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Citation generators are simple apps that take bibliographic information and generate citations and references in a desired citation style (such as APA or MLA). However, they are typically "one-off" uses; you may find yourself generating the same citation repeatedly. While there are several citation generators available online, ZoteroBib and NoodleTools Express are both recommended.
ZoteroBib is a free service that helps you build a bibliography instantly from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software.
While more hands on, NoodleTools Express is useful in learning the components of each citation for future use and identification. NoodleTools Express only provides generators for MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Research Management Software
Research management software builds a permanent database of references, which can then be used to generate citations and references. Unlike citation generators, research management software will "remember" your library of references, so you don't have to re-find or re-generate the same references over and over. They also come with other useful features for research:
- Keep track of articles and studies you've read
- Sync your library of references or PDFs across multiple devices
- Annotate and "mark up" PDFs, or keep notes attached to references
There following software options are recommended to manage your research (in addition to generating citations).
Zotero (Full Version)
In addition to helpful management tools, Zotero also provides citations for frequently used styles like MLA, APA, and Chicago, but they also have options for AMA, ASA, Harvard, IEEE, and others. Access is available through a browser plug-in and with either a downloaded or web-based client.
Mendeley is a powerful, free bibliographic manager. Import pdfs to make your own searchable library or make and share folders, highlight and annotate the articles you are using in your research, and access from any computer.
EndNote Basic allows you store thousands of references and has 20 different citation styles. It also utilizes a browser plug-in called "Cite While you Write" which allows you to save online references to your library.
How to Use: Guides and Videos
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