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Creating A Bibliography

Creating A Simple Reference List

In RefWorks you can create a bibliography from a list of references, without creating a document. This reference list may contain your entire database, the references in your My List area or a folder or you can select a specific references from which to create the bibliography.

Formatting a Bibliography from a List of References

There are several ways to create a simple Reference List within RefWorks:

You can select a group of references and easily create a formatted reference list in HTML, which you can copy and paste into any document.  Before you begin, make sure the output style you need is listed in your Favorites list.

  1. Select the references you want to use and right-mouse click on the selection option (Selected, Page or All in List) and choose Create Bibliography.  To select a folder or references, click the folder name on the Quick Access bar.

You can also create a reference list from the menu options.

  1. From the menu, select Bibliography, then select Create Bibliography.  

  1. Under Output Style, select the style you wish to use.  

  1. Under Reference to Include, choose Selected, Page or All in List.   (Tip:  make sure you are already viewing the references you wish to use, either from search results, a folder view or All references view).

  2. Under File Type, select the file format you wish to create (Text, HTML, RTF (Rich Text), Word for Windows (2000 or later), or Word for Mac (98 or later) or OpenOffice (.odt).

  3. Click Create Bibliography.

  4. Follow your browser's instructions for viewing the file and be sure to save the document to your computer before closing.

Note:  When generating a Reference List from the Bibliography area, the final output is sorted based on the output style you have chosen.  If the output style is based on the order cited in a document, since there is no document, it defaults to alphabetical by first author.

Email it: After the bibliography is created you may also email the list.  The email address in your RefWorks account is automatically entered, but you can overwrite it with another address.  Only one email address can be entered.

Creating a Reference List Using the Print Option

The Print option allows you to create a reference list without having to have your references in the same folder.  You can preview your list of references or copy and paste them into a document.

To create a reference list from search results or from a View:

  1. Locate your references to print (by Searching within RefWorks or selecting View, All References or View, Folder and a specific folder).

  2. Determine the sort order for your list from the Sort By drop-down.

  3. Select the specific reference(s) by clicking on the check box to the left of the Ref ID. You can also select Page or All in List.

    :  If you select individual references to print, they must all be on the same page.  This is why you must determine your sort order first. RefWorks displays 25 records per page, so if you need more than 25 selected references to print, you can increase the number displayed per page in theCustomizearea.

  4. Once you have identified the records to print and your sort order, click on the Print icon or drag the references to the Print References link on the Quick Access bar.  

  5. Select the appropriate Output Style and click the Print References button.

  6. Follow your browser's instructions for viewing the file and be sure to save the document to your hard disk before closing.

Note:  References will print in the sort order determined in your view and will override the output style sort order.





A bibliography is a listing of the books, magazines, and Internet sources that you use in designing, carrying out, and understanding your science fair project. But, you develop a bibliography only after first preparing a background research plan — a road map of the research questions you need to answer. Before you compose your bibliography, you will need to develop your background research plan.

With your background research plan in hand, you will find sources of information that will help you with your science fair project. As you find this information it will be important for you to write down where the sources are from. You can use the Bibliography Worksheet to help you, just print out a few copies and take them with you to the library. As you find a source, write in all of the necessary information. This way, when you are typing your bibliography you won't need to go back to the library and find any missing information. The more information you write down about your source, the easier it will be for you to find if you want to read it again.

When you are writing your report, you will use the sources in your bibliography to remind you of different facts and background information you used for your science fair project. Each time you use some information from a source, you will need to cite the source that it came from. To cite a source, simply put the author's name and the date of the publication in parentheses (Author, date) in your text. If the person reading your report wants to find the information and read more about it, they can look up the reference in your bibliography for more detail about the source. That is why each source you use must be listed in a detailed bibliography with enough information for someone to go and find it by themselves.

Your bibliography should include a minimum of three written sources of information about your topic from books, encyclopedias, and periodicals. You may have additional information from the Web if appropriate.

Examples of Bibliography Formats

There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the author's name, the title, the date, and the source.

Different types of sources have different formatting in the bibliography. In American schools, the two most commonly used guidelines for this formatting are published by the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association).

The MLA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called Works Cited. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common MLA formats for your use: MLA Format Examples.

The APA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called the Reference List. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common APA formats for your use: APA Format Examples.

Your teacher will probably tell you which set of guidelines to use.

On the Science Buddies website we use the following guidelines:

  • APA format for online sources
  • MLA format for all other sources
  • APA (author, date, page) format for citations in our articles

Getting Started

Download and print the Science Buddies Bibliography Worksheet. Keep several copies with you and fill in the information as you do your research. When you are finished, type the information from the worksheet into a formatted bibliography using the examples listed above.

Sample Bibliographies

Sample Bibliography: MLA Works Cited Format
Sample Bibliography: APA Reference List Format

Bibliography Checklist

What Makes a Good Bibliography?For a Good Bibliography, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Have you included at least 3 sources of written information on your subject? (If you include Web pages, they should be in addition to the written sources.)Yes / No
Have you included complete information to identify each of your sources (author's name, the title, the date, and where it was published)?Yes / No
Have you used the proper format for each of your sources? Most teachers prefer the MLA or APA formats. Yes / No
Is your Bibliography in alphabetical order, by author's last name?Yes / No
Do you have sources of information to answer all of your research questions?Yes / No