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RefWorks and Write-N-Cite

Procedure for Importing an Unformatted Bibliography into RefWorks

In a word processing document

  1. Open your bibliography.
  2. Separate each reference with two carriage returns.
  3. Select and copy the citations. Do not copy any additional text.
  4. Go to MakeBib at http://www.snowelm.com/~t/doc/tips/makebib.en.html
  5. Paste your citations into the text box.
  6. Click on the Make BibTeX source button.
  7. Copy the BibTeX-encoded text that is generated.

In RefWorks

  1. Click References and select Import from the RefWorks menu.
  2. Select From Text in the Importing References pane.
  3. Select BibTeX in the Import Filter/Data Source: drop-down menu.
  4. Select Bibdesk (BibteX format) in the Database: drop-down menu.
  5. Paste copied information into the form textbox.
  6. Click the Import button (bottom right).

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

MakeBib Conversion Errors

It is fairly common for citations to be incomplete (lacking a field that a given citation style expects) or simply missing required punctuation. Check over the BibTeX file before importing citations into RefWorks. If you find an incorrectly formatted reference, it is usually simpler to correct errors in the original unformatted reference and and convert it again using MakeBib than to make the correction in the BibTeX file or in RefWorks.

For example, consider this reference in APA format:

Bolliger, D. U., Supanakorn, S., & Boggs, C. (2010). Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the online learning environment Computers & Education, 55(2), 714-722.

MakeBib will incorrectly process it as a book:

@comment{ Bolliger, D. U., Supanakorn, S., & Boggs, C. (2010). 
           Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the 
           online learning environment Computers & Education, 
           55(2), 714-722.  }
@book{bolliger2010impact,
 author = "Bolliger, D. U. and Supanakorn, S. and Boggs, C.",
 title = "Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the online 
          learning environment {Computers} & {Education}, 55(2)",
 publisher = "714-722",
 year = 2010
}

By simply adding a period between the article title and the journal title, MakeBib this time correctly processes it as a journal article.

@comment{ Bolliger, D. U., Supanakorn, S., & Boggs, C. (2010). 
           Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the 
           online learning environment. Computers & Education, 
           55(2), 714-722.  }
@article{bolliger2010impact,
 author = "Bolliger, D. U. and Supanakorn, S. and Boggs, C.",
 title = "Impact of podcasting on student motivation in the online 
          learning environment",
 journal = "Computers & Education",
 volume = "55",
 number = "2",
 pages = "714--722",
 year = 2010
}