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Writing with Microsoft Word and RefWorks: Writing with Microsoft Word and RefWorks Using APA

A guide to writing using RefWorks and Microsoft Word in APA style.

RefWorks Video Tutorials

RefWorks has an excellent series of tutorials on its YouTube page.

Start with Learn to use RefWorks in 20 minutes. This is a group of 10 short videos that (you guessed it) only takes twenty minutes to watch. Numbers 8 and 9 are only applicable if you have Microsoft Word 2016 or higher.

Additionally there are other videos going into more depth on topics or covering additional features.

Caution: if you are looking at the related videos list, be sure you select videos about New RefWorks, not Legacy RefWorks.

New RefWorks
Legacy RefWorks

What Do APA In-text Citations Look Like?

For information about APA rules on in-text citations and references, see the resources on this guide:



Final Step

If submitting your paper electronically, remove the RefWorks/Write-N-Cite field codes. Be sure to save a copy of your document with the codes so you will be able to edit the paper later.

Select: Remove Field Codes from the top menu of the RefWorks tab in Microsoft Word.

Temporary(?) Glitch in RefWorks about Formatting DOIs in Reference Lists

There is a temporary(?) RefWorks problem in formatting the DOIs in references when using APA style.

APA experts have decided that there are 3 correct ways to format a DOI in a reference:

1. (preferred)


3.         doi:10.1037/arc0000014 (as shown in the Manual)

RefWorks has decided to change to the new style. However, it is not doing either option correctly!

Workaround for Temporary(?) Glitch in RefWorks

Decide which format you will use and use it consistently: (is preferred by the APA experts)

doi:10.1037/arc0000014 (is used in the APA Manual)

Example: Using option 1; the doi preceded by

In Edit mode in RefWorks:

Edit the DOI field

1. If the field reads // change it to //  Note: if you add the full prefix "" RefWorks will delete the https:



2. If the field only contain the DOI, add // in front. Note: if you add the full prefix "" RefWorks will delete the https:


You will need to add the https: later

Edit the URL field

Delete any information in the URL field

Creating the bibliography in MS Word:

When you finish writing and create the bibliography for the final time*: add: https: in front of the double slash


* it must be the final "create bibliography" because every time the bibliography is created, anything added to the document in the gray highlighted areas (i.e., RefWorks codes) will be reset.

Subject Librarian

Rebecca Knight's picture
Rebecca Knight
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H

Subjects: U.S. Government Information,
Delaware, census, family studies, RefWorks, APA style, and genealogy.

B.A., History. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1973.
M.S., Library Science. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1981.

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