help and advice

Visit the Student Learning Service site for advice on how to avoid plagiarism.

Library Guides on Referencing