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RefWorks New: RefWorks Add-On for Google Docs

Installing the Google Docs Add-On for RefWorks

For directions on installing and using the Google Docs RefWorks add-on, click here.

Need Help?

Have questions regarding the new RefWorks or need some technical support? Contact our Support Team for help.

E-mail us or telephone us +1- 800-521-0600Contact Information ext. 74440 or +1-734-997-4440

Support hours are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm Eastern Time

In addition, the new RefWorks Support Pages are available at any time.

More information about upgrading to the new RefWorks can be found at:

New RefWorks Webinars

Informational webinars presented by the RefWorks Product Manager and recordings of past ones can be found at:

RefWorks Add-on for Google Docs

RefWorks offers two optional tools to help you write your paper Write-n-Cite (which works with Microsoft Word) and the RefWorks Add-on for Google Docs (which is 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 synched with the Google Docs Add-on. 

Note:  Changes are NOT made to any in-text citations or the bibliography in your document.

Installing the Google Docs Add-on for RefWorks

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

Google Docs RefWorks Add-on

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

RefWorks Write-N-Cite Instructions

     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 ProQuest 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”. 

RefWorks Add-on Image 2

  1. If this is your first time using the RefWorks 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.  You should have an affiliation with an academic institution and use your institutional email address to register.  Once you’ve logged in, you don’t need to log out unless you’re on a public computer.

RefWorks Add-on - Image 3

  1. The right-hand pane will change, defaulting to your RefWorks “All references” view.

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  1. If you want to work with a RefWorks 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.

RefWorks Add-on - Image 5

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  1. You can start writing your paper and when you are ready to cite a reference in RefWorks, 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).

RefWorks Add-on - Image 7

  1. 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.

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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):

RefWorks Add-on - Image 9

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”

RefWorks Add-on - Image 10

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

RefWorks Add-on - Image 12

Note:  Custom output styles are currently not accessible.

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).

RefWorks Add-on - Image 13

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

Note:  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!

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.   

There are two ways you can share your document with others.

To share your document with someone who does NOT have a RefWorks account

1.  Click the share icon ​.

2.  Enter the email address of the person you want to share with

RefWorks Add-on - Image 14

3. The person will receive an email with a link to create a RefWorks account and then access your document with the “can edit” permission (you can modify the permission by clicking on the Share button and selecting “can comment” or “can view”)

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.


To share your document with someone who has a RefWorks account:

  1. Click the Share button  in the upper right-hand corner.  The “Share settings” box will open with access to several options:

RefWorks Add-on - Image 15

  1. Via the Advanced settings you can change the access setting if desired (the default setting is “specific people”).

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The Change link will allow you to modify how your document is shared.

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  1. Enter the email addresses of the people you wish to share the document with.  If they do not have a RefWorks account, they will be asked to create one.

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’ve included in your document, however, they cannot delete references from your RefWorks account.

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