Importing References from the BU Catalog

Edit: It has been discovered that there are serious drawbacks with the method described in this post.  Please ignore it, and instead see the new post on this subject.

Many library databases allow you to directly import references into RefWorks with just a few mouse clicks.  Unfortunately, the BU Library Catalog is not one of these databases.  Work is underway to add direct RefWorks import to the catalog, but until that happens, here is one way to get references from the BU catalog into RefWorks with just a little extra work.

Save Record Button

Start in the catalog, and “save” the records you want to import into RefWorks.  If you are viewing an individual record, you can save it by clicking on the Save Record button at the top of the screen.  If you are viewing the results of a search, select the records you want by clicking on the check boxes to the left of the titles, and then click on the small Save Marked Records button on the top left of the list.

Save Marked Records

viewsavedOnce you have saved all the references you want to import, click on the View Saved button on the top of the screen; you should see a list of your saved references at the bottom of the page, and some controls at the top:

Saved Records Screen

In the Format Of List box on the left, select the “End-Note/RefWorks” radio button.  In the Send List To box on the right, select the “Screen” radio button.  Then click on the Submit button.

You should now see a list of your selected references with some odd-looking tags (%A, %T, etc.).  Using your mouse, select all the text on this page (but not the buttons at the top and bottom) and copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl-C).

References Selected



References ImportIf you haven’t already, now log into RefWorks (you are done with the catalog at this point, so you can use the same browser window or a different one).  Select References->Import from the RefWorks menu to bring up the References page.

From the Import Filter/Data Source drop-down, select “Innovative Interfaces (Endnote/RefWorks format)” (Innovative is the brand of online catalog used by BU Libraries).  Then from the Database drop-down, select “EndNote/RefWorks format” (Boston University will not be in the list).  These settings tell RefWorks how the references are formatted.

Import Filter

Click on the big box at the bottom of the screen (which should select the Import Data from the following Text radio button), and paste the text you copied from the catalog (Ctrl-V).

Import Data

Click on the Import button, and you should see the Import page showing that all your references have been imported.  You can click on View Last Imported to see your new references.


One response to “Importing References from the BU Catalog

  1. Pingback: Importing References from the BU Catalog, Improved « RefWorks @ Boston University

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