Citation software can go by many names: citation managers, citation generators, reference management software, bibliographic management tools, etc. While the name may vary, they do have some common elements including the main function of collecting and organizing citations. Most of these software packages also allow for the creation of works cited or references lists in a variety of formats and styles. The ability to integrate with word processing software is a key feature of many of the more popular citation software.
Citation generators are tools that automatically create citations for your research materials. Citation managers not only generate citations automatically, but also help you collect, organize, store and often share your research materials.
A multitude of citation software exists including free and paid options. Some popular free software programs include Zotero and Mendeley. Note, while these two software options are free, they do offer additional features and/or storage for a fee.
As these tools are becoming more popular, it is important to note that they have limitations and should not be used in isolation. The University Libraries recommend that all citations should be checked for accuracy according to APA citation format.
As a UNR student, you have access to two citation management systems, each of which includes its own UNR help guide so you can learn how to use it effectively:
Citation managers not only help you create your citations, but they also provide note taking, outlining, organizing tools, and source analysis.
Note: Endnote and Zotero also allow you to create in-text citations and bibliographies using Word Processor Plugins.