Getting Information Into your RefWorks Database

  1. How can I import results of searches into RefWorks?
  2. Can I export references directly from online databases to my RefWorks account?
  3. If an import filter does not exist for the database I am using, who should I contact to see if one can be built?
  4. When I try to export references from an online database with a RefWorks option, nothing happens. What do I do?
  5. I imported some records from an online database and the information didn't import correctly. Why?
  6. How can I get references from online databases into my RefWorks account if the database does not give me an option to export directly into RefWorks?
  7. Can I search online databases from within RefWorks?

How can I import results of searches into RefWorks?

RefWorks uses filters to import records into your personal database. After you perform a search in an online database, save the results as a text file (.txt), then import the results into RefWorks by selecting the appropriate filter. Search results from most online databases can be imported into RefWorks. For a complete list of the import filters available in RefWorks, see http://refworks.scholarsportal.info/Refworks/importdbs.asp

Can I export references directly from online databases to my RefWorks account?

Yes. Many databases allow results of your searches to be exported directly to RefWorks, so you don't have to download or e-mail them. For a complete list of database vendors with direct export to RefWorks, see http://refworks.scholarsportal.info/DEList.asp

The UFV Library also provides instructions on how to get data from each of our research databases (where possible) into RefWorks. You'll find these instructions linked from each database information page.

If an import filter does not exist for the database I am using, who should I contact to see if one can be built?

RefWorks has import filters built for importing bibliographic record information for many databases and database vendors. If you do not find an import filter for the database that you use, you can request that RefWorks look into creating one. While logged into your RefWorks account select HelpContact Us. There is also a link to request an import filter from ReferencesImport.

Keep in mind that it may not be possible always to create a filter for importing record information from your database. Often, it depends on how the database provider tags and organizes the record information. The limitation may be the fault of the vendor and not RefWorks.

When I try to export references from an online database with a RefWorks option, nothing happens. What do I do?

You have a couple of options. First, you can check to see if the popup window blocker is set on your browser or personal firewall or security software.

In Netscape, go to Edit→Preferences→Privacy and Security→Popup Windows and see if the blocker is set. If set, you can add refworks.scholarsportal.info as an allowed site.

If you've added the Google toolbar to Internet Explorer, the popup blocker may be set. Select Options. Under Accessories select the Options tab, and turn off the Popup Blocker.

You can also save your references as text a text file (.txt) and import into RefWorks.

I imported some records from an online database and the information didn't import correctly. Why?

There are several different reasons this could happen:

  • you selected the wrong import filter or database when importing
  • there is no import filter for the database you are importing from
  • the database vendor has updated the database and the import filter is not in sync with the changes
  • the database vendor sent data that was tagged for import incorrectly.

First, check that the data you are trying to import is in a tagged format. Save your references as a text file (.txt), then open the file with a text reader. It should look something like this:

TI: Title
Effect of rearfoot orthotics on postural sway after lateral ankle sprain.
AU: Author
Hertel J; Denegar CR; Buckley WE; Sharkey NA; Stokes WL
AF: AuthorAffiliation
Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University,
University Park , PA16802, USA. jnh3@psu.edu
SO: Source
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation., 2001 Jul,
82(7):1000-3

Next, select References->Import from the RefWorks menu; check that both the Import Filter/Data Source and Database have been selected correctly. If you don't see either All Databases or the specific database you are searching in the drop-down list, we do not have a filter for that particular database. In this case, the data may still import but it may not be imported into the correct fields, and the source information will all go into the notes field. Selecting Multiple Databases will not work if the specific database you are importing is not in the list.

If you selected the correct Data Source and Database but the data still comes in incorrectly, please contact the RefWorks support department, refworks@scholarsportal.info. Attach a sample of the text file you are importing along with information on the source of the data.

When you import from a text file, RefWorks always gives you the option to view the import log. RefWorks imports references based upon Import Filters that have been created using data samples from various service providers and databases. Because we cannot foresee every possible format, there will occasionally be data that is not imported or data that is imported into an incorrect reference type or field. In the log file, you may see one or more of the following error messages:

  • Reference type identifier not found; Use default reference type
    This indicates that the Reference Type (i.e. Journal, Report, Map etc.) was not defined for the database and RefWorks will import the data using the type which has been set as the default. The default will be the type most common for that particular database.
  • Tag not defined; Not imported
    The data in the field was not imported because the filter did not recognize the tag.
  • Source format not found; Import into Notes
    The Source field generally contains several pieces of information such as Volume, Issue, Page Number(s), Year of Publication, Periodical name, etc. The format of this field will vary a great deal and each format must be specifically defined to ensure RefWorks puts information into the correct fields. If RefWorks does not recognize a particular source line format it will take all of the information as it is in the database and import it into the Notes field. To correctly generate a bibliography that includes this data, you'll need to put each piece of data in the appropriate fields manually.
  • Author pattern not found; Import as is
    RefWorks attempts to import author names in a specified format so that the names will be used correctly in bibliography generation. Common formats such as John Smith or Smith, John will be imported into RefWorks correctly. If an author format is not recognized, it will still be imported into the Author field but may not be in a format that will be correct when you generate a bibliography. If possible, check the author field for the reference and put it in the format required.
  • Database identifier in header not found; Use database identifier in reference
    Import Filters are based upon the service and the database. When importing, RefWorks looks for a database identifier to direct it to the appropriate filter. Some databases put the database name in a header file and others put it in the reference itself. The message indicates that the identifier for this reference was found in the reference itself not the header file.
  • Database identifier in reference not found; Use default database
    If RefWorks cannot find a database identifier in the reference it is attempting to import, it will use the Database you selected on the Import screen.

How can I get references from online databases into my RefWorks account if the database does not give me an option to export directly into RefWorks?

You can import properly formatted text files from numerous online databases using predefined import filters in your RefWorks account from ReferencesImport on the RefWorks toolbar. RefWorks has published an extensive list of Database Services supported.

There are two methods to import data from a text file:

Method #1:
Save the records you want from an article index or database as a text file (filename.txt)
Method #2:
Display the database records you want to import on your browser's screen in text format
  1. Open your RefWorks account and select ReferencesImport
  2. Choose the appropriateImport Filter/Data Source
  3. Identify the name of the article index or database that the records came from
  4. Click on the Browse button to find the file you want to import
  5. Click on Import at the bottom of your screen
  1. Copy the text by choosing EditSelect All in your browser
  2. Then choose EditCopy
  3. Open your RefWorks account and select ReferencesImport
  4. Choose the appropriate Import Filter/Data Source
  5. Identify the name of the article index or database that the records came from
  6. Paste the data copied to the Import Data from the following Text input box and click on the Import button
Please see the RefWorks documentation for more details.

 

Can I search online databases from within RefWorks?

  • Yes, you can search numerous library catalogues (inlcuding the UFV Library Catalogue) and PubMed.
  • In your RefWorks account choose SearchOnline Catalog or Database. A listing of available library catalogues and databases is provided.
  • Note that you cannot search commercial subscription databases from within RefWorks. See the Getting Started web page for information on how to easily export and import references into your RefWorks account.



Last updated May 1, 2007 cb

YouTube goUFV Linkedin Facebook Twitter Flikr Signup for eNews!