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Researching and Writing a Paper: Citation Tips & Tricks

This guide is about how to start, research, write, and format, a paper.

Between the Citation Tools and the 'brief but sufficient' description of citations linked to earlier in this sentence you are definitely able to have good citations in your paper, but those are not your only options! Below are some ways to copy/save the citation for the articles you find in particular databases. (Unfortunately not every option for directly exporting the citation to your favorite citation tool actually works, however enough of them work that trying to use the 'export' option in the Cite button is worth trying.)

  • Credo (Credo Reference): Above the article you are reading (and wanting to cite) there is a button with a curly quote mark and the word 'Citation'. APA, MLA, and two other styles are available for you to copy/paste, and you can export to EasyBib, NoodleTools, RefWorks, and Zotero (not currently available). There is also a citation displayed at the bottom of the page, with an option to switch from APA, to Chicago, to Harvard, to MLA.

  • EBSCO Community College eBook Collection / EBSCOhost eBook Open Access / CINAHL Plus with Full Text: when you click on an article or eBook in the results list you reach a page with information about the article or book, an opportunity to download it or open it and read it, and on the right side of the page is a button labeled 'Cite'. Scroll down the list that appears until you find the citation style you are using, copy/paste. Or export to BibTeX, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, RefWorks, etc.

  • Gale Academic OneFile/Gale General OneFile/Gale OneFile: Above the article you are reading and want to cite and download, and to the right, there is a button with a curly quote mark and the word 'Cite'. This brings up a pop-up that enables you to select your preferred citation style. You can also export the citation to EasyBib, Download RIS*, Google Drive™, NoodleTools, OneDrive™, and RefWorks. (*The RIS file format can be used with EndNote, Mendeley, ProCite, Reference Manager, and Zotero.)

  • Hathi Trust Digital Library: When you find something you wish to use in your paper you need to click on 'Catalog Record' in order to reach the 'Cite This' button and copy either an APA or MLA citation. If you click 'Export citation file' you will receive an RIS file, suitable for EndNote, Mendeley, ProCite, Reference Manager, and Zotero.

  • JSTOR: If you are looking at an image you found in JSTOR there will be a 'cite' button above and to the right. If you are looking at an article the 'cite' button is to the right. You can select which style is appropriate for your paper and copy it, or you can export the citation to EasyBib, NoodleTools, RefWorks, as an RIS file (for EndNote, Mendeley, ProCite, Reference Manager, and Zotero), and as a Text file (For BibTex).

  • National Academy Press:
    Scroll down to find in the center of the page a 'Suggested Citation', which can be exported to BibTex, EndNote, and Reference Manager.  You will probably need to reformat the citation into the approved APA or MLA citation style.

  • Nursing Reference Center:
    On the right side of the article click 'Export' and save citations to a file formatted for: RIS (e.g. CITAVI, EasyBib, EndNote, Mendeley, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero), BibTeX, CSV, EasyBib, EndNote Web, to ‘Generic bibliographic management software’, MARC21 format, NoodleTools, RefWorks, and XML format. [Or, go back to the list of articles and on the right side is a small image of a paper with a magnifying glass, clicking it gives you the option of 'Full Citation', which will give you all the information you need for the citation.]

  • ProQuest Databases / ProQuest Learning Literature / Advanced Technologies & Aerospace / eLibrary / History Study Center / SIRS Discoverer / US Newstream: Look for a button with a slightly curly quote mark on it. When you mouse-over the image the word 'Cite' will appear (or is already beneath the image if you have the article open). Clicking this button will cause a box to appear with the citation in it, either copy/paste or export it to EasyBib, EndNote, NoodleTools, RefWorks, RIS, Citavi, Mendeley, etc., and Microsoft Excel Format. (Go with copy/paste, the export function is not working right now.)

  • Public Library of Science:
    The citation is located near the top of the article, often after the Abstract and before the Introduction. The citation may need to be reformatted into the APA or MLA styles.

  • SIRS Discoverer:
    The citation link ('Cite') is on the right side in a blue box. Clicking it provides you with a choice between APA, MLA, and Turabian (use the drop-down box) and below the citation that you can copy there are buttons to download the citation to NoodleTools or EasyBib..   

  • Crossref
    An excellent tool for looking up the DOI of an article or book or other scholarly material. A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to uniquely identify an article or document, and to provide it with a permanent web address (URL). A DOI helps your reader to easily locate the document you cited. The DOI will always refer to that article (or book), and only that one. While a web address (URL) might change, the DOI will never change. Learn more about using DOIs and/or URLs in APA Style references.


[Note #1: Always double-check the provided citations, both to make sure that you selected the right citation style (APA, MLA) and that there are no errors in the citation. Any errors that occur will likely be the format of the name(s), date(s), and capitalization...and probably small, unimportant, and rare...but the time you don't double-check your citations is the time there actually is an that you would have noticed if you checked.]

[Note #2: If the article does not have a button to click for a citation the information you need to create a citation is almost always all available on the first page of the article.]