RefWorks is web-based software for collating references and creating bibliographies. Using RefWorks can help you manage your references more effectively, keep accurate records, and save you time when producing a bibliography for a dissertation, thesis or paper. If you're writing a journal article, RefWorks gives you the flexibility to quickly change the bibliography's referencing style if required, for example, to meet a particular journal's submission criteria. 

With RefWorks, you can collect references from catalogues and many of the Library’s databases, and organise them using personal folders and sub-folders. Then when you are writing up, you can easily insert citations in the text and generate a bibliography in the appropriate referencing style.

Registering to use RefWorks

First time users must register to use RefWorks. We recommend that you register a personal account rather than register via Shibboleth.

  • Link to Login to RefWorks (javascript must be enabled in your browser settings).
  • Under "New to Refworks?", link to "Sign Up for a New Account".
  • Complete the form. For security reasons, you should avoid using your Brunel username and password as your RefWorks login name and password. You can enter either your Brunel e-mail address or your personal e-mail address.
  • Enter the Captcha security code (as a continuous string of characters without any spaces).
  • Click Register. You should receive an e-mail confirming that your new account is ready to use. Keep this email safe as it contains your Brunel University group code, which you would need if you are off campus when you sign in to Write-N-Cite III. You would also need it when you are a Brunel alumni member (link to If you leave Brunel, below).

Logging in to your RefWorks account

Once you have registered, you can access RefWorks on and off campus. Always start at the Library's RefWorks web page.  It is also advisable to login to the e-Library from the Library homepage before you begin any RefWorks session.

  • Link to Login to RefWorks (on the right hand side).
  • Under "Login using RefWorks Credentials" enter your personal RefWorks username and password.
  • Select "Login".
  • If you wish, select the option "Keep my session open for 14 days" - do not select this option on a shared computer.
  • If you have forgotten your RefWorks credentials, link to "Forgot Your Login Information?". RefWorks will send a reminder to your registered email address.

Training sessions

The Library runs regular training events on RefWorks and related topics for the Graduate School, and Subject Liaison Librarians may also deliver training within Schools by arrangement. If you are a member of staff who would like to arrange bespoke training for researchers or within a programme, please get in touch with your Subject Liaison Librarian.

For bookable events, full details of dates, times and locations are available in the Graduate School’s Skills Training and Development programme and for undergraduates in the LibSmart events calendar. If you find a session you would like to attend, book it online. 

If you leave Brunel

When you leave Brunel University, the RefWorks Alumni Programme allows you to continue using RefWorks free of charge, as long as the University has a current subscription. If you already have a Refworks account: Under "Update Profile", change your Type of User to "Alumni", and save your profile. If you will not have any ongoing access to your Brunel mailbox you are advised to change your email address before you leave.

If you've forgotten your RefWorks login name and password, you can use the login link (top right) and select "Forgot Your Login Information?" to reset it, or you may contact the Electronic Resources Librarian, who should be able to help you.

If you do not have a RefWorks account already, also contact the Electronic Resources Librarian and provide your name, student number, the year you graduated and we will verify your alumni status and reply to you with the group code and (if necessary) how to set up an account.

For more information, please see: RefWorks lifelong access and RefWorks alumni program FAQ.

Page last updated: Thursday 10 November 2016