Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citing Sources Guide

Use Our Copyright and Public Domain Guide

Note: The Citation Software tab you are vewing will be phased out on August 31, 2022. Instead, refer to our Using Paperpile Guide at or our Using Zotero Guide at

Citation Generators

What is a citation generator?

A citation generator is a program or software in which you enter information about a publication, and then the program or software uses the information to create a citation in the desired style or format. Citation generators can be stand-alone software, part of a citation management software, or a feature in a commercial article database or library search tool.

Advantages of citation generators

  • Allows you to quickly create a citation
  • Less typing than typing citation from scratch
  • Easy to copy and past citations into your bibliography

Disadvantages of citation generators

  • They often produce citations with formatting errors! Always double-check citations produced by a citation generators!

Examples of free citation generators

Did you know?

  • Databases from most vendors like Proquest and Ebscohost have built citation generators. Look for a cite this or citation tool in any database

Citation Management Software

What does a citation management software do?

  • Store citations by either importing them from Library Search or an article databases or by entering them manually
  • Organize citations in folders
  • Add personal notes to citations
  • Store .pdf copies of articles with its citation
  • Link directly to the sources
  • Easily create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles  

Zotero: Need to Know

Zotero LogoZotero

  • Free open source citation management tool
  • Not dependent on institutional subscriptions
  • One of the most used citation management tools in the world.
  • Researchers can manage their citations and create bibliographies from the standalone client or online


Note: Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Reference Manager both have significant technical issues which are affecting WMU users. The WMU Libraries has stopped recommending Mendeley to new users until these issues are resolved. 

We recommend that new users download Zotero instead. 

Current Mendeley users may continue using Mendeley as usual, and WMU Libraries will continue to provide research support. 

To learn more about these issues, visit the Known Issues page on this guide. 


Mendeley logo

  • Sign up for Mendeley a FREE reference manager, academic collaboration network and crowd-sourced database.

  • The Mendeley Desktop works with Mac, Windows, and Linux and let's you manage, read, share, annotate and cite your research papers. You can also store pdfs in Mendeley desktop. Just drag and drop!

Drag and drop files into Mendeley image

  • Mendeley Web Library and Importer functions on all major browsers and let's you save information with the click of a button. 

Mendeley web importer image
  • Mobile versions of Mendeley are available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. 

  • Many databases allow you to import directly into Mendeley. When reading an article click the export button then choose "Save to Mendeley"

Save to Mendeley button image

  • Over 8000 citation styles supported

  • Find readership statistics of your work.