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Brown School Library

As of 6/18/2019, Brown School we will no longer have access to RefWorks. All current users were notified via email 1/16/2019 and will be notified again in March, May, and will be sent a final notice in June. Please feel free to contact Lori Siegel or Susan Fowler for questions and assistance with transferring your current RefWorks library to a comparable citation management system.

Transferring your RefWorks Libraries to Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote

Exporting References

  1. Log in to RefWorks
  2. Click on References in Top Left
  3. Select “Export” *
  4. Choose “Bibliographic Software” Format
    1. Pop up Blocker may prevent the next window from opening ⇒ look on the bottom of your screen for a green box that will allow you to “click here” to download the file of exported references
  5. Save resulting file in a .ris format
    1. Depending on what internet browser you are using…
      1. Google Chrome ⇒ right click and choose Save As
      2. Internet Explorer ⇒ right click and choose Select All ⇒ choose Copy ⇒ open  Notebook ⇒ right click and choose Paste ⇒ right click and choose Save As
      3. Edge ⇒ right click and choose Select All ⇒ choose Copy ⇒ open  Notebook ⇒ right click and choose Paste ⇒ right click and choose Save As
      4. FireFox ⇒ right click and choose Save Page As
    2. In the save file tool, choose the drop down for format and choose All Files
    3. When you go to name the file, add the ris file format by typing .ris at the end of the file name
      1. ex. Library.ris

* If you are getting an error when trying to export, try exporting 500 or less citations at a time.

Importing References


  1. Open Mendeley
  2. Go to File ⇒ Add Files
  3. Choose RefWorks .ris file
  4. Files will automatically download into Mendeley


  1. Open Zotero
  2. Choose File and select Import
  3. Choose RefWorks .ris file
  4. All citations should automatically download into Zotero


  1. Open EndNote
  2. File ⇒ Import ⇒ File
  3. Choose RefWorks .ris file
  4. In the “Import Option” window, click down arrow and choose Reference Manager (RIS)
  5. All citations should automatically download


Important Notes –

Folders: When you import your references, they will not reorganize into folders on their own. You will have to set up new folders in the new citation manager. You might consider exporting and importing each folder at a time.

PDFs: Any attached PDFs will not follow your citations from RefWorks into the other citations managers. You will need to save the PDFs separately. You might consider, instead, simply pointing the new citation manager to our libraries serial solutions address and downloading PDFs from there.

Citation Software Capabilities

Below are comparison charts to help you think through which citation management software will work best for your needs. They all have pros and cons. 

I Need to:



…work from multiple computers or locations.

EndNote Online



Can be used on its own or with EndNote desktop

Zotero saves your citation library to your local computer, but syncs with multiple computers so you can work from home, work, or school.

Mendeley is a program that lives on your local computer, but syncs with a web account.

…work without an Internet connection.




Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote store your citation libraries locally on your computer.

…archive web pages and import citations from sites such as Google Scholar, Amazon, Flickr, and ArtSTOR.


Zotero allows you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library. It is a great tool for scraping citation information from web-based publications and some commercial and social networking sites.

…work on a group project or share my citations with others.




Zotero - share your citations through shared folders -- you can give individuals or groups permissions to add and edit the citations in the shared folder. 

Mendeley - share citations and documents with a group of up to 2 other users, or create a public reading list that is open to all.

EndNote - share your entire library with up to 100 people and EndNote Online allows sharing of one group from your library. with unusual or complex citation styles, cite unusual document types or create my own document type


EndNote has more citation styles than any other program, more flexibility, ability to customize styles. extensively with PDFs


Mendeley has better ability to extract citation information automatically from PDFs, PDF full-text search-ability, and a social networking component to see what others in your field are reading and commenting on (particularly in the sciences). with more than 2,000 citations for a research project like a systematic review EndNote EndNote has unlimited storage capability and can handle manipulating large numbers of citations with ease

 adapted from Penn State University Libraries

Citation Manager Comparison Chart

Criteria Zotero Mendeley EndNote
Web based? Yes, works with Firefox browser and can sync with online account; connectors for Chrome and Safari available Not primarily, but can sync with an online account which is editable No, but can transfer library to EndNote Online
Operating System Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux Windows or MAC
Cost Free for basic account, some cost for more online storage space Free for basic account, some cost for more online storage space

$ 22.00 for WUSTL Students 

$44.00 for WUSTL Staff
Go to

Word-processor compatibility MS Word, Open Office, Google Docs MS Word, Open Office, LaTex MS Office, Open Office, iWork Pages
Mobile Device Application 3rd party iOS and Android apps, web interface iPad, iPhone, 3rd party Android apps, web interface iPad, web interface
Number of citation styles About 16 pre-loaded, "thousands" available for download from Zotero Over 1180 Top 100 downloaded, over 4000 more available
Number of import filters 247 "translators;" other sources captured as web page About 50, + COinS, + integrates with Zotero's "translators" 700+
Import from databases Yes Yes Direct export from specific databases
Import citation info from web pages Yes, also archives the page and you can add annotations Yes, with a bookmark for a limited number of sites (mostly publishers or databases) only with EndNote Online bookmarklet
Storage capacity Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 100MB free Zotero file syncing (larger syncing plans available for purchase); or can use WebDav Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB personal and 100MB shared online space (larger online storage plans available for purchase) Unlimited local storage
Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.) Yes, with option to attach automatically Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs
Search full text of PDFs Yes Yes Yes
Duplicate detection Yes Limited Yes; fully customizable
Create group or shared libraries Yes Yes, free for up to 3 group members (larger group plans available for purchase) Yes, with up to 100 people and includes attachments and PDFs
Create bibliography with different styles Yes Yes Yes
Automatic citation extraction from PDFs Yes Yes Yes
Other features Sync library with multiple computers
Use tags to organize/search
Sync library with multiple computers
Sync with Zotero library
Insert figures and charts using word processor integration

 adapted from Penn State University Libraries