Library of Refworks style files for some journals

Refworks and Endnote are two commonly used bibliographic management programs. I use the former for organising my papers and finding them, and of course, for writing papers. The basic idea is that if you use a program like this, in principle at least, you can write a paper, add references to it from a database, and when your paper has been accepted to a journal, you just click a button and it will create a bibliography that satisfies the requirements of the journal in which the paper is to be published. In practice, things are of course a bit more complicated.

The main reason why things are more complicated is that the program needs a particular file, an ‘output filter’, that defines the details of how the in-text citations and the bibliography will look like, but for most philosophy journals, there is no such file because it has not been written by anyone. The good thing is that, it only takes one person to write such a file, and after that, if the person is willing to share it, anybody can use the same file. I am thus hoping that many people write filters, and submit them into this page, so that we can make them freely available to all.

By saving this file on your computer, and by ‘restoring’ it in your Refworks database, you will get the output filters for the following journals in philosophy and economics.

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Economics and Philosophy (not complete)
Journal of Economic Methodology
Journal of Theoretical Politics
Philosophy of Science (also in the list of filters provided by Refworks)
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Public Choice

The list of journals is not very long because it only includes some of the journals in which I have recently published something. I am hoping that if you use Refworks, and go through the trouble of constructing a style filter for some relevant journal which is not included in the list above, please share it with everyone by sending it to me. I will add it to the package of styles that are downloadable. It is obvious that the filters may not define all the citation types that you might need, and may contain bugs. If you find one, or if you find that a journal’s requirements have obviously changed, please send me a corrected filter, or let me know so that I can correct it.

Given that there are several different bibliographic management programs, I am also willing to create similar packages for any other program. Given, however, that I have only used Refworks myself, I have had no interest in writing the filters to any other programs.

The package also contains some other style filters that I have constructed and found useful. Here is a short description of them:

– Harvard-Aki

A generic format that I always use at the manuscript stage. If you develop a style filter yourself, it may be a good idea to take this as a starting point because creating a filter from scratch takes more time than modifying an existing one. This filter is useful for creating new ones because most of the things are defined in some way.

– notes-Aki

This style is designed for making notes for books and articles I read. (I can hardly read my own handwriting, and thus I only make notes with a computer.) When you build a bibliography with this, it replaces the field code with information on the author, the title and the place of publication in bold. This may be helpful when you then search for notes from some paper or book but do not remember exactly which year it was. It also puts the references in the same order in which they are included in the document rather than an alphabetic order.

– BibTeXaki

Use this for generating bibtex entries from your Refworks database.

Here are some relevant filters that Refworks provides: Philosophical Studies, Philosophy of Science, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Instructions for downloading and using the package.
After having saved the file RWUHelsinkialehtineDBBackup.rwb (from the link above) to your computer, open your Refworks account and ‘restore’ the file as follows:
From either the Tools or the References menu select Backup/Restore.
– Select the Restore option.
– Browse for the appropriate back up file (i.e. find the file you just saved).
– Select Include Output Styles.
– Click on Perform Restore.

Instructions for sending me an output filter.
To modify or create an output filter, use the output style editor. After having created the filter, do the following.
From either the Tools or the References menu select Backup/Restore.
By default, Include References is selected. Deselect this option.
By default, Include RSS Feeds is selected. Deselect this option.
By default, all custom Output Styles are selected to backup. You can
deselect any of the custom output styles.
Click on Perform Backup.
Save the file when prompted. If you are not prompted to save the
file, click the link that says Click here to save your backup file to
download the backup to your computer.

Send the file to me: aki.lehtinen (at)

The default file name is a combination of your organization’s Group Code and your login name. It will be saved as a .zip or .rwb file. Please do not change the extension of the file as it is necessary to restore if you need to do so later.

Information about creating or modifying an output style is available here.

New to Refworks?
If you are wondering what the whole thing is all about, I suggest that you try it. However, given that you need to create a database in order to use Refworks for anything useful, you can use my database to see how the whole thing works. I have set up a duplicate account that you can try. You can do it by going to To log in, you need the so-called group code, which is ‘Refworks’, the username, which is ‘inemuser’, and the password, which is ‘inemaccess’.

You can enter the bibliographic codes into your Word-document from the webpage, but it is a bit faster and easier if you install a small program called write-n-cite. You can find it under ‘Tools’.

If you think there are also some useful references, you can export them to your own account. If I were you, I would not take the whole database. The reason is that finding things becomes complicated if you have lots of entries that you don’t need.

You can set up your own account in If your institution has paid for the licence, it is free, otherwise you only get a one-month trial for free.

Tips for new users
Read this if you have already had a look at Refworks’ introductions and tutorials, played around with it, and you are seriously considering to use Refworks for your work. These are things that I have had to learn by doing it, but you may want to spend less time with the stupid details that you cannot avoid. What follows are thus the kinds of things that are problematic. I am hoping, however, that this will not discourage you.

Folders – It makes sense to put all your references into particular folders from the very beginning. If you do this, you can use the folder structure to find your paper copies. My folder structure in Refworks is about the same as my physical folders; I have about 15 meters of articles in folders. I can find them with Refworks.

You can import your references into your database by hand, but you will mostly be downloading the bibliographic information into Refworks from various databases (Jstor, Econlit, philosopher’s index etc.). The main problem with any bibliographic program is that the form in which the different databases provide the information is not uniform, and sometimes it is incomplete. This means that you will always have to check that what you imported is correct, and in the right kind of form.

Person Names – Many bibliographic services automatically give the author names in the following form: ‘Lehtinen,Aki’. That is, there is no space between the surname and the name. Keep it that way. Since Refworks thinks ‘Lehtinen,Aki’ and ‘Lehtinen,Aki P.’ are two different authors, and some journals require the initial of the second name, I store the author names in this latter form if I can. When you submit a final version of your paper, you have to go to Search – Lookup by author in order to make all the names that have come from different services look the same.

Article names – Suppose that the name of your article in title case is ‘Connecting and resolving Sen’s and Arrow’s theorems’ and suppose that you have stored all your articles in sentence case: ‘Connecting and Resolving Sen’s and Arrow’s Theorems’. When the journal requires title case, and the output filter defines it as such, the article name looks like this: ‘Connecting and resolving sen’s and arrow’s theorems’. To alleviate this problem, always write in title case if you entering the reference by hand. Unfortunately, some databases provide articles in sentence case – Grr. Fortunately, if you are in a hurry, you can do it in the dirty way; just change the article name into ‘Connecting and resolving Sen’s and Arrow’s theorems’ in the bibliography just before pressing the submit button.

Here are a few experiences from databases you are likely to use:
Jstor: perfect, no problems ever
Econlit (and other Ebscohost services): often drops the page number for the endpage.
ISI web of science: terrible, all journal names are in CAPITAL LETTERS. I have practically stopped using ISI for downloading bibliographic information because of this.
Wiley, Ovid, Springer etc.: I don’t remember anything particular


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