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Citation Tools

Introduction to Citation Tools

Citation management software, also known as bibliographic management software or citation managers, can help you manage and organize your citations and format bibliographies and footnotes in your papers.

Many different citation management tools are available - some are available for free while others are not. EndNote is a leading product in a group of desktop, fee-based, citation managers.  Competing with the desktop products are web-based programs.  Popular names in this second group are Refworks, EndNote Web, Zotero, and many more.  All citation managers carry out the same basic functions but specific features may vary from program to program.

Most citation management tools can help you to:

  • import citation information from databases and library catalogs

  • collect, organize, and annotate citations

  • generate bibliographies and format footnotes or endnotes in a variety of styles 

Free Resources

Please keep in mind that the following tools are not perfect. It is highly recommended that you verify the accuracy of any citations produced by these tools using the citation style's official manual.

  • BibMe
    BibMe is a free citation generator developed at Carnegie Mellon University that produces citations and bibliographies in APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian styles. It has some features not found in other free citation generators, such as autofill and the ability to switch between citation styles.

  • Citation Machine
    Citation Machine is a free site that automatically produces MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago style citations for a variety of sources (but not bibliographies). Users can copy and paste citations into Word. It was developed by David Warlick, an educator.

  • Citavi Free
    Free full-featured version of Citavi for up to 100 references. Search for, manage, organize and cite sources.

  • DocsCite
    Docscite is a free site that automatically produces MLA or APA style citations for government documents. DocsCite was developed at, and is provided by, Arizona State University Libraries.

  • EasyBib
    EasyBib is a free site where you can create a works cited list and parenthetical (in-text) citations.  In many cases, EasyBib can create a citation automatically (autocite) if it recognizes the book, website, journal article etc., that you are citing. 
  • KnightCite
    KnightCite is a free site that automatically produce MLA, APA, or Chicago style citations for 25 types of sources.
    From the Hekman Library at Calvin College.

  • Mendeley
    A free reference manager and academic social network. Users can automatically generate bliographies, collaborate with other researchers online, import papers from other research software, find relevant papers, access papers from anywhere online, and read papers on the go with iPhone app.

  • NoodleTools Express
    Free tool that allows users to create citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles that can be copied and pasted into a document. Citations are not compiled into a source list and cannot be saved.

  • StyleWizard
    This free site automatically produces MLA or APA style citations for 6 basic types of sources. There is excellent help on each screen to walk users through the processing of citing a source.

  • Zotero
    Zotero is a free, open source utility that works in the Firefox browser to help users collect, manage and cite sources. It was developed at George Mason University. Highly recommended.