Reference management software helps you keep your literature references in order and store them in the same place. All reference management applications offer the same basic functions. You can import references in different ways from different sources into your reference database and organise them according to your needs. You can also share your references for groupwork and other similar purposes.

In addition, you can use reference management software to easily incorporate citations into your work, for example your thesis, and to generate a list of references of your chosen sources in compliance with a specific citation style. Reference management software makes your work easier and faster, especially if you are dealing with a large number of references.

There are numerous reference management options to choose from. The University of Helsinki has acquired a license for RefWorks and EndNote for its students, teachers, researchers, and other staff members. The RefWorks subscription is valid until 31 December 2021.  RefWorks is a browser-based application, which can be used wherever an Internet connection is available. EndNote is a separate application that you can install on a University computer from Software Center or on your home computer from Download Centre.

You can also find freely downloadable reference management software online. Examples include Mendeley and Zotero. These can be installed on University computers from Software Center and on home computers from the software website.

You can consult online comparisons to help you choose the application best suited to your needs. Brief descriptions of the features of various reference management applications commonly used at the University as well as instructions on their use can be found in the

RefWorks can be used by anyone with a University of Helsinki ( or HUS ( email address.

  1. Create your own RefWorks account at
  2. Use your university email address ending in (or as your user ID. Choose a password different from the one that you use for the University of Helsinki email account.
  3. You will receive an activation link by email. Click the link to access RefWorks through the browser.

There is no need to download separate applications to your computer. You only need a plugin if you use RefWorks with Word.

RefWorks is compatible with Microsoft Word and Google Docs. You can install a plugin in either application to synchronise with your RefWorks references. This makes it a great deal easier to add citations and a bibliography to your text. In Microsoft Word install the RefWorks plugin from Microsoft Store (Office Add-ins; instructions in RefWorks User Guide) and in Google Docs from Add-ons (instructions in RefWorks User Guide).

Quick Cite is a copy/paste tool for adding citations and bibliographies to documents created in Open Office, Word or other word processing applications. In the toolbar of your RefWorks account, click Bibliography and then select Quick Cite.

Both are RefWorks plugins that you can install in Microsoft Word. They allow you to add in-text citations and a bibliography to texts in your word processing software.

RefWorks Citation Manager is a plugin for Microsoft Word 2016 and 2019 on Windows and Mac computers. It is also compatible with Word Online as well as Google Docs.

The older plugin, Write-N-Cite, is not compatible with Word 2016 for Mac, but it is compatible with Word 2016 for Windows and other older versions of Word.

If you have installed the Office 365 suite through the University at an earlier date, you are using an older version that does not give you the right to download plugins from Microsoft Store. You can browse for possible solutions in the RefWorks Guide (in Finnish) or download a new version of Office 365 suite (uninstall your old Office first; instructions in Helpdesk pages).

Helsinki University Library offers advice to University students and staff in questions concerning RefWorks.

To contact RefWorks’ own support, use the form that you can find by clicking on the question mark in the blue bar of your RefWorks account page.

The University of Helsinki subscription to RefWorks reference management tool will end 31 December 2021.

RefWorks is under continuous development. This means that its basic functionality is continuously improved and new features are introduced. You can follow new developments on the RefWorks page (under Release Notes). Some of the new solutions are important to all users, others are only relevant to a limited group of users and some may be hardly noticeable.

You can continue to use RefWorks after graduation until 31 December 2021. However, replace your university email address in the RefWorks settings with another real email address, which you will need if you forget your RefWorks password.

If you wish, you can export your references from RefWorks to another reference management application.

You can continue to use freely available reference management applications (such as Mendeley or Zotero) as before.

Please make sure to transfer your RefWorks references to another tool before the end of December 2021, if you wish to continue to use them. You can export your references in RIS format. Download attachments (e.g. PDF files) separately.

Choose a new reference management tool and import your references into the reference management tool, e.g.  Endnote, Zotero, and Mendeley. University of Helsinki offers Endnote. Zotero and Mendeley have a free version available. See instructions on how to export references from RefWorks.