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Beginning Your Research in History (Fall 2020): Citation/Reference Management

A guide to beginning your research in history using only electronic resources, with physical material access shut down in 2020.

Quick and easy citation tools

Chicago Manual of Style

Citation Management Tools

What is Citation/Reference Management Software?

Citation/reference management software manages your references and citations and integrates with word processing applications (such as Microsoft Word) to create bibliographies and insert in-text citations directly into documents. Most citation/reference managers have other features that import and export files, facilitate note-taking and annotating documents, and create social groups for file sharing. 

Common Features

  • Import references directly from databases, catalogs, and webpages, or creates references manually. 
  • Organize references into folders/collections/libraries.
  • Allow the full text searching of references and attached documents
  • Allow file attachment (e.g., PDFs, audio, HTML) and reference notation.
  • Offer a wide variety of citation formats and styles
  • Facilitate the sharing of reference libraries with others
  • Free Online storage of references and attachments.



I recommend Zotero as a user-friendly, free, and open-source citation/reference manager. Zotero was created at the Center for History and New Media and is well-suited to gathering and organizing sources of all kinds for historical research.

Subject Guide

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Liz Lorang
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