Importing Refworks into Islandora

The Islandora IR has been setup to use exported refworks citations as the file type for ingest.  Using refworks gives us a few advantages. 

  • We can export citations from many databases providers.  This gives us complete and accurate data to start with (most of the time).
  • Global editing of refworks records.  This is usefull for adding what we call the university name (username) and departments to the refworks record. 

Setting up a RefWorks account for this purpose:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Use the “Customization” feature to re-label User1 to “AuthorID” and User2 to “Department”.  The “AuthorID” will be the same as the username that the faculty members will use to login to the repository to manage their own documents. The “Department” will be the same as the “roles” used in Drupal/Fedora to provide permission control and  provide the ability for users to browse publications by academic department. Often the departments can be retrieved from LDAP and stored as roles in Drupal.  The specific department code should match the “LDAP” provided codes or the roles created in Drupal.


Method 1 – using library databases

  1. Search one or more of your library’s citation databases (e.g. PubMed, EBSCOHost, Proquest, etc.) to find the citations.
  2. . Use the database’s “export to RefWorks” built-in functionality if available. Some databases offer instead the ability to save the citations into a tagged format file which you will need to import into RefWorks using RefWorks’ “filters” (using References – Import).
  3. Once the citations are in RefWorks, you may find some citation data has been imported into the wrong field and needs to be fixed by hand. An example is conference proceedings, which often require moving information to different fields.
  4. Step 4. Edit the records (individually or using global edit depending on how you handled the importation) to add the AuthorID and Department info to each.  You can add multiple authors or departments using semi colons to seperate the values.


Method 2 – manually entering citations into RefWorks


In RefWorks, click References – Add New Reference, select the “Ref Type” to make sure you get the right template for the type of document, then fill in the blanks as appropriate. Make sure you include the AuthorID and Department data.  You can add multiple authors or departments using semi colons to seperate the values.


Final steps – exporting records from RefWorks to the Repository


Regardless of which method you use to get the records into RefWorks, the final step in Refworks is to pull together the new records to be imported into the repository into a single folder.  Use the RefWorks option “References – Export” to select that folder, choose “RefWorks XML” as the format, and export the set. Use your web browser’s “Save Page As” function to save the exported records to a text file for later importation into the repository.

Importing the Refworks file into Islandora

  1. Login to Islandora
  2. Click Digital Repository - located in the left hand column
  3. Click on the Institutional Repository Collection - on the content section of the page
  4. Click on Collection Description to expand the collection's fieldset
  5. Click on the blue ingest folder
  6. Leave Refworks selected and click Next
  7. Choose Browse and find the exported Refworks file you just saved.
  8. Click Next

Islandora will parse the Refworks file and create a citation object for each reference element in the file.  Users with the appropriate roles can then add the full text to the citations.