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Cite It!: Citation Managers

Citation Managers

Once you've mastered the basics of why and how to include citations in your work, you can use a citation manager to keep your research organized and automatically generate citations. It is your responsibility to review the results to make sure that they are correct, but in many cases these programs do a wonderful job in handling your citations.


With its Chrome add-on, Zotero will automatically download citation information from compatible websites (like Discovery and specialized databases). Users can organize their citations into folders, add tags, make notes, and automatically generate bibliographies in dozens of citation styles. A Word plugin is also available; once installed, a Zotero toolbar appears and allows you to insert citations and generate bibliographies inside your document. Syncing is also available, allowing you to have the same citations available on any computer with Zotero.‚Äč

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word includes a citation manager under the References tab. You can add sources manually and export them in your chosen style, automatically formatted as in-text citations or Works Cited entries. This is a great tool if you haven't worked with citations and references before and need some guidance.


Mendeley is a web-based platform that combines citation management with document management topped off with social networking features. If you're working on a group project, this is the app for you! There's also a desktop version that lets you sync between multiple computers. A Word plugin makes it easy to add documents to your paper's bibliography and as in-text citations.

The key to Mendeley is the ability to share documents. In a group project, people can be tasked with different aspects of the research and everyone can save their cited articles to a shared folder. You can also join larger community groups on special subjects, keeping you up-to-date on new ideas.