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Using citation generators to help with the research and writing process

This guide highlights some recommended citation generators and how to use them.

ZoteroBib and your privacy

One of the main reasons UVic Libraries loves Zotero products is because they, like us, value your data privacy.  Zotero provides the following statement on their website:

"ZoteroBib and Zotero were created with the philosophy that your research data belongs to you and should be kept secure and private by default. Your ZoteroBib bibliography is stored on your own computer and isn’t accessible to others by default." (


ZoteroBib is the only citation generator on this guide that can also generate in-text citations or footnotes to coincide with your bibliography citation. You will find that feature under the quotation mark symbol, which is beside the copy/paste function.


As with most citation generators, you must double-check the citation generated is correct. Overall, ZoteroBib probably does the best job of all the citation generators presented in this guide, but it's still prone to error, so just be sure you double-check your citations and make edits as needed.

What is ZoteroBib?

ZoteroBib is a free bibliography maker, that will generate in-text citations or bibliographies into 10,000+ citation styles.  It is a simpler option for those that are interested in the features of a citation manager but don't want to download any software or create an account.  Citations and bibliographies that you generate will be temporary, and not stored long term or permanently. 

Because it is a standalone tool not tied to a particular database or search engine, you can use it with any resources gathered from any source (e.g. library items, websites, Google Scholar, research databases, even print items on your bookshelf!).

If you are looking for a more permanent solution, consider using the Zotero citation manager, and taking the Libaries' Introduction to Zotero workshop.

How does ZoteroBib work?

  1. Simply copy/paste a URL, DOI, ISBN, PMID, arXiv ID, or title into the search box, and ZoteroBib will pull data from various online sources in order to generate a citation.  If it can't find what you're looking for, you can enter the information in manually.

image shows the zoterobib search interface with arrows pointing to where you would copy/paste a URL or search for a title

  1. Once you've done that, choose the citation style, and then copy/paste the in-text citation, footnote, or bibliography.  Bonus: It even allows for the editing of in-text citations for page numbers or suppression of the author's name.

image showing where to find the citation style option in ZoteroBib

  1. Repeat the above steps if you want to generate a bibliography for multiple items, then you can copy/paste the entire thing.  It's that easy!  Bonus: You can also export your bibliography in a format that can be used by any other citation manager.

image showing a multi-item bibliography with the copy/paste function

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.