5 ways to automatically create citations

Busy finishing your assignments and struggling with citing the papers and books you found?  We have various citation guides you can use to teach you how to manually cite in various styles such as APA, MLA, ASA etc.

But let me show you 5 different ways to automatically cite papers and books you found without manually crafting the reference.

 

1. Use FindMore@NUSL

FindMore@NUSL our default library search on our library homepage allows you to search books and articles we have access to. But did you know that you can use it to automatically provide citations?

Here’s how. Do a search and then click on the folder icon next to the item you want to cite. Then  click on the Saved Items folder icon to output your list of saved results.

From there you can email or cut and paste the citation in APA, AMA, MLA, Uniform , Chicago and Harvard styles.

Comment : By covering almost all the books and articles you have access via NUS Libraries, you can simply type in the item you want to cite and follow the method above to get the citations quickly!

Want to cite something we don’t have access to? Trying clicking on “Add results beyond your library’s collection” on the left, below searching and see if the item comes out.

 

2. Use Google Scholar  

Many of you are big fans of Google Scholar and so are we. Hopefully you have set up Google Scholar to display “Findit@NUSLibraries!” links in it, to allow the easiest access to full-text via NUS subscriptions.

Not sure how to do this? Look at http://libguides.nus.edu.sg/content.php?pid=443597&sid=4030050

But how do you easily cite the items you found?

It’s simple, just click on “Cite” just below each result.

It will offer citations in MLA, APA, Chicago styles.

Comment : Google Scholar is probably one of the broadest one search you can find covering not just standard journal articles but also obscure grey literature like Government documents and papers. However be careful, the quality of the citations produced may vary due to inaccurate or missing data.

 

3. Most other library databases

Most common library databases include databases on the Proquest platform and Ebscohost platform have similar autociting functions. Here are some examples:

 

Ebscohost

Ebscohost covers the basics including AMA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, Vancouver  styles.

 

Proquest

Proquest databases provide a wide variety of citation styles to choose from.

 

Scopus

Scopus also supports citations in the roughly same style.

 

Ebscohost databases, Proquest databases and Scopus are just 3 library databases that will generate citations of items found in the most common styles. Many other library databases (e.g PsycINFO, EconLit etc) also have similar functions, look for an icon or hypertext that allows you to export or export citation. If you are unable to figure it out and need help, do let us know.

 Comment : Though individual databases do not cover as much as FindMore@NUSL or Google Scholar, this method can still be useful, and you can grab the citation there while you happen to be downloading full-text from there anyway. You may also get more accurate citations here.

 

4. Other standalone citation builders

Besides functions built-in databases, there are also a few standalone citation builders you can try. Note NUS Libraries does not officially support them.

Many of these standalone citation builders guide you to cite less conventional sources such as website or blogs, though you have to enter the data in the online form first. Bibme allows you to both search via Worldcat for the item you want, or do it manually via online forms.

Above shows an online form that you fill in if you want to cite a website using the NCSU Citation Builder, and the form will produce a citation in MLA.

Comment :  A mixed bag of methods.  As mentioned they allow you to cite less common sources such as blogs and websites ,  but rely on you to manually fill in the details in each file.

 

5. Endnote and other Reference Managers

If none of the methods above are good enough for you and you want to do heavy duty citations, you may want to consider investing the time to learn a reference or bibliographic Manager. NUS Libraries currently supports EndNote.

Why use a reference manager which takes a bit longer to learn over the above methods?

  • Access to a large number of styles –eg Endnote has over 5,000 styles!
  • Keeps track of your citations in one place so you won’t lose track.
  • When writing a paper it not only creates your bibliography but also your in-text citations or footnotes and dynamically links it, so if you remove it from your in-text citation the bibliography is automatically removed as well.

 

Curious?  Take your first step by going to our EndNote guide that shows you how to install it. We conduct hands-on tutorial, lecture style and even online classes on how to learn EndNote, but you can try learning it yourself.

Watch the  “How To Use EndNote in 7 Minutes (Windows Version)” for a super-fast introduction.

 

Conclusion : The method above always you to create citations without knowing the exact details of citation styles. But be careful, auto-generated citations are sometimes not 100% correct, due to various reasons including wrong or missing data (eg The publication year might happen to be wrong from Google Scholar) or the citation style rules might be a bit off in certain cases. Always remember to manually double-check your citations before submissions!

 

Aaron Tay

NUS Libraries

1 Comment

  1. […] and proper referencing can be a chore. While you can use some of the methods listed here to make it easier, if you are reading and citing a lot, we highly recommend learning how to use a […]

Leave a Reply