The best bibliography generators that cite sources fast and easy

best bibliography generators
Citing from a trusted best bibliography generators can be one of the most important things you do for your degree. Source: Tim Sloan/AFP

Writing an essay for university? Or completing a project paper for your internship?

Students, staying clear of plagiarism is critical. If you are not sure what this means, it is simply taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own without giving it the proper credit.

How do you ensure this doesn’t happen?

The best bibliography generators are lifesavers; they are a must-have for students, researchers, and teachers — young and old alike.

The golden rule of a writer or researcher is to always be able to correctly cite your sources and provide readers with evidence to support the topic.

How does this benefit you? It strengthens what you are trying to say.

And as for researchers and students, it is important that you learn how to cite correctly or you could even face losing your study visa.

So before you begin writing or researching, find out what kind of citation style your university requires — save you a lot of trouble in the future.

The most common kinds include American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), IEEE, and the Chicago and Turabian styles.

Here are the 10 best bibliography apps you can rely on; some are free and some are not, but rest assured all of them have been designed to make your life easier.


One of the fastest and best bibliography generators out there, Citeshare is a tool that helps students complete assignments whilst saving precious time.

It is a Chrome extension and only supports the MLA and APA styles.

From what we gather, it is reasonably easy to use. All you need to do is load your article into your browser, and by clicking the extension, your article will be cited.

Its Chrome extension feature is meant to cite quickly and share articles for reference.

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These days, there are more than one or two best bibliography generators to choose from. Source: Miguel Rojo/AFP


Formatically was founded by Duncan Hamra and Tyler Bell when they were just high school students.

During English class one day, their teacher said someone needed to make it easier to automatically format papers.

This was in 2013 and the duo spent the next five years creating different versions, writing codes, and designing what we know today as Formatically.

It is a free and automatic MLA and APA formatting tool.

What makes Formatically unique is it isn’t boring at all, as some would suggest auto-bibliography apps are.

The Instant Citation Manager presents itself as simple, beautiful and fast to use.

You can opt to use the manual citation wizard, but if this is you rushing for a tight deadline, then the automatic tool is your best friend.

According to its site, Formatically can crawl through 10 or more sites at once, find the information and format it in under 11 seconds.

It also states the team behind this genius hack will be looking at adding the Chicago style soon.

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The best bibliography generators will help you avoid plagiarism. Source: Patrick Kovarik/AFP


Founded in 2003, JabRef is an open-sourced tool and something we all love; it’s free.

The tool runs on Java VM and uses the LaTex bibliography format.

Its graphical interface allows students to import, edit, search, and cite groups in the BibTex format.

When collecting data, there are import options for more than 15 reference formats which are easily retrieved.

JabRef does not offer any citation style of its own, rather, the citation is generated from the BibTeX file by LaTeX.

So, cite-as-you-write for external applications such as Emacs, Kile, LyX, Texmaker, TeXstudio, Vim and WinEd.

As you organise your work, keep track of what you have read according to ranking and priority.

The good news is this tool can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

You can download it here.

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The best bibliography generators even help you out with several styles. Source: Jeff Pachoud/AFP


Mendeley is unique because it was developed for mobile devices.

It is a free reference manager that lets you organise, store, share, and cite references and data.

Free users have a limitation of 2GB for storage space, while paying users will have access to additional support and services on top of more storage space.

This tool lets lecturers and professors share papers and reference materials easily so students can read them while on the go.

Its main features include automatically generating bibliographies, importing papers from research software, and the best part is you can access it from anywhere you want.

High school students worldwide enjoy using it because it is a document management software as well.


Zotero aims to be your very own research assistant.

This is a free and easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organise, annotate, cite and share research.

What’s interesting about is Zotero is able to sense if you are doing research from what you search for on the Internet.

It then instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor and directly inside a Word Doc, LibreOffice, and Google Docs.

It supports more than 10,000 citation styles and allows you to format your work to match a publication or style guide.

Need to write a paper with a peer? Not a problem. Zotero lets you share files with each other or even build a collaborative bibliography.

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The best bibliography generators help students save time and be as accurate as possible. Source: Abdelhak Senna/AFP


EasyBib is the world’s largest auto-bibliography maker and citation machine.

It creates citations and checks your paper to scan for grammar errors and any form of plagiarism.

Students are able to create bibliographies in APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles.

An additional bonus is the Harvard style.

Those using EasyBib will find suggestions to improve writing styles, grammar, and sentence structures, as well as receive feedback from writing experts.


Paperpile is a commercial reference management software that integrates with Google Docs and Google Scholar.

It is simple, fast, accurate and fully collaborative to use.

Paperpile allows you to sign in securely using your Google account while helping you collect references through the Chrome extension.

That’s not all. It can also organise your PDFs in Google Drive and cite references in Google Docs.

If you are the kind of person who is very organised and wants to be able to access your collections on devices, then Paperpile is the way to go.

With just one click, you can download a PDF for future reference and sync it to your Google Drive, where you can then access them from any web browser.

Paperpile allows you to highlight and comment on PDFs, and perhaps the most useful part is being able to share libraries and links with everyone, not just the ones using Paperpile.

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The best bibliography generators don’t just help you cite sources, but organise your documents as well. Source: Tim Sloan/AFP


Those new to research and writing will find EndNote one of the best bibliography generators today.

This tool is regularly used by faculty, researchers, and students to store, organise and cite references.

Another reason to choose EndNote? Those collaborating with co-authors who want to exchange references seamlessly find EndNote very useful.

The “Cite While You Write” feature is a popular one; it lets you insert in-text citations while you create a bibliography.

Users get to trial EndNote for free for 30 days and then can be purchased with a one-time cost starting at US$100.


Quillbot is a tool that is powered by AI that helps students write better.

With the ability to edit, rewrite, and change the tone of the text, it’s no surprise why Quillbot is a fan favourite.

The tool includes a strong spell checker, a free grammar and punctuation checker and a plagiarism checker all rolled into one.

For instance, if you are writing an article and want some vocabulary to remain, all you need to do is use the synonym slider to customise just how much or little you want to be edited.

This feature is unique to this tool.

On top of that, it has a translation tool that works with more than 30 languages without ever needing to download an app.

This feature is free and lets students translate up to 5,000 characters in one go.

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Why and when do you reference? The best bibliography generators will help you decide that. Source: Andrew Harnik/various sources/AFP


Citavi is known to be an all-in-one note-taking and reference management tool — making it one of the best bibliography generators around today.

It offers more than 10,000 citation styles and fits all reading styles, whether you are looking to leave a comment or highlight a certain part.

Researchers use it to collect, organise, collaborate, and manage citations using one single platform, which is why it is a popular choice among students and teachers alike.

Users are able to try the tool for free for 30 days before deciding if they want to purchase it or not.

Another one of Citavi’s unique features is the option to store information on your own server instead of on the Cloud.

Citavi performs automatic backups, so you will never lose your information.

To a student, having a proper planning tool can either earn you a good grade or leave a red mark instead.

This is why many use Citavi, and it works in a systematic way that allows users to keep track of important deadlines and tasks.

Users can also assign tasks to colleagues and monitor their progress.