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Citation Management Migration Guide

First Steps

First, you need to create a free Mendeley account at These instructions are tailored to the Mendeley Desktop App. Once you create a Mendeley account online, you can download the app to your computer for free.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Follow the Migrating all Reference at Once instructions on the Exporting from RefWorks page. 
  2. Open Mendeley Desktop. If this is your first time using Mendeley, a pop-up will appear welcoming you to Mendeley. In this pop-up, you can click on Import documents or library to upload your .txt file. Your references should appear!

  3. If this is not your first time using Mendeley, open up the app. Make sure you have "All Documents" selected in the left-hand panel.
  4. From the Mendeley Desktop File menu, choose Add Files. Locate the file you exported from RefWorks and press the Open button.

  5. Your references will now appear in your Mendeley Library.
  1. Follow the Migrating Individual Folders instructions on the Exporting from RefWorks page.
  2. Open Mendeley Desktop. Mendeley will automatically import references into whatever folder is currently open, so you need to make sure to create the folder first. Click on the Create Folder icon.

  3. ​Rename the new "Untitled Folder" to the name of the folder you're importing from RefWorks (or you can give it a different name). 

  4. Make sure you are in your new folder. Then click on the Add Files icon and find the .txt file for that folder. Select the file and click Open.

    Your references will now be in Mendeley and should be in the folder you just created. 

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each of the .txt files you saved from RefWorks.