Proquest RefWorks on iPad

(CC0 image via Pexels)
(CC0 image via Pexels)

This post was updated on April 19 2017.

RefWorks is the newest addition to our suite of tools and resources for our students and faculty at Touro. It’s easy to use and can save you oodles of time saving, organizing, and citing your research, like with its one-click bibliography generator. It’s a lifesaver on a laptop, but will it work on your mobile device? Since many of our Health Sciences students use iPads in the classroom, in labs, and to complete their coursework—plus the Midtown, Midwood, and LCW branches of Touro Libraries offer iPads to borrow—I took a close look at how RefWorks works on iOS. Read on to see my findings and get tips to get the most out of the new RefWorks on iPad.

RefWorks on iPad!
RefWorks on iPad!

The good news is that RefWorks is mostly compatible with iPads. However, there are a few quirks and tips you should know to get the most out of your use:

Choose the Right Browser

RefWorks is compatible with the latest Chrome or Firefox internet browsers. It will not work properly with Safari, the default iPad browser.

Export from Databases

Perhaps the easiest way to add documents to your RefWorks account, on both desktop and mobile, is to import articles directly from a database as you are searching. As you would expect, this works great with any Proquest database. Just select one or more articles and tap the Save icon. From the list, choose RefWorks and then make sure to select the blue “new RefWorks” link when asked for your version. All of the articles’ information will be automatically added to your library.

Many other databases that support exporting citations will work as well. Look for an option labelled either save or export, and then RefWorks as an option. We’ve had success testing this feature with ScienceDirect, Scopus, and several other databases. At this time, exporting from Ebsco databases works with single articles, but I’ve haven’t had success exporting multiple articles using the folder tool.

Save to RefWorks from the web
Save to RefWorks from the web

Save to RefWorks

On desktop, the “Save to RefWorks” button works great for adding articles from websites or databases that don’t have an export feature. On ipad, it’s a bit more work to install and can frequently be glitchy. The most common issue I’ve run into is that the bottom of the modal is cut off, preventing you from completing the action. The instructions are provided below, however, if you would like to try it out.

To install the Save to RefWorks bookmarklet button, follow these steps (for Google Chrome users):

(click photo to view slideshow)

Add By Title

A more foolproof alternative to exporting articles is to add them manually. That might sound laborious, but RefWorks still will help you out with autocomplete. The best way to do this is to copy the title of the article that you’d like to add. Switch tabs to to your library, tap the plus sign, and choose “Create new reference: Enter citation information manually.” Here, you can paste the article title, then tap the lightning bolt icon to search for a match and automatically populate the rest of the information. This works great for books and other items as well.

Find Full-Text

The find full text feature of RefWorks is particularly helpful on iPad. Instead of saving and uploading PDF copies of articles, you can use this link to pull up a copy of the article directly from the database to read online.

The find full text link with search Touro databases for a copy of the article

Read & Annotate

Although it’s not possible to highlight or add sticky notes when reading articles through RefWorks on an iPad, you can still take document notes. While reading, tap the pencil icon in the upper right corner to open a text field next to your PDF.

Create a Bibliography

Creating a bibliography works normally on iPad. The easiest method is to choose “Create Bibliography” from the citation menu (quotation mark icon). From here, just choose “Copy to Clipboard” and navigate to Google Docs or wherever you’re writing to paste your complete bibliography.

No matter what device you use, we hope you’ll check out RefWorks. It’s free to students and faculty, and all you need to sign-up is you Touro email address.



2 thoughts on “Proquest RefWorks on iPad

  1. Heikki Kaplas September 28, 2017 / 6:02 am


    It works on Safari too. I used chrome as mentioned above to copy the “save to reworks” toolbar. After that I went to safari, added a website (basically any website or edit one you already have) to the bookmarks (at the favorites or a starred ones), opened bookmarks section, went to the starred section, chose edit from the bottom and selected the website I want to edit. Changed the name to “add to refworks” and paste the javascript string copied from chrome. When you want to add page to reworks, open bookmarks, click the star, and choose add to reworks. Thats it. So basically nothing else is different, but you have to get the add to reworks “code” from chrome or send it from i.e. laptop via mail so you can copy and paste it to safari.

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