Can the Library help me cite something?

We can't create a citation for you or verify whether a citation has been developed correctly, but we can point you to some resources to help you through the process.  

Why Cite? 

It is essential to give proper attribution to sources quoted or otherwise used in your work.  Using a source without giving credit to the author is plagiarism.  Different disciplines have their own standards for citing sources.


Citation Styles


Citation Managers and Generators

Need help managing your research or long citation lists?  There are a number of free/open source citation management tools available to assist you in keeping track of citations, bibliography formatting, and more. These tools might also be referred to as reference managers, bibliographic management software, or citation managers.  The majority share similar features: importing and exporting of citations; collect, organize and share; attach the article/file corresponding to the citation; and generate bibliographies in multiple formats and styles.

Looking for quick, on the fly citations? Most databases and electronic resource have built-in citation generators to help you format and create quick citations.  In addition to the more powerful and in-depth citation managers at the top of the list below, there are also a number of free one-time use citation generators available in the second half of the the list that can quickly create a citation in a specific format.   

  • Zotero - A free and open-source reference management tool designed to help you manage bibliographic data and related research materials; includes web browser integration, collaboration tools, generation of in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies, as well as integration with the word processors.
  • EndNote Basic A free, limited online version of EndNote reference manager. Web-based.
  • Mendeley Online reference manager that allows you to organize and search your personal library, annotate documents as you read, and cite as you write.
  • EasyBib - Make citations in MLA, APA, Chicago, and 7000+ styles. Also includes detailed citation guides.
  • Citation Machine - Helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to.
  • KnightCite - An online citation generator service provided by the Hekman Library of Calvin College. This service simplifies the often tedious task of compiling an accurate bibliography in the appropriate style by formatting the given data on a source into a reliable citation, eliminating the need to memorize minute details of style for multiple kinds of sources.

Need help deciding what's right for you?  Wikipedia offers a helpful "Comparison of Reference Management Software" chart. 

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Last Updated: Sep 27, 2023
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