All students and researchers face the daunting challenge of managing all the references from which they collect information. Fortunately, several digital tools make this task much easier. We suggest that you choose one, and spend some time learning how it works. Note that using a citation manager does not mean perfect citations every time; if you choose the wrong format for an item or enter incomplete data, you may get an incorrect citation, so you still need to proofread your citations at the end. But since you would need to do that regardless, using a citation manager will still save you a lot of time in the long run. Here are some options:
RefWorks—an online research management, writing and collaboration tool—is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Check with your campus library to learn how to access RefWorks through the Antioch group account. Since this is a resource supported by AU, this is the citation manager WEX recommends. Refworks Home Page.
Son of Citation Machine
This is a web-based method that requires only simple input about your sources to help you format citations in your paper and on the reference page. You can choose APA, MLA, Chicago, or several other style guides. Citation Machine Home Page.
Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite and share your research sources. Zotero is produced by the Center for History and New Media and George Mason University, and is available to the public at no charge. Zotero Home Page. Use the free software with caution in compiling your dissertation. Many times the format does not transfer into PDF software.
Mendeley is a free reference manager and an academic social network. It is sort of like a citation manager and an academic LinkedIn combined. Mendeley Home Page. . Use the free software with caution in compiling your dissertation. Many times the format does not transfer into PDF
Microsoft Word’s Citation Manager
Word has a built-in citation manager under the References menu that will allow you to automatically format and link your in-text citations to your thesis/dissertation References section(s). The key functions to use for this task are Manage Sources and Insert Citation.
Whichever citation manager you choose, it is important to ensure consistent formatting for both in-text and References page citations and to proofread the automated additions the citation manager helps you make. Also, free software is great in the early stages; however, many might not translate into your version of Word or when final formatting into PDF. Use the free software with caution in compiling your dissertation. Familiarize yourself with the correct citation formatting for your citation style (APA, Chicago, MLA, CSE, etc.) to double check that your citation manager program has rendered all sources in the correct formatting.