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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

RefWorks Administration Guide

The job of the RefWorks administrator is to configure institution-wide settings for RefWorks, provide help for your RefWorks users, and monitor RefWorks usage.

If an institution has multiple administrators, the last setting any administrator sets is the setting that applies.

The RefWorks Admin Pages

As an administrator, you have access to pages specific to administrator usage. You access these pages by selecting Admin from the user menu.


Admin users page.

Admin / Users Page

You can access the following pages by selecting the page on the Reference Organization area. The pages are:

Inviting Users

There are several ways to invite users / have users created:

  • Authorizing institutional email domains: Your users can create an account by browsing to and registering for an account using their institutional email address. To add or remove authorized domains, contact RefWorks Tech Support.
  • Using a unique URL and invitation code, which are included in your Welcome Letter.

    Do not post the invitation code publicly as it grants anyone access to RefWorks

    • Users within your IP range only need the unique URL
    • Users outside your IP range need the unique URL and the invitation code
    • If you do not have your unique URL or invitation code available, contact RefWorks Tech Support
  • Send an invitation to users via the in-app Invite Users feature – listed users receive an email with a registration URL
  • SSO (Single Sign-on) set up, using Shibboleth or OpenAthens authentication. To set up SSO at your institution refer to Shibboleth/OpenAthens and RefWorks.

Managing Users

Manage users on the Admin / Users page (see above). For each user, you can:

  • View the user's status: Invited, Active, Admin, or Deactivated. A user with Admin status is an active user (and is an administrator).
  • Using the Actions menu in a specific row, you can make a user an administrator, remove administrator privileges from a user, or activate or deactivate users. If you change a deactivated user's status to Admin it also activates the user.
  • Users with Invited status are not yet registered. These users can be managed only once they are registered.
  • If you select one or more users, page actions become available in the Actions menu at the top of the table. Use these actions to manage users in bulk.
  • To invite users, select Invite Users at the top of the page. The Admin / Invite Users page appears. Follow the on-screen instructions. When finished, select Back to admin to return to the Admin / Users page.


    Admin / Invite Users Page
  • To export the list of users in CSV format, select Download all users as CSV. The following information is exported:
    • Email address
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Role
    • Date created
    • Status:
      • Invited: a user received a RefWorks invitation but did not activate the account
      • Activated: a user activated the account
      • Deactivated: a user activated the account, but the account was later deactivated by an administrator
      • Admin
    • Date last active
    • Area of Focus
    • Customizable field (if configured)
    • No of Folders – includes folders created by user and folders created by another user in the same project; does not include folders shared with the user
    • No of References – includes references created by the user, references created by another user in the same project, and references in trash; does not include references in folders shared with the user
    The following is an example of an export of users in CSV format:
    Example of CSV export.
    CSV Export Example 

Configuring Institutional Settings

You configure institutional settings on the Settings page from Admin > Settings.


Settings Page

On this page, you can configure the following (see the on-screen text for more information):

  • Institution name
  • Institution URL (Institution Website Link)
  • Link Resolver Label – Enter a label for the link resolver if it has a custom name.
  • Link Resolver URL– If your institution subscribes to a link resolver service, configure the link resolver URL. If you do not configure a URL, the link to the link resolver does not appear.


    Link Resolver Link
  • WAYFless URL — Enables users to directly access their RefWorks accounts via institutional login if they are signed in to their institution's website, bypassing the RefWorks login screen.
  • Full-text sharing — Whether users can share full-text references with users not in your organization. Note that sharing with other users inside your organization is always allowed. Administrators can disable the Full-text sharing feature, RefWorks now hides the attachment icon and any attached files.
  • Show Search Databases – Whether the Search Databases option appears in the Reference Organization area for users at your institution.
  • Sync with Dropbox – Whether users can synchronize their full-text references with Dropbox.
  • Citation Styles for My Institution – the default bibliographic styles available in the Recent Styles menu when creating a bibliography. You can select up to six styles. These styles appear at the top of the style list for new users. (For more information, see As an admin, how do I customize citation style lists?)
    You can also configure Institutional styles, which appear in the Recent Styles menu in addition to appearing in the Institutional Styles menu.
  • Additional Profile Information – add a custom drop-down field that displays to users when they create their user profile and at least two possible answers from which the user selects.
  • Profile Creation Message – add text that displays on a user's Profile Creation page.

After making any change on this page, select Save.

Click here for the YouTube Video for RefWorks Administration Settings Checklist.

Sharing Personal Citation Styles as Institution Styles

If you are an administrator, you can share a personal citation style as an institution style.

To share a personal citation style:

While editing the style (see Editing Non-CSL Citation Styles), select Options > Share with my institution. Other users at your institution can now use and/or duplicate the style.

To stop sharing a style, select Options > Stop sharing with my institution.

For more information, see the following articles:

Creating Accounts

When users create a RefWorks account, they select a Role and (if defined by the institution) an Area of Focus. These can be updated at any time from the user Settings page. Admins can customize the options that are available to users in their institution.

To view and customize the Roles and Areas of Focus lists:

Select Admin > Account Creation. The options currently available at the institution are listed (including options available in Legacy RefWorks, for institutions using both RefWorks versions).

Use Select from available roles or Select from available areas of focus to add options to the institution's list. Admins can also manually enter options in the textbox and edit or remove options.

The lists defined in the Account Creation section are reflected in the User Settings and in the Admin Analytics.


Viewing RefWorks Usage Analytics

You view analytical information about RefWorks usage on the Admin / Usage Analytics page.


Admin / Usage Analytics Page

The following sections are available when viewing RefWorks usage analytics. On each page, you can also download the report as a CSV file.

  • Usage Analytics – Total page views and unique sessions in a specific period.
    • A page view is counted each time a user moves to another area of RefWorks (when the url changes); a session can include multiple page views.
    • A session is a visit to the RefWorks website, regardless of its duration and the activity done in the account; a session can include multiple page views.
  • On the following subpages, you can filter by time, role, discipline or area of focus.

  • Publications Added – Publications added most often to accounts at your institution.
  • Publications Cited – Publications most often cited in Write-n-Cite by users at your institution.
  • Publications Read – Publications with full text most often read by users at your institution.
  • Publications Viewed – Publications whose metadata was most often viewed by users at your institution.
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