What tools do we recommend for tracking research sources and creating bibliographies?


NIST used to have educational accounts for all students using EasyBib, which provided extra features (like APA and Chicago styles) beyond the free (MLA) version, but the company that owns EasyBib decided to end that option for schools.  Instead they want students to pay individually for their own “Pro” version.  The “free” EasyBib version is still available, providing MLA style (while showing lots of ads), which might be sufficient for some people.

See the slide presentation above for an example of how “free” bibliographic tools sometimes get things wrong — and for two suggestions of tools to use, besides EasyBib.

A quick & easy automatic citation tool that offers more than just the MLA style is ZoteroBib or ZBib.org — an offshoot of the more sophisticated Zotero product, which was produced by an American university as free, non-profit, and open source.

Noodletools is what we call the “slow but sure” option for organizing all your assignments, research notes and bibliographic references.  It isn’t as automatic as EasyBib or ZoteroBib, as it requires students to identify types of sources and enter information about them, but it is very thorough. NIST pays for Noodletools, which is accessible to all students via their school Gmail accounts (so remember to login using the “Sign in with Google “option).