Online Easy Bibliography

The Best Free Online Bibliography And Citation Tools 

Free online bibliography and citation tools have become an integral part of every eLearning project, especially if you are on a tight eLearning budget. eLearning content developers make extensive use of these platforms to avoid being accused of stealing somebody else’s ideas. However, cost keeps rising if you add fancy citation tools with elegant and advanced features. So, here are the best free online bibliography and citation tools that are bound to get the job done without any extra burden on your eLearning budget.

1. BibMe

One of the most functional free online bibliography and citation tools on the Internet. All the features an eLearning content developer needs are there.

  • 4 Citation Styles
    Whether you are using MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago, BibMe can help you reference your work effectively.
  • Variety Of Sources
    Journals, websites, books and many other sources covering both digital and print format.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    Check your content for plagiarism against a great deal of sources on the Internet to avoid using somebody else’s words.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    Most of the features are available in the free version.

2. Citation Machine

This is definitely one of the most easy to use free online bibliography and citation tools.

  • Vast Citation Style Variety
    Citation Machine can help eLearning content developers reference in all 4 major styles, namely APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian. However, it provides an immense library of 7.000 additional citation styles for many different fields.
  • Resources And Guides
    The platform offers a guide on how to properly cite in APA, MLA and Chicago.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    Much like BibMe, this platform also offers this feature that only comes if you subscribe though.
  • Numerous Sources
    Citation Machine allows you to cite content from books, magazines, newspapers, journals, films and many other sources.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    Citation Machine offers many of its great features for free.

3. Citavi

Citavi is multi-purpose free online bibliography and citation tool eLearning content developers can use for their knowledge organization needs. It is also a reference manager and a task management platform.

  • Research Process Management
    From importing sources, referencing them properly and then exporting them, to managing content and allocating tasks in a team, this free online bibliography and citation tool does much more than help you create a works-cited page.
  • Many Options To Add References
    Citavi gives you the chance to choose the way you want to add references. It features 35 options to include automatical or manual referencing as well as using a bar code scanner or PDF referencing.
  • Knowledge Organizer
    Two groundbreaking options that are Citavi exclusives enable you to organize knowledge in an efficient way. Keywording and a hierarchical category system will aid you in adding your own thoughts to the platform.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available And Various Premium Options
    Citavi will not charge you anything for up to 100 references. Then, you have various premium membership options for commercial use, education as well as student and personal use.

4. Citefast

While having a relatively simplistic interface, this platform offers all the major functions of a good free online bibliography and citation tool.

  • 3 Citation Styles
    APA, MLA and Chicago to cover all your basic reference needs as well as an in-text citation generator.
  • Good Variety Of Sources
    Webpages, books, journals, newspapers and online videos along with many other digital and print sources.
  • Style Guides For All 3 Citation Styles
    Comprehensive list of style tips for APA, MLA and Chicago.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Programs
    Citefast offers all of its features for free.

5. Citelighter

An award-winning multi-purpose free online bibliography and citation tool that also functions as an excellent writing aid tool.

  • Automatic Bibliographies And Writing Templates
    Citelighter will generate your bibliographies automatically leaving you more time for writing. It also features great writing template variety to help you organize your thoughts effectively.

Features And Plans

  • Demo Version And 1 Premium Option Available
    Although Citelighter has a paid version, you do have the chance to test out many of its great features for free. Citelighter offers a very competitive package in a very affordable price which they claim is 80% less than similar market solutions. By contacting them you can find out about the price specifics.

6. Docear

Open-source academic literature management and free online bibliography and citation tool with lots of interesting features that can assist eLearning content developers in referencing their eLearning materials.

  • Single-Section User Interface
    Easy-to-use layout that allows users to organize documents and categorize annotations. It also enables multiple viewing of various annotations in different documents.
  • Available In Various Platforms
    Windows, Mac, and Linux to suit the needs of any eLearning content developer.

Features And Plans

  • No Premium Subscription Required
    Docear doesn’t have any premium membership options, but it does give you the chance to donate for its running and maintenance costs.

7. Recipes4Success

What’s radical about this free online bibliography and citation tool is that it gives you the chance to even reference sources like sound effects, music pieces, images and email messages.

  • Automatically Formatted Citations
    You still have to type in all the information but Recipes4Success formats it for you.
  • Simple And Easy-To-Use Interface
    Recipe4Success’s user-friendly interface is applicable to all sorts of needs.

Features And Plans

  • No Premium Subscription Required
    No fee is required for users to utilize Recipes4Success’s features.

8. OttoBib

While we are in the digital era a great deal of information comes from print publications such as books. OttoBib is one ofthose free online bibliography and citation tools that are used specifically for book sources.

  • ISBN Citations
    OttoBib enables eLearning content developers to reference their content just by providing the ISBN number of the book they used.
  • 6 Citation Styles
    MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, Wikipedia and BibTeX to cover all your basic citation needs.
  • Google Chrome Extension
    This add-on allows you to create citations from the comfort of your favorite web browser.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    OttoBib does not require any premium subscriptions.

9. RefDot

Although you wouldn’t actually call it a free online bibliography and citation tool, eLearning content developers can definitely benefit from this Google Chrome extension.

  • Numerous Citation Options
    RefDot allows you to cite books, journals and web sites.
  • Reference Storing
    References are stored in your Google Chrome browser.
  • Lots Of Features
    Simultaneous author management, XML, standard text and HTML format viewing.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    RefDot is a 100% free Google Chrome extension.

10. Zotero

Browser plugin and a great free online bibliography and citation tool that helps eLearning content developers gather, manage and share their research sources.

  • Personalized Resource Libraries
    By embedding this plugin you are able to store digital sources of virtually any kind in your library by a single click.
  • Support For Many Sites
    From university libraries to news sites, Zotero provides all the research assistance you need.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    Zotero is a free online bibliography and citation tool. As such it does not require any memberships.

11. EasyBib

Free online bibliography and citation tools constitute a functional way for people wanting to reference various types of content, both digital and print. EasyBib provides a well-rounded solution for all your citation needs.

  • 59 Content Sources
    Content sources range from traditional types such as books and journal articles all the way to live performances and newsletters.
  • Manual Cite
    Although Easybib provides automatically formatted citations, you also have the option to manually cite your references and even add annotations.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    EasyBib offers its citation features for free.

12. CiteThisForMe

CiteThisForMe is one of those free online bibliography and citation tools that offer a plethora of features for reference management.

  • Functional Interface
    Citethisforme showcases a great layout. Everything you need is easily accessible from the comfort of your own dashboard.
  • Practical Features
    Great variety in sources, citation styles and editing options. What’s more, if you pay for a subscription you can get additional features such as a plagiarism checker, a Chrome add-on and a mobile application.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version And 1 Premium Option Available
    Although CiteThisForMe comes with a free version, there is also 1 premium option available. For $9 you can purchase the premium version and get 5 plagiarism checks per month, spelling and grammar checks as well as various other features.

Free online bibliography and citation tools are the most effective way for eLearning content developers to give credit to people whose ideas they used. More importantly, these platforms offer great and functional features with no additional expenses, which is extremely important for maintaining a low eLearning budget for an eLearning project.

Free online bibliography and citation tools are just one type of tool eLearning content developers should have in their bunker. Another one is free tools to create infographics. Read the article List Of Free Tools To Create Infographics For Your Learners and find out about the best free tools to produce quality infographics for online learners.

Before you can create a bibliography you need to have at least one citation and source in your document that will appear in your bibliography. If you don't have all of the information that you need about a source to create a complete citation, you can use a placeholder citation, and then complete the source information later.

For information about automatically formatting your bibliography in MLA, APA, and Chicago-style see: APA, MLA, Chicago: Automatically format bibliographies.

Note: Placeholder citations do not appear in the bibliography.

Add a new citation and source to a document

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click the arrow next to Style.

  2. Click the style that you want to use for the citation and source. For example, social sciences documents usually use the MLA or APA styles for citations and sources.

  3. Click at the end of the sentence or phrase that you want to cite.

  4. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Insert Citation.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To add the source information, click Add New Source, then begin to fill in the source information by clicking the arrow next to Type of source. For example, your source might be a book, a report, or a Web site.

    • To add a placeholder, so that you can create a citation and fill in the source information later, click Add New Placeholder. A question mark appears next to placeholder sources in Source Manager.

  6. Fill in the bibliography information for the source.

To add more information about a source, click the Show All Bibliography Fields check box.

Now you can create your bibliography.

Notes:

  • If you choose a GOST or ISO 690 style for your sources and a citation is not unique, append an alphabetic character to the year. For example, a citation would appear as [Pasteur, 1848a].

  • If you choose ISO 690-Numerical Reference and your citations still don't appear consecutively, you must click the ISO 690 style again, and then press ENTER to correctly order the citations.

Add additional citations from a previously used source

You can easily access citations you added previously. In fact, you can reuse them throughout your document. It's simple.

  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert a citation, and click References > Insert Citation.

  2. Find the citation by the Author or Tag name, and select the citation.

    Tip: You can insert a placeholder if you need to look up a citation later. Click References > Insert Citation. Click Add New Placeholder, and create a unique Tag name. Find the Placeholder in your content, and click the text to Edit Source details.

Create a bibliography

Now that you’ve inserted one or more citations and sources in your document you can create your bibliography.

  1. Click where you want to insert a bibliography, usually at the end of the document.

  2. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Bibliography.

  3. Click a predesigned bibliography format to insert the bibliography into the document.

Find a source

The list of sources that you use can become quite long. At times you might search for a source that you cited in another document by using the Manage Sources command.

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Manage Sources.

    If you open a new document that does not yet contain citations, all of the sources that you used in previous documents appear under Master List.

    If you open a document that includes citations, the sources for those citations appear under Current List. All the sources that you have cited, either in previous documents or in the current document, appear under Master List.

  2. To find a specific source, do one of the following:

    • In the sorting box, sort by author, title, citation tag name, or year, and then search the resulting list for the source that you want to find.

    • In the Search box, type the title or author for the source that you want to find. The list dynamically narrows to match your search term.

Note: You can click the Browse button in Source Manager to select another master list from which you can import new sources into your document. For example, you might connect to a file on a shared server, on a research colleague's computer or server, or on a Web site that is hosted by a university or research institution.

Edit a source

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Manage Sources.

  2. In the Source Manager dialog box, under Master List or Current List, select the source you want to edit, and then click Edit.

    Note: To edit a placeholder to add citation information, select the placeholder from Current List and click Edit.

  3. In the Edit Source dialog box, make the changes you want and click OK.

Edit a citation placeholder

Occasionally, you may want to create a placeholder citation, and then wait until later to fill in the complete bibliography source information. Any changes that you make to a source are automatically reflected in the bibliography, if you have already created one. A question mark appears next to placeholder sources in Source Manager.

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Manage Sources.

  2. Under Current List, click the placeholder that you want to edit.

    Note: Placeholder sources are alphabetized in Source Manager, along with all other sources, based on the placeholder tag name. By default, placeholder tag names contain the word Placeholder and a number, but you can customize the placeholder tag name with whatever tag you want.

  3. Click Edit.

  4. Begin to fill in the source information by clicking the arrow next to Type of source. For example, your source might be a book, a report, or a Web site.

  5. Fill in the bibliography information for the source. To add more information about a source, click the Show All Bibliography Fields check box.

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