Skip to main content
  • Subscribe by RSS
  • Ex Libris Knowledge Center

    Writing Your Paper with the RefWorks for Google Docs Add-on

    • Product: New RefWorks

    Writing Your Paper with the RefWorks Add-on for Google Docs


    RefWorks offers several optional tools to help you write your paper -  Write-n-Cite (which works with Microsoft Word) and the RefWorks Add-on for Google Docs (covered in this article).  You can also create a simple bibliography from your references right in your RefWorks account.   
    Any additions, changes, or deletions you make in your RefWorks account are automatically synced with the Google Docs Add-on.

    changes are NOT made to any in-text citations or the bibliography in your document. You will need to manually update your document by deleting and re-inserting citations and refresh your bibliography using the Update Document option.

    Installing the Google Docs Add-on for RefWorks


    1. Open a blank document and select “Add-ons”, “Get Add-ons” and search for “RefWorks”.  Once you find it, just click on the “free” button to add it. 

    2. You’ll be asked to “accept” certain conditions of using the add-on.

    3. Once you have accepted the conditions, you’re brought into your new document and are ready to start writing your paper. 


    Working with the RefWorks Add-on for Google Docs


    1. Start writing and when you are ready to insert your first citation, select “Add-ons”, “ProQuest RefWorks”, “Manage Citations

    2. If this is your first time using the add-on, you’ll be asked to log in to your RefWorks account.   If you do not have a RefWorks account, you can sign up and receive access as long as  you’re a member of a subscribing institution or a ProQuest Summon customer.   Once you’ve logged in, you don’t need to log out unless you’re on a public computer.

    3. Once you log in, the right-hand pane will change, defaulting to your RefWorks “All references” view.

    4. If you want to work with a specific collection of references, just click on “All References” to see your list of collections.  Choose the collection with the references you need for your paper.  You can also use the “search” option to search for specific references.  The search options searches all fields.


    5. You can start writing your paper and when you are ready to cite a reference in your paper, click on the citation and click the “cite this” button.   The in-text citation will be inserted (using the last output style you used in RefWorks). 

    6. There is also a citation editing option.  Click “Edit and Cite” to add page numbers, hide the author name, or hide the publication year in your in-text citation (dependent upon the output style you are using).   You will also see a preview of the in-text citation and your bibliography entry.

    7. Continue to add citations and watch your bibliography update right in front of you.  

    You can also add footnotes (make sure your output style supports them!) by using Google Docs footnote option (Insert, Footnote):


    As you write your paper and insert your citations, you’ll see your bibliography format in your document.  Inserting additional citations will automatically update both your in-text citations and bibliography.


    Changing your output style:

    There are two ways you can change your output style for your paper:

    1. In the RefWorks pane in your document, click on the “options” icon   and select “Change citation style

    2. Or you can select any reference from the list and click the “Cite and Edit” button and change the style:


    Deleting or changing citations


    1. Highlight the citation you wish to delete and use the backspace key or delete key to remove it.
    2. Insert the new citation (if applicable).
    3. Click on the “options” icon   and select “Update document”.  Your document will refresh and the bibliography entry will be removed or updated (if you added a replacement citation).


    Any additions, changes or deletions you make in your RefWorks account are automatically synched with the Google Docs Add-on.

    changes are NOT made to any in-text citations or the bibliography in your document.

    Collaborating with others

    Google makes it easy to collaborate with others on your paper.  Now you can take that a step further, by collaborating with other RefWorks users while you work in a single document!
    Share your document with anyone who has a RefWorks account and in addition to adding and editing text to your document, they can also add in-text citations and footnotes from their RefWorks account.   

    To share your document with another RefWorks user:

    1. Click the Share button User-added image in the upper right-hand corner.  The “Share settings” box will open:


    1. Change the access setting if desired (the default setting is “specific people”).


    1. Enter the email addresses of the people you wish to share the document with.  They need to have a RefWorks account and have the RefWorks Add-In for Google docs installed.  You can modify access rights to the document – the default is “can edit” but you can also select “can comment” or “can view”.

    You can even collaborate using the same set of references by sharing your RefWorks collection with your collaborators.  Read more about sharing a collection.

    Note:  Anyone you share with can also delete in-text citations you included in your document however, they cannot delete references from your RefWorks account.    

    • Was this article helpful?