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10 Very Good Tools for Student Researchers

January 27, 2016
One of the onerous parts in essay and academic writing is the bibliography section. Managing, organizing and citing references can sometimes be a real challenge especially if you don't keep track of what and who you cite. The last thing you  want after a strenuous writing task is a messy bibliography with one reference missing a page number, the other needs publication date or, worse of all, having to go back to your sources to check for the source of that quotation you included in your conclusion. If you find yourself constantly grappling with problems such as these, the web tools below are absolutely something you might need to consider. These are some of the best applications for organizing, managing, and publishing bibliographies, citations and references. Some of these softwares are integrated with Google Scholar.

Writinghouse is an excellent free bibliography and citation maker. It allows you to automatically generate citations in various referencing styles including: MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard. We have been experimenting with it for awhile and found it really worth the shout-out here.


Besides the citation and bibliography features, Writinghouse also offers other interesting tools to help students with their writing process. For instance, the Word Counter is a great way to keep track of the number of words you have written in an essay. There is also a section in this website featuring some good  resources to help you  learn more about the concept of bibliography and how to create one using different styles.

2- Citefast
Citefast is an easy to use web tool for creating citations. Students can utilize it to generate citations in different formats: APA (6th edition), MAL (7th edition), or Chicago (16th edition). The site provides a wide variety of features citation creation super easy and all for free. Some of these features include: automatic look up of journals, books and webpages; easy cut and paste and exporting to MS Word; In-text citation generator with guide and many more.

Citefast automatically saves your citations for four days provided you access it from the same computer.But you can create your own free account and save and access your citations across different platforms. The way Citefast works is pretty simply:

  • Click on the citation format you want to use then select a source. The sources provided are : webpage, journal, web image, book, newspaper, and online video.
  • Cite a book, article, website, or film, by searching or entering the information yourself. Click on the "Add citation" button when finished.
  • View your citation in the bibliography on the right and continue citing.
  • Export your bibliography to Word or copy/paste into your paper
3- Citeligther 
 Citeligther allows you to easily search for facts and information to back your arguments and it automatically cites your sources using different citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago).

To start using Citelighter, you will need to sign up. Once registered you can then download Citelighter toolbar to help you manage and organize your materials. Using the different functionalities of your toolbar, you will be able to start on writing your own paper. You can search for and capture important information to add to your paper, Citelighter takes care of the bibliograhic work for you.allows you to easily search for facts and information to back your arguments and it automatically cites your sources using different citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago).

To start using Citelighter, you will need to sign up. Once registered you can then download Citelighter toolbar to help you manage and organize your materials. Using the different functionalities of your toolbar, you will be able to start on writing your own paper. You can search for and capture important information to add to your paper, Citelighter takes care of the bibliograhic work for you.


4- RefMe 

RefMe is a web tool and mobile app that you can use to automate citations, reference lists and bibliographies.  RefMe also offers a bunch of powerful features that will definitely help students in their research. Some of these features include :
  • Generate citations by scanning book or journal barcodes using your phone’s camera.
  • No Barcode? Search by Book/Article Title, ISBN, ISSN, DOI or URL.
  • Citing a website? Simply paste in the URL or use RefME.com, which syncs with the app and is perfect for websites.
  • A wide variety of citation styles including APA, MLA, Chicago and AMA as well as most school/college-specific styles. 
  • Add notes to your citations, both in the app and at RefME.com.
  • Export via Email or Evernote using the app.
  • Send your work straight to MS Word, EndNote and more from RefME.com.
RefMe me is available as web tooliOS app and Android app.


5- Mendeley


Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. Here is what you can do with Mendeley: 
  • Automatically generate bibliographies 
  • Collaborate easily with other researchers online 
  • Easily import papers from other research software 
  • Find relevant papers based on what you’re reading 
  • Access your papers from anywhere online 
  • Read papers on the go, with our new iPhone app
6- Zotero

Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you're searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.

7- Endnote

EndNote gives you the tools you need for searching, organizing and sharing your research. It allows you to easily create bibliographies while writing your next paper with features like Cite While You Write . Maximize your time with features like finding full text for your references and automatically updating records. Whether you’re on your desktop, online, or iPad, EndNote’s syncing capabilities let you access all of your references, attachments, and groups from anywhere.

8- RefWorks


This is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool. It is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.

9- EasyBib
Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com's popular bibliography management service.

10- Citeulike

Citeulike is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references.Some of its features include:
  • Easily store references you find online
  • Discover new articles and resources
  • Automated article recommendationsNEW
  • Share references with your peers
  • Find out who's reading what you're reading
  • Store and search your PDFs