10 Very Good Tools for Research Students

Share this post:  
Below is a collection of some very good tools and websites to help you with your academic research. Whether you are working on an academic paper, writing a scholarly book, or simply want to stay updated about the latest releases in your field of study, the resources below are of great help.  For those of you interested in mobile apps, check out best apps for researchers and graduate students.


Tools for research students


1- Citefast

Citefast is a bibliography and citation generator that is available online and for free. You can use Citefast to create citations from multiple sources including webpages, books, journals, encyclopedia entries, magazines, social media posts, blog posts, dictionary entries, video, audio, movies, lecture notes, conferences, podcasts, dissertations, newspapers, and many more. Citefast also supports numerous citation styles including APA 6, APA 7, MLA 8, Chicago and more.

Citefast also allows you to create as many bibliographies as you want. You only need to sign up to create an account. Once logged in, you can then start building your bibliography. Even the citations you generated before you registered can be added to your bibliography.

2. Mybib

Mybib is a free bibliography and citation generator. It allows you to generate formatted bibliographies, citations, and works cited from various sources including websites, books, journals, videos, blog posts, book chapters, conference papers, reports, journal articles, images, theses, ebooks, encyclopedia entries, movies, personal communications, maps, dictionary entries, and many more. Mybib supports hundreds of citation styles including APA 6 and 7, Chicago, Harvard and Harvard (Australia), MLA 8, MLA 9., among others.

Using Mybib will enable you to easily build your bibliography and add it to your academic papers and assignments. Mybib also allows you to export your citations to other citation managers such as Mendeley and Zotero.

3- 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

4- Zotero

Zotero helps you collect all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you're looking for with just a few keystrokes.

5- Endnote

Endnote gives you the tools you need to search, organize and share 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 and materials  from anywhere.


6- EasyBib

EasyBib by Chegg is a powerful tool that allows you to generate and manage citations. With a single click you can generate citations in various formats including APA, MLA, Chicago, among others. EasyBib also offers proofreading and plagiarism checking services.

Easybib offers the following services:
  • Citation generator: lets you generate citations in various styles and formats.
  • Plagiarism checker: checks papers for instances of plagiarised work.
  • Grammar checker: check for stylistic and grammatical errors.
  • Spell checker: checks for spelling errors and typos.
EasyBib lets create citations from numerous sources including: websites, books, journals, newspapers, online videos, blogs, chapters, databases, dictionaries, digital files, digital images, editorials, emails, encyclopedia, lectures, magazines, letters, manuscripts, music recordings, pamphlets, patents, press releases, reports, theses, reviews, and many more.


 7. Google Scholar

Google Scholar is Google's search engine for academic and scholarly literature. It allows you to search an extensive cross-disciplinary database of scholarly sources including books, academic articles, theses/dissertations, abstracts, court papers, and many more. Google Scholar search results are retrieved from different sources such as peer-reviewed journals, online repositories, websites, academic publishers, professional societies, and more. 

If you are an author, you can create your own author profile and add your academic work. Google Scholar allows you to check those that cite your publications and sends you email alerts each time your work is cited online. 

To make the best of Google Scholar search, you need to use its integrated search filters. For instance, you can search for academic works by date, author, and/or title. You can also use the 'Related articles' feature to find articles similar to the given search result. Note that abstracts are generally available for free, however, to access the full article might sometimes require a subscription in which case you might want to use the library link on the right of the search result to access it via your institution's library, or you can click on 'All versions' under the search results to access alternative sources.

8. ERIC

Education Resources and Information Center (ERIC) is an online database of a wide range of academic materials and grey literature from both journal and non-journal sources including research reports, journal articles, dissertations/theses, books, opinion papers, speeches, meeting papers, collected works, reference materials, guides, surveys, and many more. ERIC is sponsored by the United States Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. Access to ERIC is free and does not require any membership or subscription.


Tools for research students


ERIC provides a host of interesting features to help you find relevant research materials. For instance, you can search for academic work published within a specific time frame, or you can use descriptors to further narrow down your topic and target a specific area. You can also filter your search by source, author, publication type, education level, audience, location, among other filters. You can also choose whether you want to search for only peer-reviewed articles  or for full-text that is available on ERIC. 

9. RefSeek


RefSeek is an academically focused search engine. It is like Google Scholar but with way less features. When you run an academic search query on RefSeek, the site searches billions of documents such as web pages, books, encyclopedia, journals, newspapers and many more. You have way more chances to find relevant academic sources without the 'information overload of a general search engine'.

RefSeek also offers a directory with aggregated resources covering various subject areas including: science, atlases, coding, dictionaries, literature, mathematics, writing, visual arts, translation, games, encyclopedias, calculators, almanacs, teacher resources and many more. RefSeek is completely free and does not require any sign-up or registration.

10. Wiley Online Library

Wiley Online Library allows you to search a huge collection of scholarly books and academic journal articles. More specifically, Wiley Online Library contains over 1600 peer reviewed journals, 4 million journal articles, over 20.000 online books, 13 databases, and many more. Subjects covered include humanities, life sciences, chemistry, social and behavioral sciences, medicine, nursing, dentistry, mathematics, law, computer science, information technology, business, agriculture, and more.

Content in Wiley Online Library is arranged under different access formats with specific designations on how to access it. Full Access means that the article or book is covered by your current subscription and you have full access rights to it. Open Access means that the content is  freely accessible for all users (usually under Creative Commons Licenses). Free Access "is often set for a limited amount of time, usually as part of a promotional activity. Free access articles are typically subscription articles, and will move back behind the paywall after the free access period ends. During the free period, users have full access to read content online or download PDFs."

There is also the Free to Read which means that the content is only available to read online and not for download or print. You can purchase an individual subscription through Wiley's Pay Per View program to download a Free-to-Read article.