First, create an account (see the First Time Users tab for more information).
Second, while you're doing your research make sure to import citations into RefWorks (this is very easy from article databases which have an Export button which will export to RefWorks smoothly and quickly; if you're importing a book or website, you'll want to manually import the information by clicking on New Reference in RefWorks and filling out the required information).
Third, once you've done all your research and imported all your citations, it's time to export them into your article or manuscript. You can download Write-N-Cite (see Write-N-Cite tab for more information) and use it to create your in-text citations or footnotes. Otherwise, at the end of writing the article or manuscript, login to RefWorks and select Bibliography. You'll want to click on Create Bibliography, and make sure that you're using the correct style guide.
Students aren't the only ones conducting research. Faculty members are often in the process of doing research for tenure or professional interest. RefWorks can be a great tool to organize that research and the citations that you gather along the way.
In addition to being a great organizer of research, RefWorks is useful because it can serve as a bridge between the research you do at home and the research you do in your office; since RefWorks is available wherever there's internet, you can login from either location and expect to see the same material you were looking at before.
If you've got a journal with a particular method of citation that is unique to that journal, there's a chance that RefWorks already has that information stored and can produce a bibliography in the correct style (subject, of course, to your review for accidental errors).
RefWorks is also fairly easy to learn--the basics take about fifteen minutes--and the library is happy to offer one-on-one assistance with the software.
RefWorks is a tool that's useful for all levels of research. Undergraduates can find it useful as much as professors and graduate students. The library is interested in working with professors to promote this tool for students at all levels.
Students may not be conducting original research, but they are writing papers where they are citing information. RefWorks is a great method for them to keep track of their citations and make sure that everything is correctly researched and sourced. It does not replace the knowledge that students need to have about the citation styles of their field and it does not replace the need for students to research and find sources for their assertions.
If you're concerned about your students committing plagiarism, RefWorks is a great way for students to make sure that they don't forget to give credit where it is due.
RefWorks provides students (and faculty!) with a place to store their research as well as ultimately a bibliography in the appropriate citation method that they can check over for errors.