CommComm posted on June 7, 2011 00:19

Refworks Trouble Shooting


Why choose Refworks?

1.      Its free.

2.      No software to install. Automatic updates.

3.      Web-based-Refworks travels with you.

4.      All you need is a secure internet connection.

5.      Refworks is user friendly, and easy to learn.

6.      When you leave Hopkins you can take your Refworks database with you.

7.      Refworks offers excellent help functions, online and in-person tech support.

8.      Refworks is comparable with Endnote and Reference Manager(you can go from one to the other easily).

9.      Refworks allows you to setup Group Accounts for collaborative projects.

10.  Refworks Tech Support 1-775-327-4105  is the “best” place to send patrons.

11.  Refworks Information page located on Welchweb page (Quick links)


The Most Common Problems and Fixes.

Problem 1: “I am logging into my refworks account for the first time but I am getting a “Error in USadd user error message.” I know my jhed login and password are correct..whats happening?

1.      Ask if they are using a desk computer, or a laptop(laptops with wireless connections can be problematic particularly Mac laptops).


2.     Suggest that they go to another computer with internet access, preferably a Welch Library computer or a MSE library computer.

3. Suggest they change to a different browser (Internet Explorer).

4. Suggest they login at the Welchweb page instead of

5. Make sure they are logging in at the CENTER of the screen (JHU Portal) not the box on the left.

6. If they are not uncomfortable with this next suggestion ask them to send you their login/password and see if you can replicate the same problem (I know many of you are not comfortable with this but its your call and many patrons don’t really care).



Problem 2: “ I have tried to create a bibliography for a paper I just completed, and am getting the following error message:”

Please wait while we process the document...

      Error getting RFGetRefsByArray

Errors were encountered while processing your document:



Some or all of the Cited References in the manuscript were not in your database.
Check to make sure all References were entered correctly and that they contain no alphabetic characters
Reference Identifiers found in your Manuscript :564; 561; 143; 562; 565; 568; 561; 561; 71; 125; 125; 136; 46; 254; 235; 163; 47; 569; 452; 452; 453; 562; 262; 136; 334; 255; 252; 46; 213; 197; 45; 236; 49; 245; 253; 47; 155; 344; 244; 321; 149; 260; 224; 156; 235; 49; 245; 253; 47; 155; 344; 244; 321; 149; 260; 224; 156; 235; 214; 210; 319; 170; 181; 207; 212; 105; 213; 197; 374; Beck,T.J.a000; 212; 105; 213; 197; 374; 455; 562; 562; 562; 464; 561; 561; 562; 570; 562

Error messages are pretty common, random and can mean almost anything. There is no one, consistent error message that is generated. It depends primarily on what the user has done, (basically the error could be anything). Notice the name Beck among the RefID numbers?

1.      Ask patron to copy-and-paste the full text of the message and send to the Refworks support group at refworks@ or have them sent it to me directly or give them the Refworks Tech Support number: 1-775-327-4105 (first option).


Problem 3: “When I log into Writencite I am directed to the main Refworks database rather than my Writencite database, whats going on?”

            Writencite is a client application that you must download and run from your desktop so there is no link to it from MyJHU (portal site). Patrons  should follow this path: Refworks-Tools-Writencite. Insist that they “read” the instructions carefully to make sure they download the correct version of WnC.

1.      Office 2007-download WnC-III

2.      Make sure Office is “closed” before you install.

3.      If WnC wont run at all, reboot the computer.

4.      Once you run WnC (and you are off campus) you will be prompted for a group code “rwjhmi.”

5.      If problem persist, look to see if the Proxy Configuration Box is empty, do the following steps:

6.      Go to Start-Programs-Refworks

7.      Look for:

8.      A small box will open. Make sure that box is empty.

9.      If the box is empty, have the patron add the following information:

10.  Restart the computer. Click on Writencite Icon.

11.  If the problem persist, call Refworks Tech Support.

12.  Or simply use the main Refworks database to generate the paper. (WnC is not a requirement, patrons can choose to go a different route).


Problem 4: “ I recently generated the bibliography and intext citations in Refworks and chose  the Nature,( which requires “superscript” )but Refworks gives me parenthetical numbered in text citations which is incorrect., how do I fix this?”


Superscript.[1]          Paranthetical (1).      APA (Garner, 2009).


After the period              Before the period                    Beford the period

When patrons call to complain about an output style there are two options.

1.      Do not assume that using Refworks will result in the correct output style  because styles change frequently. (Pediatrics recently changed as well).

2.      Direct patrons to the “preview an output style” mode in Refworks. Choose the output style that meets your requirements.





Problem 5: “I have entered my citations into my document manually, using  only the refID numbers {{345}}but when I generate the bibliography and intext citations I get the following message: “no valid references are found.”


This is a relatively easy fix.  Simply tell the patron to use the “main” Refworks database to generate the bibliography and “not”  Writencite.  Once again, WnC is an add-on, its not a requirement. Patrons can generate the bib and intext citations easily by using the main Refworks database and ingnore WnC altogether. Manual entry will NOT work if Writencite is chosen to generate the bibliography.


Support & Technical Assistance

1.      Refworks Tech Support: 1-775-327-4105

2. (local)

3. or (5-9292 and 5-5819)






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