‘Refworks’ A Necessity For Library Research

The Mercy College Library is providing an easier way for students to organize data and create reference searches.

Refworks is an online tool to organize data anywhere.

According to the school’s librarian, Susan Gaskin-Noel, the school has been using Reworks for a couple of years now, and more students need to take advantage of it. The primary function of the site is to create references and export the data. This is not a searching website. The school offers Proquest and other various search tools so students can look up all sorts of information.

Refworks allows students to transfer the data they find into its system to organize it and generate bibliographies.

Refworks allows users to organize and access files on campus and at home. The log in information is the same as the Mercy Connect.

Students can sign up for their own individual accounts. Once logged in by using the Mercy Connect information, a user can go to “New User Information” and fill out that form. Afterwards, the user has to click ‘Create Account’ and wait for an email confirmation.

The site offers a tutorial video (provided by Youtube) that will help students with the beginning steps of Refworks.

With the tool, students have the opportunity to organize all their information without mixing up notes and papers. The site offers students a chance to create folders to separate information. Students can label the folders however they see fit.

If a student does not wish to create folders, that student can organize data by selecting Descriptor, and users can search all references organized by descriptors. Using keywords in the advance search helps when using descriptors.

Again the site offers students tutorial videos, courtesy of YouTube, to help students understand Refworks better.

Users can add or remove folders as needed. All one has to do is click the Edit button and remove folders not being used one by one. In order to remove content from the folder, one has to open the folder, select the file or files note needed, and click the Remove icon. Simple enough.

Refworks has the number one tool to make something popular, the Share button. Students can share their findings via Facebook and Twitter if they want. There is also a share tab in Refworks, which students can use to share through Refworks only.

Users can post comments to others’ shared references, but only to those who have Refworks accounts. There is an email option that makes it easier for users to contact each other.

Refworks also gives tips in creating a Bibliography. It actual generates one for a user. A user can select a specific folder that he or she used and Refworks will generate one.

The bibliography is created based on the style output a user has chosen. It automatically defaults to alphabetical order by author. That would save time for many.

“It is best to email the bibliography to ensure it doesn’t get lost,” she hints.

“What makes Refworks even better is that it is mobile friendly,” says Gaskin-Noel.

Students can access the search engine on their phones without the web page running with a glitch.

“It’s good for anyone on the go.”