Citation Tools

Tools to help you collect, organize, and format your references in a wide variety of citation styles

When you write an academic paper, thesis, or other scholarly document, you must reference any materials you use. There are a variety of methods and tools available to help you with this. Although you must be familiar with the rules of the style you are using, there are tools that can help you if you don't want to do it manually. These tools are not perfect, so expect to edit and proof-read.  Use the scenarios below to select an appropriate choice.

If you ...

Then use ...

  • Only have a few citations to format
  • Don't want to learn new software
  • Prefer to format each reference yourself 

Manual Formatting

  • Use a citation style that Word supports. Word does NOT format Chicago Footnote style!  
  • Want to manually enter (or copy and paste) the data for each of your references into Word

Microsoft Word's Reference Formatting Functionality

  • Have relatively few citations  
  • Have most of your research completed  
  • Prefer not to learn new software 

A Quick Citation Formatter

  • Have a lot of references 
  • Plan to use references in multiple papers and/or use more than one citation style 
  • Are just starting your research 
  • Would like to export citations from research databases
  • Are collaborating with others  
  • Want to store and/or annotate pdfs
  • Are willing to learn new software

Reference Management Software


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