Thursday, February 07, 2008

Importing Word bibliographies into Refworks

Our Systems Librarian, Tim Klassen, discovered a set of instructions for formatting a Word file (actually a .txt file) into something that Refworks can read. Someone at the University of Aberdeen compiled this detailed guide to formatting citations, such as a bibliography from an already existing paper, and importing them into Refworks.

Here's the PDF version of the Word to Refworks guide.

It's still a lot of work, since each citation needs to be spaced, punctuated, and labeled just so. Depending fast a typist you are, and how quickly you get the hang of the labels, this might be quicker than copying and pasting from a document to the manual entry form*, or searching for all of your citations and exporting from the databases. It's frustrating that something that can produce a formatted citation can't read one, but I know there is too much variation in citation content to make that easy. However, since even the database citations frequently need editing, even a partial import could be useful.

The University of Aberdeen library has more guides for Refworks, too.

*By the way, someone pointed out to me that I had been doing this the hard way. Instead of copying and pasting field by field, switching back and forth from window to window, they suggested that I paste the entire citation into one field of the form, like Title, and then cut and paste within the form. Less switching back and forth makes the whole process faster. Thank you!


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