RefWorks program to develop new databases available in the library

Natalie Pillsbury

nces and creates bibliographies became available to students this month.

The program, called RefWorks, is free to students from any location using the Internet. The RefWorks Web page is, and a link is available on the library home page.

“Students can create an account, import references and create a personal database,” said Barbara Schloman, assistant dean of Library and Media Services. “This is a new kind of service that gives students the opportunity to manage their references.”

References can be imported from various online databases and non-electronic sources, such as books, can be entered manually.

“There is no limit to the amount of references in your database,” Schloman said. “You could have over 5,000.”

Users can file references in separate folders and search their personal database using standard or advanced searches.

“The most useful part is that you can easily generate a bibliography,” said Megan Stypczynski, a graduate assistant in Library and Information Science who reviewed the RefWorks service.

Students can select specific references from their personal database and generate a bibliography automatically. The program allows users to choose from a variety of bibliographic styles.

Bibliographies generated by RefWorks still need to be checked manually for errors because the program doesn’t always account for missing pieces of information.

The RefWorks login page offers a link to a tutorial and a Quick Start Guide, which offer instructions on how to use RefWorks.

It is new technology in bibliographic management.

“A couple of universities in Ohio have had the service for a year or more,” Schloman said. “It had great acceptance from undergraduates.”

Libraries and Media Services had been considering RefWorks for some time, and decided to purchase the service in late fall.

“A number of Ohio schools were interested,” Schloman said. “OhioLink organized a group-buy including 15 institutions.”

Because of the group-buy, Kent State was able to purchase RefWorks at a discounted price.

“We hope that this will allow people to put references together in a meaningful way,” Schloman said. “We want to take it to the next step by helping them manage it.”

Libraries and Media Services will be sponsoring a number of 60+ Minute Seminars to introduce students to RefWorks starting in February. 60+ Minute Seminars are free sessions that introduce resources or information technology to students and faculty.

“The seminars will each be specific to a discipline such as sciences or humanities,” Schloman said. “They will each offer tailored examples.”

Contact libraries and information services reporter Natalie Pillsbury at [email protected].