How to move citations from RefWorks to Zotero

Folders in RefWorks cannot be moved to Zotero along with your references. In Zotero folders are called collections. You will need to create new collections in Zotero that correspond to your folders in RefWorks if you want to preserve your folder structure.
  • Login to RefWorks.
  • In RefWorks, locate and click on the folder you want to export to Zotero

RefWorks Export by Folder


  • In the References drop down menu, choose Export:
  • In the pop-up  box, choose the Export Format: Bibliographic Software (EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite)
  • When you click the Export References button a browser window will appear with each reference in a tagged format.
  • Right-click in the browser window and choose Save as…. Save the export on your desktop as a .txt file and name it to match your RefWorks folder.


  • Open your Zotero software and select Import under the File dropdown menu:  
  • Open your downloaded file(s)  and it will be imported into Zotero with the name you used to save it as its folder name.
  • If you need to create a new collection, click on the folder icon:
Additional Notes
  • File attachments will not transfer from RefWorks to Zotero. You can save the attachments on your computer and add them to Zotero manually by dragging the PDF to the appropriate citation or adding it as an attachment to the citation.   
  • The Personal Notes and User fields in RefWorks will not transfer to Zotero. You can copy and paste this information into another field manually.
  • You cannot use the Zotero Word plugin in a document that contains RefWorks Write-N-Cite formatted citations or bibliographies.