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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

RefWorks: Importing Data From Saved Text Files

Importing from a Text File

References can be imported into RefWorks from a text file created by saving references from a Database Service. You would use this option if the database that contains the citation does not have a direct export function.


  1. Save or copy the references from the database. Most databases offer more than one way to save the information (ex: brief record or full record), so it is important to test and see which format is needed for each database.
    *Note: it is very important that you make sure to save the information correctly. For example, if you save only the brief record from Pegasus, you will not have all of the information that should be included in the citation. You need to make sure to include the Full Record information.
  2. From the References menu select Import.
  3. Select the Import Filter/Data Source that matches the data you saved.
    For example, if you saved references from a search you did on a CSA database, select the CSA Import Filter.
    *Note: The names of the Import Filters do not always match up with the names of the database. You can look up what Filter goes with what database by selecting the List of Filters & Databases link.

  4. Select the specific Database from which you saved references. For example, if you searched the CSA Sociological Abstracts database, you would select CSA as your Import Filter/Data Source and Sociological Abstracts as your Database. Some Import Filters have as an option. With this option, it is possible to import data from searches you have performed across multiple databases from the same service. If available, multiple databases is always the first option in the Database list.
  5. To have the references imported into a specific folder, select the folder from the Import References Into link. For example, if you want to keep all references together from several imports to edit later, you should create a folder for this purpose.
    *Note: References are always imported into the Last Imported folder. References from the previous import are removed from the folder automatically. When you have completed an import, you can open this folder to globally edit or add data to the group before organizing them into folders.
  6. Select the text file you created when saving your search results. To help organize your data, you may want to create a separate folder under your My Documents folder called Download Results. If you always use this folder, it will be easy to find the appropriate file when importing.
    • If you have a number of references to import, select Import Data from the following Text File and use the Browse button to locate the file.
    • If you only have one or two references to import, copy the data into the Import Data into the following Text box.
  7. Click the Import button to import the data. Progress is shown by one * for each reference. The program tells you when the import is complete.
  8. To view the import log, select View Log.
    The import process creates a log file containing information on the status of the import. The log file shows information like data that was not imported and data that was imported into the notes field. In general, if you used the correct Import Filter, the import brings in all of the information and places it in the appropriate fields for each reference type.

Importing Citations from PubMed

PubMed is a database that does not have a direct export to RefWorks option. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to import citations from PubMed specifically. 

  • Go to PubMed, and select the articles you want to import
  • Click Send To at the top of the page
  • Click Citation Manager
  • Click Create File
  • The citations are now downloaded to your device.
  • Go to RefWorks
  • Click References in the top ribbon
  • Click Import
  • Go to the middle of the pop-up box and click From Text
  • Go to Import Filter/Data Source, scroll down to NLM PubMed
  • Go to Database, choose PubMed
  • Go back up to From Text File, which is above the From Text that you clicked a few steps ago
  • Go to Browse, and choose the citation file you just downloaded to your device
  • Click Import To and choose the folder you want it to go to
  • Click View Last Imported Folder to see your citation 

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