Bibliographies Made Easy

Kevin H. Lin

For seniors nearing thesis deadlines, one unpleasant task probably remains: creating a bibliography. Fortunately, we've compiled a list of programs that are available to help nearly-finished writers list their references quickly and professionally.

Bibliographix: Download this program, available for Windows computers, to manage references, insert in-text citations into Microsoft Word, and conveniently organize notes. Most importantly for college students, the basic version of Bibliographix is free.

Biblioscape: Also available to Windows users, Biblioscape offers a free trial that enables authors to take notes throughout the writing process and draw organizational charts that link to references.

EndNote: This program searches online bibliographic databases, organizes references and other files, and formats sources in over 4,500 bibliographic styles, according to its website. Harvard provides EndNote free-of-charge to FAS users on their network, recommending the tool for large projects. EndNote also offers a web-based version of their software, titled EndNote Web, which is also available for authorized Harvard users for free and enables users to access stored resources at any computer.

JabRef: This is an "open source bibliography reference manager"—according to its website. JabRef not only quickly organizes sources, but formats bibliographies in variety of styles.

NoodleBib: Offered by NoodleTools, NoodleBib is a note-taking software that crafts bibliographies suited to MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian rules. The program also protects against plagiarism by guiding writers "through paraphrasing and prompts for original thinking," according to its website. Users can download a three-month individual subscription for $4.

QuickCite: Designed for citations on-the-go, QuickCite is a 99-cent application for the iPhone and the Android. Simply take a snapshot of a book's barcode and the program will translate the barcode into a citation that will arrive in your e-mail inbox immediately.

RefWorks: An online tool that can be accessed from any computer, RefWorks organizes notes and formats bibliographies instantly. Though the program is pricey, it's available to Harvard students for free.

Zotero: While Zotero only works in Firefox, the tool is free for all users and particularly useful for web-based research. Zotero saves and stores entire web pages; cites sources in a variety of bibliographic styles; and creates group libraries, for easy sharing between Zotero users.

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