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There are many ways to automatically format citations. Tisch Librarians support and recommend some options more than others, based on our experience. But the best choice is the one that works for you, helps you organize your research workflow, and feels right.
Remember that these are shortcuts to save you time, but they are all imperfect, and draw from imperfect databases. They may get you 90% of the way to a great bibliography, but you are ultimately responsible for what goes into your paper.
Many databases have Built-in Buttons that give you a formatted citation in a few major style options.
Tufts Libraries' JumboSearch has this functionality, as do ProQuest and EBSCO databases, JSTOR, Google Scholar, and more.
If you want more than one formatted citation at a time, but don't want to install software, Bibliography Generators let you build a list and offer more styles.
Tisch Librarians recommend ZoteroBib, since it's free for all citation styles, and is from George Mason's Center for History & New Media, not an ad-supported commercial site.
Zotero is a robust tool for collecting, managing, and citing sources. It was built by George Mason University's Center for History & New Media. It is free and open source and tends to be a librarian favorite. Zotero functions as a browser plugin with a web backup. It works with Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, and integrates with Microsoft Word and Google Docs for in-text parenthetical/footnote citations.
For Zotero Help: consult the Documentation or Forums or ask a Tisch Librarian.
EndNote is one of the oldest and most established tools for citation management. It is published by Clarivate Analytics, the same company that publishes Web of Science. EndNote can now function as a desktop application with web backup, or as a standalone web-based program. There is strong integration with several science databases like Web of Science and PubMed, and it tends to be a favorite for some STEM fields, especially when a lab is using its collaborative features.
EndNote Desktop is provided as a site license for the whole Tufts University community. To install, request via TTS.
EndNote Online is a free version of EndNote that offers fewer features than EndNote Desktop but does have the advantage of a simpler and completely web-based tool.
Mendeley began as a document organizing and markup tool. It now also offers citation management and social networking features as well. It is provided by the large science publisher Elsevier. Mendeley is freemium software that is free for a certain amount of storage and charges beyond that cap. Mendeley works as both a desktop and a web-based program.
For Mendeley Help: consult the Documentation or FAQs or ask a Tisch Librarian.
BibTeX lets you create a plain text database of citations and add bibliographies to LaTeX documents. BibTeX is most likely to be relevant for disciplines that refer to equations, like math, engineering, economics, and the sciences. If you already use a citation manager like Zotero, Endnote, or Mendeley, you can export your existing references to BibTeX. If BibTeX and LaTeX are new to you, you may want to try setting up your document in Overleaf (a free, collaborative text editing tool) to make writing and formatting easier.
Examples & Templates
Support & Tutorials
After careful consideration of the costs, usage statistics, and alternative options, Tisch Library has decided that we will be discontinuing our RefWorks license for the Tufts community as of Dec 31, 2019.
If you are a current RefWorks user, we encourage you to explore other software options and migrate any sources you would like to keep. Library staff are happy to assist you in this migration and to answer questions about upgrading to alternative options, including Zotero, EndNote, and Mendeley.
Tufts Alumni who formerly used RefWorks: Zotero, EndNote Basic, and Mendeley are each free options open to all.