Lamont Librarians Lead RefWorks Workshops

Steve Kuehler, Reference Assistant in Lamont Library, gives an overview of the citation management software RefWorks.

December 21, 2006 - "RefWorks in Thirty Minutes or Less," a Lamont Library workshop tempts busy students to familiarize themselves with the citation management software. Recently Steve Kuehler, Reference Assistant, and Chris Lenney, Reserves Assistant, ran multiple back-to-back sessions at Lamont on two afternoons to introduce students to RefWorks and quickly bring them up to speed on how to use it.

An online tool for gathering and managing references, RefWorks formats references as needed for research projects and papers, saving users the hassle of sorting through all the rules for in-text citations, endnotes, and bibliographies.

At each session, Kuehler and Lenney showed students how to access RefWorks through the E-Research @ Harvard Libraries website and guided them through the initial account sign-up process. From there, the librarians discussed and demonstrated the various ways in which students can add items to their own database of references. Kuehler, for instance, navigated online to a popular e-journal and performed a search. He then explained how to select the relevant items and export the citation information into RefWorks, and from there how to turn these references into a bibliography according to the style required. Since there’s no shortage of styles—be it ALA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago, or the many, many journal styles—RefWorks can save time and confusion.

Kuehler and Lenney also covered how to add citations to a RefWorks database manually—because this is the only option for Lexis-Nexis and a few other sources—as well as how to import from a text file or how to export directly from the HOLLIS catalog.

Students and staff looking for more information on RefWorks can consult Using RefWorks at Harvard, a Harvard College Library research guide co-authored by Michael Hemment, Research Librarian and Head of Scholarly Research Initiatives, Widener Library, and Connie Rinaldo, Librarian of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. The guide is designed to serve as a RefWorks primer for creating bibliographies, using the feature called Write-N-Cite (a feature that lets you insert references into a paper as you write in MS Word), adding full text links, sharing references, and when to use RefWorks versus when to use EndNote, another citation management program.

Page Last Reviewed: June 15, 2009