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Migrating from RefWorks: Moving to Mendeley

CPUT has stopped subscribing to RefWorks as of 31 December 2013. This guide will assist you to move your RefWorks content to Mendeley.

Why Mendeley?

Mendeley is:

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Fully functional
  • Compatible with various devices
  • And it has great support

Printable instructions

This pdf guide was put together by Amanda Izenstark from the University of Rhode Island, and is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is offered here with permission.

Moving your references

This video explains how to move your references from RefWorks to Mendeley.

Maintaining file structure

In order to maintain your RefWorks file structure, it is recommended that you export each RefWorks folder independently and then import each into a Mendeley folder. 

Please ask your Faculty Librarian if you need assistance with this.


There is no quick and easy way to get all of your full-text attachments out of your RefWorks folder and into your Mendeley account. Here's one way to do it:

  1. Download each attachment into a folder on your harddrive.
  2. Import all the pdfs into your Mendeley account, using drag-and-drop or the watched folder option. (See here: for more information.)
  3. Use the find-and-merge duplicates feature (see here: for how) to clean up your Mendeley account.

Need help? Ask your Faculty Librarian.