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Zotero is a free software to help you manage and cite your resources. This guide was originally created by Kelsey Nordstrom.

Export RefWorks to Zotero: Answered by: Bridget Farrell

You can export all your citations from RefWorks (New Platform) using the steps below. This will NOT export attachments (like PDFs) if you have those attached to your RefWorks citations. Those must be pulled from RefWorks individually. 

To export citations from Refworks:

1. Log in to your RefWorks account.

2. At this point, if you would like to keep your citations in their respective folders, we would recommend exporting one folder at a time—alternatively you can export all your references at once by selecting “All References” from the left toolbar, but the references won’t be sorted into folders when they are imported into Zotero. Depending on what you would prefer, using the left toolbar, click on one of your folders (recommended) or click on the tab that says “All References.” 



3. Select “Share” from the toolbar that spans the top of the page.

4. Select “Export references.”



5. On the screen that pops up, select “All references in ...” and then select “RIS Format” as the format.

6. Click “Export.”



7. We recommend saving the file that appears to your desktop or in your Documents folder on your computer—wherever it is easiest for you to find. 

8. We also recommend renaming the file to match the original name of your folder in RefWorks so when it’s imported into Zotero it’s easy to identify. You can do this by right-clicking (on PC) the file and selecting “Rename.”

9. Repeat the steps above until all your folders are separate files on your desktop or in your Documents folder on your computer and renamed to correspond with the file's original folder name in RefWorks. 

After you have a RIS file for each folder, you can import the RIS files into Zotero using the steps below:

1. Open the Zotero app on your computer. (See linked "Getting Started" handout below if you need help downloading Zotero and setting up your account.)

2. Select “File” from the toolbar at the top of the page

3. Click on “Import.”



4. Confirm you would like to import a file.

5. In the file browser box that appears, find a RIS file you saved on your desktop or in your Documents folder. Select it.

6. You are then given options as to how Zotero will handle the file. The default options that are selected are what we recommend. (Those options should be a  “Place imported collections and items into new collection” and “Copy files to Zotero storage folder.”)



7. The folder should appear in your Zotero app with the same file name you gave it.

8. Repeat the steps above until all of your RefWork folders are in Zotero.



Links & Files

Refworks to Zotero Tutorial Video