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5 Automatic Citation Apps That Make Bibliographies Easier to Write

Saikat Basu 12-03-2019

Writing your homework or a research paper? Steer clear of the iceberg called plagiarism. A bibliography or a simple reference list can be the lifeguard. It’s not only academic writing but any writing that can benefit from the proper citation of sources. Different citation styles like MLA, APA, and Chicago solve one problem only to open another.


You must be precise when using them because each citation style has a different format. But again, free online citation tools can save you a few buckets of sweat. Here are five automatic citation apps for writing accurate bibliographies.

1. Citationsy (Web, Chrome, Mac)

Manage Your Citations With Citationsy

Citationsy is a new clean tool for creating citations, reference lists, and bibliographies. The developer built this as an alternative when CiteThisForMe bought the popular RefMe. The idea was to combine the latter’s ease with more automatic reference management features. Use this power-packed free tool to create a bib­liography in one of over 9000 styles—APA, Harvard, DIN, Chicago, and many more.

You just have to past a link and Citationsy will find all the information needed to cite it. The Chrome extension also makes it easy with a click on the icon. Want to cite a book? There’s a database of all published books behind the engine. So type the name to fetch the reference. Archive any links you have cited.

Archive the links you have cited so that they are preserved forever. And download them in a format of your choice like Microsoft Word, EndNote, BibTeX, RefWorks, or CSL.


Download: Citationsy for iOS (Free)

Download: Citationsy for macOS (Free)

Download: Citationsy for Chrome (Free)

2. Citeshare (Chrome)

Properly cite a website using APA or MLA

Citeshare is one of the quickest citation tools for web articles you can find anywhere. The Chrome extension supports only APA or MLA though. But you just have to load the online article in your browser and cite it with a click on the extension.

The Chrome extension is meant to quickly cite and share articles for reference. For instance, you can use the extension when you want to share a quote from an online article. It’s a no hassle route for non-academics who want to quote from a resource.

Download: Citeshare for Chrome [No Longer Available]

3. Formatically (Web)

Instant Citation tool

Using citation tools can get boring. That’s why the Instant Citation Manager from Formatically does two things well. It presents a beautiful interface and then makes the whole process fast. It has a manual citation wizard, but when you are trying to finish a paper in a hurry, you will prefer the automatic tool.

Formatically says it can help you create your entire bibliography in under 11 seconds. It supports MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard citations for books, websites, audio, video, artworks, dictionary entries, and more.

This umbrella over the sheer variety of content you find online is the key benefit of the Instant Citation Manager.

4. JabRef (Windows, Linux, and macOS)

An open source bibliography reference manager

JabRef is an Open Source bibliography reference manager. The software runs on Java VM and uses the LaTeX bibliography format. If you work a lot with BibTex files then you will appreciate this editor. Yes, the format and the tool is designed for scientific researchers but it’s useful to have around as few citation tools work with this format.

You can search and download from sources like arXiv, CiteseerX, Google Scholar, Medline, GVK, IEEEXplore, and Springer.  You can then generate the citations and also format them in other styles.

A Firefox add-on makes it easier to import bibliographic information from the web too.

5. Mendeley (Windows, Android, iOS)

Create bibliographies with Mendeley

Mendeley can help you format your bibliographies, but it is also more than that. It is a document management software too. It’s a powerful tool for high-school students The 20 Best Apps for Students to Get Through a Day of School Whether you're in high school or college, these awesome apps should be at the top of your back-to-school to-do list! Read More and researchers in any field. You can use it in three stages:

Add papers to Mendeley from the browser, desktop, or mobile instead of scattering them all around.

Use the Reference Manager to organize your research and collaborate with others with your notes and annotations.

Then use the Citation plugin to generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and LaTeX. The software supports more than 8000 citation styles. The almost cross platform support makes it easier to do your work from anywhere.

The Citation plugin can be used with Microsoft Word (Windows, Mac) or Libre Office (All platforms).

Download: Mendeley for Windows, macOS, Linux (Free)

Download: Mendeley for iOS | Android (Free)

Make Bibliographies Easy

These bibliography tools save you a lot of time and headaches. They make the process easy and automatic. But it’s also important to learn the nuances of the citation styles How to Cite Your Sources: Citations and References Explained To cite your sources is to honor the ideas you're building upon. Learn what to reference, how to cite a website and other publications, and how to create an APA or MLA citation. Read More on your own so that you can spot the mistakes a software can make. Remember, you might get away with a poor citation in a blog or a school assignment. But academic work demands accuracy.

Related topics: Cool Web Apps, Education Technology, Study Tips, Writing Tips.

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  1. tezhost
    March 12, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Really good article. You mention almost every point. Worth to read . Thank you

  2. KMM
    March 12, 2019 at 5:34 am

    What about Zotero? Your article omits discussion of this citation management system. --KMM