Skip to Main Content

Classic Citation Guide: Reference Management Tools and Citation Generators

This guide provides tips on citing various citation styles most frequently used at Manhattanville College..

What are Citation Managers?

Citation managers or reference managers provide an electronic platform (an electronic file cabinet) where the bibliographic information of sources such as books, book chapters, journal/magazine/newspaper articles, or websites can be stored. Once stored these sources can be manipulated in various ways to organize, add notes, share, and create in text citations and bibliographies.  There are a multitude of these platforms available. For example, there is a Wikipedia Comparison of Reference Management Software - 

What's the difference between a citation manager and a citation generator?

Citation generators are online tools that can generate a one-time use, single bibliography, works cited entry, or references list entry for you. There are two kinds of citation generators, those provided through library resources (like the catalog or the databases) and those provided through an outside website such as  Citation Machine, KnightCite or EasyBib. Library tools will generate a citation for whichever item you are viewing, outside websites will require you to manually input the citation information yourself (author, title, publisher, etc.).

Citation managers, like Mendeley and Zotero, are software programs that help you keep track of your sources and create bibliographies or works cited lists in various citation styles. Many citation managers allow you to create folders to organize citations and keep your sources for different classes/projects separate. They are very helpful for staying organized, especially while doing multiple research papers for multiple classes. It is also often possible to share folders between users, which can assist with keeping everyone on the same page for group research projects.

Regardless of whether you're using a citation generator or a citation manager, automatically generated citations need to be double-checked for accuracy and completeness. Pay special attention to capitalization, punctuation, and author(s) names.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Many thanks to the Elihu Brritt Library (Central Connecticut State University Library) for allowing me to use this information.

Citation Management Software Comparison

Citation Generators

It is IMPERATIVE that you remember to review any citation created by a citation generator for accuracy. 

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Paula Moskowitz
Manhatttanville College Library
2900 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577