Citation Tools

Explains what citation tools are and compares their features to help you select the best option for your needs

When you write an academic paper, thesis, or other scholarly document, you must give attribution to other scholars for their words and ideas by properly citing them. 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 find the method that works for you.

If you ...

Then use ...

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

Manual Formatting

  • Only have a few citations  
  • Have most of your research completed  
  • Don't want to learn new software 

A Quick Citation Generator

  • 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

Citation Management Software


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