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BC Cancer Library COVID-19 Update
Alert: All BC Cancer Library sites and Cancer Information Centres are closed to the public until further notice. We continue to support patients and staff, providing reference, research, document delivery and more from a virtual platform. The library is still monitoring our email and phones during our regular Monday-Friday hours of operation and can still help you.

Staff Guide

ALERT! If you use the “Write-n-Cite 3” (WnC3) Word add-in, please be advised WnC3 is being discontinued by ProQuest RefWorks on September 30, 2021.

If you are still editing documents made with WnC 3, you must convert them to Write-n-Cite 4 (WnC4) before September 30 to preserve their links to your Legacy database. Use these documents below to help you decide whether you need to convert your WnC documents and if so, how:

Using Write-N-Cite in Word

Once Write-N-Cite 4 has been installed on  your computer, you can view the formatting of your in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography – all while you are writing your paper.

To get started

  1. Click "RefWorks” in your MS Word ribbon to launch Write-N-Cite
  2. Select a citation output style
  3. Insert in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography
  4. Save your paper frequently

If you do not see a "Refworks" tab in the MS Word ribbon, you do not have Write-N-Cite installed yet. See the side panel for instructions at BC Cancer. Continue using Refworks online until the install has been done.

Step 1. Launch Write-N-Cite

Note:  The first time you launch Write-N-Cite, you must be connected to the internet in order to log in to your RefWorks library and sync it with Write-N-Cite.

Tip:  In most cases, there is no need to log out of Write-N-Cite when you are not using it.  If you are using Write-N-Cite on a public computer without a personal login, you should log out of Write-N-Cite when you complete your work.  If someone does gain access to a system with your RefWorks library logged in to Write-N-Cite, they will not be able to change anything in your account since Write-N-Cite doesn’t have any features to edit your items.

Logging In To Write-N-Cite:

1. Click RefWorks from the Microsoft Word ribbon. 

Using RefWorks in Word header

2. Click Log In.
Word Login

 3. Enter your email address and Refworks password and click "Login".
RefWorks login screen

The first time you log in to Write-N-Cite, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks library.  This may take a few minutes. It is downloading your references and collections.  Any time you make changes to your RefWorks items you can click Sync my Database your new and edited items will be added to Write-N-Cite.

Write-N-Cite functions will not become active until syncing has finished.

Step 2.  Selecting Your Output Style

The first thing you will want to do is select an output style for your document.  Any in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography will be displayed in your document while you write your paper – in the output style you have selected.  You can always change the style later if you need to.

1. Click the Style drop down. You will see a list of RefWorks' recent styles.

2. Click on the style name.

3. You can change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on another Style in the list and selecting a new output style. Access to other Styles can be gained by using Select Other Style at the bottom of the list.
changing the output style

HINT:  While writing, choose a style that will help you recognize the reference, e.g. a style that shows the author and date. If you need a numbered style later, you will be able to change the style at the end of your writing process.

Step 3. Write Your Paper and Insert Citations or Footnotes and Your Bibliography

Note:  You may want to sync your RefWorks library with Write-N-Cite if you have recently added items you want to use in your paper.  Click the Sync my database icon to download new or updated items.

When you are ready to insert an in-text citation or footnote into your paper:

1.  Click the Insert Citation and Insert New option to launch the insert/edit citation box.  If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed above the Insert New option.   You can select citations displayed from this list or access all your references from the Insert New option. 
Insert New

2. Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access your items by Collection or by searching.  The Search box will search every field.

Insert/Edit Citation box


Tip: Use the horizontal scroll bar to see the full title.  Right-click on the item and select Show Full Reference Detail to display all fields of information (file attachments are not displayed).

show full reference detail


Full Reference View:

image of the full reference view

3.  Click on the item you wish to insert into your paper.  You will see a preview of the formatted citation in your current Output Style.

preview citation


Tip:  Add more references to the citation using the plus icon, remove them by using the minus icon, or reorder the references with the up and down arrows in the Compose Citation area.

compose citation

4. Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper.

5. To insert a footnote instead of an in-text citation, click the Make Footnote checkbox in the Edit References area.  Once you make a footnote and finish editing the citation, you will not be able to undo this action.  However, you can always add a new in-text citation.

make footnote

6. You can insert your bibliography anywhere in your paper while you are writing.  Click Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography.  Note: the bibliography will be inserted wherever the cursor is in your paper. 

Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography



You can click Remove Bibliography and re-insert if it you need to change the location.

remove bibliography

Step 4. Save your formatted paper (you should really save it periodically while you are writing!).  

Installing Write-N-Cite

To install Write-N-Cite on a BC Cancer workstation, use the IMITS Desktop Software form, or contact your Librarian

When making your IMITS Software - Install, Transfer, Remove request, please indicate the following:

  • Request type: Order and Install Software
  • Software Title: Refworks Write N-Cite 4
  • User workstation host name (the barcoded label on your existing work device)
  • Additional information:  free MS Word plug-in included in the Refworks license (BC Cancer Library), that has already been packaged by IMITS​ for install on BC Cancer computers.

You can use Write-N-Cite with Microsoft Word and Google Docs. These writing tools may refer to "Write-N-Cite" as "RefWorks" in the navigation ribbon. Write-N-Cite 4 works with the current version of Refworks, or Legacy Refworks, to add references into a paper and format them automatically.

You may also install Write-N-Cite on your personal computer or laptop, from the "Tools" menu inside Refworks.

Write-n-Cite Offsite / At Home / Personal Computers

Write-n-Cite can be added to MS Word on any computer you use: offsite, laptops, and working from home.  Download it from inside your Refworks account (Tools).

There is also a Google Docs app for Write-n-Cite. 

Offsite computers may be of different types (e.g. Mac) or operating systems, or versions of MS Word. While Refworks offers a writing tool for almost any computer,  they are not the same tool.  The different writing tools or apps for Refworks might not work together, so the document citations and bibliography will need to be edited using the same tool.  

  • Write-n-Cite 4 works for both Windows and Mac computers, in MS Word 2016, Word 2013 and Word 2010. 
  • Windows MS Word 2019 or online and MacOS X / iOS Word 2016, 2019 or online: the app is called RCM (Refworks Citation Manager).  
  • Google Docs uses 'Refworks for Google Docs'
  • Hangul uses RCM Hangul
  • Refworks Legacy users can also use Write-n-Cite 4. If you have accounts in both versions of Refworks, be very careful to notice where you are logged in.


Citation Managers

Don't type bibliographies

Citation managers are specialized databases for holding references, keeping track of journal articles and other publications, and then producing bibliographies: formatted lists of resources e.g. for CVs or research.

Other citation managers may be used at PHSA & BC Cancer.

  • Mendeley is a tested and approved plug in / desktop utility. If your Mendeley account is not working, IMITS can fix it.
  • Mendeley is especially useful for teams using LaTeX to manage their documents.
  • Some teams use EndNote or other programs and have purchased their own license.

BC Cancer Library can't offer training for every citation manager program. We may be able to help you find websites with more info.


 The BC Cancer library system consists of one central library at Vancouver Centre (VC), and branches in Abbotsford (AC), Kelowna (SAHCSI), Prince George (CN), Surrey (FVC), and Victoria (VIC). All centres have a collection of patient resources in a Cancer Information Centre (CIC), and most centres have a professional collection on site. Professional resources purchased for the CN are housed in the adjacent UHNBC Library.