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RefWorks: Share

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Bobby Hollandsworth

RefWorks Administrator
407A Cooper Library

Sharing your References with RefShare

RefShare provides subscribing institutions and universities the ability to allow users to share their RefWorks database or just specific folders or subfolders from their RefWorks database with other users in their organization and in some cases even publicly.  Certain users may also have permission to post their folders or databases on a shared page viewable by all RefWorks Users within their organization.

RefShare users have the ability to allow exporting, printing, generating a list of references and even using custom output styles at the folder or database level.

Existing RefWorks users can export from a RefShared database or folder directly into their own RefWorks database.

There are three types of RefShare Users:

How will I know if I Can Share My Folders or Database with RefShare?

From the main viewing window in RefWorks you will see a Share tab.  If you see these, that means your local RefWorks Administrator has given you permission to share your folders or databases.


You can still share your database with colleagues by creating a read-only password, should you not have access to RefShare.

Sharing your Folder or Database

You can share a folder or database from the Organize & Share Folders tab in the main viewing area of RefWorks.

In the Organize & Share Folders area, you'll see a list of your folders. You have two options:

  • Share your enter database (all references and all folders)
  • Share only a specific folder (or folders)

For each folder there is a Share icon sharefolder.jpgand at the top of the list of folders is the same icon that will Share Entire Database.

Clicking on the Share icon sharefolder.jpg will take you to a Shared Folder Options page. This page will allow you to set up various permissions for your RefShare Recipients.

Also, from the Organize &Share Folders area you can manage your shared references. After you click the Share icon sharefolder.jpg, the icon will change to indicate the folder is shared.  Clicking on the Shared iconsharedfolder.jpgwill display several options:

  • Share Link sharelink.jpg --   takes you into your shared folder or database.

Using the URL that is generated for your folder or database, you can also create a custom link to a specific reference that is contained in your shared folder or database.  To do this, add the following to the end of the URL:  & rn=XX (with XX being the RefWorks Ref ID assigned to the particular reference). Entering this custom URL in a browser will bring the RefShare Recipient directly to the Full View of that reference. The RefShare Recipient has access to the complete folder or database that the linked reference is contained in.

If you are in your shared folder or database and you click the View link for a particular record, you will find a link to this page link that you can click on to get the URL for that specific record (saves you from manually creating the link as described in the paragraph above). IE users can just right mouse-click on the link to this page link and copy shortcut to get the link as well.

  • Remove Share folder.jpg-- allows you "unshare" your specific folder or database making it inaccessible to any recipients and removing it from the Shared Area Page (if posted there).

  • Shared Folder Options  sharedoptions.jpg-- takes you to the Shared Folder Options Page where you can edit or update sharing options.

  • Email this shareemailrefshare.jpg-- launches an email template that you can use to send your unique URL to someone.

Once you click on the Share icon sharefolder.jpgto share a folder or database, a URL is created.  This URL can be emailed to your intended RefShare recipients. You can copy and paste this URL into your own email or, by clicking on the Email this share icon emailrefshare.jpg, RefWorks will create a message with the URL and some information for the recipient on how to use RefShare to view your references.

After clicking the Email this share icon emailrefshare.jpg:

  • Add the Recipients' e-mail addresses, separating multiple addresses with a semi-colon

  • Make any changes to the Reply to, Subject or Message areas in the appropriate text boxes

  • Click Send email

There is also a Reset button that will restore the default text in the text box.

RefShare Options

From the Shared Folder Options page you can establish:

  • Share Information:

    • View the URL for the shared folder or database

    • Give your folder or database a title and a description. The title and descriptive information will be available in the shared folder or database by clicking on the About This Database menu item.

  • Share Options:

    • Post your folder or database to the Shared Area Page (if this option is enabled by your local RefWorks Administrator).  If you select this option, you may also see a Category drop-down. This allows you to designate which category your folder or database is displayed under on the Shared Area Page.

    • In addition to including RSS Feeds that you have from outside sources, you can Create an RSS Feed for your shared folder or database.  This option will display an RSS icon with a shortcut to the feed that your recipients can use with their RSS Feed Reader of choice.  You can also determine the amount (10, 20 or 50) and the type ("recently added" or "recently added or modified") of references that are included in your feed.

    • Establish an OpenURL resolver preference -- either No OpenURL, your Organization's (Site Defined OpenURL) resolver, if enabled by your administrator, or use the free WorldCat® OpenURL Gateway.  The WorldCat® Gateway is an OpenURL resolving Web service that allows your RefShare users direct access to full-text articles and other online resources available from their library if their Organization participates in the WorldCat® Registry. You can check to see if your organization is included at:  http://

  • Limitations:

    • Determine what print, export and bibliography generation options your RefShare Recipients will have.  You can allow exporting, printing and bibliography generation of your references by selecting the checkbox next to these options.  You can also limit the number of references that can be exported, printed or used in a bibliography (but not specifically which references) by putting a number in Set Max. References text box for each option.

    • Allow RefShare Recipients the ability to post comments to your shared references. Enabling the comment option allows RefShare Recipients the ability to post comments to references in your shared folder or database.  There is an additional option you can select to receive email notification each time a comment has been posted to one of your shared references.  As the RefShare Owner, you can manage the comments that are posted.  For more information on managing comments, click here.

    • Decide if you want to include in your shared folder or database any RSS feeds currently in your RefWorks account

    • Enable an e-mail option that provides RefShare Recipients an easy way to contact you directly from the RefShared folder or database. The e-mail address you used when creating your RefWorks account will appear.  You may modify this e-mail address if necessary.

    • Share any files you have attached to your references  

Note:  When including attachments in RefShare please be sure to first verify that sharing of the information is not prohibited by any licensing and/or copyright restrictions.

  • Output Style Options:

    • Choose one or more Output Style Options for the RefShare Recipients -- either your Favorites (as set in the Output Style Manager), the Organization-specific (if applicable), User Customized styles, or ALL RefWorks Output Styles.  If you have created custom output styles in your RefWorks database, you can also allow your RefShare recipients to use these to generate bibliographies or print from your folder or database.  Just select the checkbox next to this option to enable it.

  • Fields to share:

    • Determine what reference fields you want to share or exclude from sharing.  By default, all fields are shared.  Click on the field name and the right arrow rightarrow.jpgto exclude the field from being displayed when shared.  To remove a field from the exclude area and include it for display, click the name of the field in the Excluded column and the left arrow leftarrow.jpg to move it back to the Included column.

Make sure to Save your options/settings at the bottom of the page.

You also have the option to create default shared settings from the Shared Folder Options page of an individual folder.  To make a folder's shared options your default settings, click the Copy to Default button.

Managing Comments Posted to Shared References

If you enable the comment option from the Options page, you will be able to view any comments posted either from your regular RefWorks account or directly in your shared folder or database.

An icon comment.jpg is displayed to the right of the reference that indicates comments were posted for this reference.  Clicking on the comment.jpgicon displays the comments.  As the owner of the shared folder or database, you can manage these comments (edit or remove them).  You can only do this from your regular RefWorks account. 

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