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RefWorks (ProQuest)

Why in my reference list, are the line breaks not correct?

If your the reading list splitting your references mid-word (see example below) stop using Internet Explorer and change to Chrome or Firefox. 

Why is RefWorks just spinning when generating a bibliography?

When creating your bibliography/reading list if you get a continuing spinning wheel consider:

  • Changing your browser (RefWorks works best in Chrome).
  • Clear your cookies, in Chrome go to Settings, click on Advanced Settings and scroll down to Clear browsing data.  You can then clear the cookies by selecting Cookies and other site data and clicking Clear Data.
  • If the problems continues contact the library via




Why is RefWorks running so slowly?

If RefWorks is running slowly you can check for any current issues by going to:

  • Multiple services are listed here, scroll down to New RefWorks CR01.

Why is my Word document in Review Mode only?

When using Write-N-Cite (WNC) Word can get stuck in Review Mode, this is likely due to a login issue relating to Shibboleth.  You can create a separate password to use with your RefWorks account that will correct the fault.

  • To create a separate password in your RefWorks account, click on your name and then select settings 
  • Scroll down to Alternate Password to create an alternate password. 

You will then be able to login to RefWorks and WNC with your university email and new password.

Why I am having trouble inserting extra references in my Word document?

There are many reasons why the citation tools, WNC and RCM, encounter errors. Using Track changes and other formatting or coding seem to adversely affect their performance.

If you encounter issues continuing to add citations using these tools:

  • remove the last citation you added, save the document and quit Word. Re-open Word and try inserting the citation again. If you get the same error, proceed to the next to last citation you added, delete it and then save your document, quit Word, and then reopen and try adding it again.
  • If this still does not work after several attempts, you may want to remove any document templates, tables, images and tables of content from the document and see if it will work once these coded areas have been removed. 

Why does RCM keep crashing?

RefWorks Citation Manager sometimes crashes in the middle of creating a Word document.

This can occur if you are adding formatting to your document or using the Review Screen or Track Changes.

If this happens:

  • remove the app, re-insert it and then log back in
  • use the Clear Cache feature in the side-bar

RefWorks Citation Manager works best with text-based documents rather than those with tables/images and complex formatting or styles.

Why can’t I log in to Write-N-Cite (WNC)?

Some students have experienced issues logging in to Write-N-Cite (WNC) even though it is installed and displaying on their Word ribbon.  It won’t let them login using their Solent email address and selected password and generates error messages.  Using the alternative Institution login doesn’t work either as it doesn’t display any universities to select.

To resolve this and get WNC to work:

  • Ensure you have at least IE9 or later installed – even if you do not use IE as your browser (otherwise WNC will not work).
  • Make sure Windows, Word, Internet Explorer and Java are all up to date.

If updating these does not resolve the problem, please contact the Library for further support as you may need to delete the PQ working files.

Why can’t I see the RefWorks tab for WnC in Word?

If the RefWorks WNC tab disappears from your Word document it is likely the add-in has become disabled.  You will need to reactivate this within Word.

  • Go to the File tab and select Options,
  • Select the Add-in tab and check if your Write-n-cite add-in has been disabled.
  • If disabled, select Write-N-Cite and click Manage and reactivate the tab.


If your references are not copying into InDesign correctly, first copy them into a Word document and from there copy them into a blank new page in InDesign. 

If the formatting does not copy across correctly you can change this setting in InDesign by pressing Command K you can access the Preferences Dialog Box, select Clipboard handling and then change Paste option to All Information.

Why is my reference from a PDF wrong or not loaded?

Sometimes RefWorks cannot read PDF files if they are not formatted properly.  

If your reference, generated from a PDF, is incorrect, you can:

  • edit it manually
  • match the title or DOI using the blue flash button
  • import the citation from a library resource or Google Scholar

PDF items that are not journal articles are unlikely to generate correct references when dragged and dropped into RefWorks.

Common problems in RefWorks

If you encounter problems with RefWorks, try these tips:

  • Change your browser: Chrome or Firefox generally work best
  • Remove cookies/third-party cookies, ad blockers and browser add-ons (find these options in your browser settings)
  • Check your pop-up blocker settings
  • Clear your cache (find this option in your browser settings) or reload your page by holding down CTRL + F5




Deleting PQ files

If you need to delete PQ files (this may help with issues around logging into Write-N-Cite):

  • Firstly, close Word.
  • The PQ files in Windows 7, 8 and 10 are located in C:/Users/%UserName%\AppData\Local.
  • You may need to show hidden files within your file options. To show hidden files on your computer go to the Tools Menu in Windows and select Folder Options. Make sure the radio button (Show Hidden Files and Folders) is checked under the View tab.
  • Delete all of the files starting with PQ.

For more information go to: