RefWorks is a way to create a bibliography automatically rather than manually (though you’ll have to check the results for errors). If you’re familiar with Zotero or Endnote, RefWorks is the same kind of software. The University of North Dakota has opted to provide this service to the entire UND campus.
Who is it for?
RefWorks can be a great tool to organize that research and the citations that you gather in the process of doing research for tenure or professional interest.
RefWorks works equally well for short-term projects such as class papers or long-term projects like doctoral research.
RefWorks is particularly helpful for undergraduates who are still learning how to cite others’ work.
The library is interested in working with professors to promote this tool for students at all levels. Why do we suggest faculty promote RefWorks?
Students may not always be conducting original research, but they often write papers where they are citing researched information. RefWorks is a wonderful method for them to keep track of their citations and make sure that everything is correctly researched and sourced. It does not replace the knowledge that students need to have about the citation styles of their field and it does not replace the need for students to research and find sources to support their assertions, but it can simplify the mechanics of producing a bibliography.
If you’re concerned about your students committing plagiarism, RefWorks can also be a great way for students to make sure that they don’t forget to give credit where it is due.
RefWorks is fairly easy to learn—the basics take about fifteen minutes—and the library is happy to offer either individual or group training with the software.
In short, RefWorks provides students and faculty with a place to store their research as well as, ultimately, a bibliography in the appropriate citation method that they can check over for errors.