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Getting started with reference management

What is a citation generator?

If you are writing a short paper, you may not need a full reference management software application.

A citation generator can:

  • Help with the correct formatting of citations in well known basic styles, and
  • Allow references to be copied and pasted into a bibliography.

These programs are generally free of charge and do not require downloading or training. However, they:

  • Do not have advanced features seen in proprietary reference management software, and
  • Cannot be used to create in-text citations.

Online Citation Generators

Cite tools within databases

Some databases display citation details for search results that you can copy and paste into your bibliography. For example:

EBSCO Databases including Discovery

Results from EBSCO databases and Discovery searches provide a 'Cite' button for each item in a results list

1. Click on the title of any result to display the full details.

2. Cick the "Cite" button.


3. A window will open with the reference listed using different citation styles, such as APA, Harvard: Australian, MLA, and Vancouver/ICMJE:


4. Copy and paste the reference you wish to use into your document.