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12 Best Free Online Bibliography and Citation Tools

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to bibliographies and citations. An error can be introduced into a well-researched paper through a combination of human error and inconsistent formatting. To make your life easier, there are free citation generators out there that will help you create citations quickly and easily! In the following list, you will find a list of 12 online bibliography generators that you can use. Do you have a favorite part of the process? It is worth noting that all of these tools are 100% free to use for both web-based and PDF-based documents!

In this post, I will be sharing with you the best free online bibliography and citation tools.

Son of Citation Machine

Son of Citation Machine - APA, MLA and Chicago Citation Generator. Best Free Online Bibliography

The citation generator is compatible with the most popular academic citation styles such as MLA, APA, and Chicago, in addition to these three.

There is also an excellent citation machine for movies that can be used with this tool. This service allows you to find virtually any movie online that you need, and you will be able to use the reference in a paper that you are writing.
Free access; you can subscribe for extra features (e.g. you can save an unlimited number of bibliographies and see if your citations are plagiarism-free); and you have to register to download a citation in Word or in another format.
Functionality: The tool opens up a search for a text by its title, author, and ISBN number; the tool takes care of entering the author’s names and the title of the book, but it requires you to type in the year and location of publication.
Extra Features: Creating parenthetical citations, checking for written errors such as plagiarism and grammar, creating parenthetical citations, etc.

BibMe Citation Tool

It is interesting to note that the functionality and features of this tool are very similar to those of Son of Citation Machine. Almost all the forms and pop-ups of the two tools are the same.

With one click, you can check whether your paper contains unintentional plagiarism, and you can use the grammar suggestions in your paper to improve your writing style and get higher grades.
Access: Access is free; a subscription plan is available for additional features
Functionality: These searches can be performed based on the title, author, ISBN, etc.
Extra Features: Includes a bibliography and parenthetical citations as well as a plagiarism checker and a grammar checker


EasyBib Citation Generator

It is only possible to access this citation tool for free for a limited time period. Currently, you are only able to make free citations in MLA format. This citation generator has the advantage of giving a lot more information than other tools (such as the year of publication and the publishing company of the article) when it comes to citations.

Depending on what type of resources you’re seeking, you have a wide range of options – you can search blogs, comics, digital images, federal laws, reports, online databases, patents, and many more.
Access: You can access free citations without registering, but they are only available in MLA format
Functionality: This search engine is able to locate titles, authors, and ISBN numbers
Extra Features: In addition to APA and Chicago, there are about 100 other citation styles available only to pro users.


Paperpile is a Free Chrome Extension for Chicago Style Citation.

It is possible to perform quick online research using Paperpile, which is an extension for Chrome that is available for free. The easiest way to get a reference is to go to Amazon and search for the book you need. It is possible to automatically cite a source by clicking on a button that can be found in the right-hand corner of your document. It is also possible to manually enter the details of the citation if you prefer.

Access: You can install the extension for Chrome for free
Functionality: Allows you to create citations in Chicago style only
Extra Features: You can export and store all of your references for free, and the citations are sorted alphabetically


You can use this tool to make citations in Turabian, MLA, and APA, and you have to enter the data manually, but it’s an excellent way to create bibliographies and footnotes.

If you wish to enter the necessary details manually, you can choose either express or manual input. As for the types of resources available, there are many options to choose from, from printed papers to audio files and other multimedia files.
Access: free
Functionality: It allows users to manually enter details as well as to automatically format them
Extra Features: Searching and sharing dissertations in online dissertation catalogues, exporting and sharing bibliographies with other users


Mick Schroeder - AMA Citation Generator.

Mick Schroeder works as an Informatics Pharmacist in the Philadelphia area. There is a kind man on the web who has generously shared his invention with all of us. Using this tool, you can quickly and easily create a perfect AMA style citation using only a few seconds of your time.

The AMA generator is a rarity, and this one is an excellent example of a citation maker that is able to generate AMA-compliant citations.
Access: The extension is available for free as a Google Chrome extension for Google Chrome
Functionality: Users can search for articles based on PubMed IDs, DOI names, ISBNs, URLs, and does not require any manual entry of details.
Extra Features: From any web page, you will be able to automatically generate citations for it


RefME Citation Tool

The citation tool does an excellent job at formatting citations in a variety of formats, including more than 7,500 different styles.

Access: Free; you will need to sign up with your Facebook account in order to access it
Functionality: You can search for books based on their author, title, ISBN, or URL
Extra Features: Checking for plagiarism as well as grammatical mistakes


KnightCite Tool Creates Citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago.

It is possible to create citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago using this tool. A full description of a resource can be created by choosing more than ten characteristics from the list. The generator even includes fields for editions and volumes.

Access: free
Functionality: data entry via a manual process; a variety of resources to choose from
Extra Features: Create a new citation or edit an existing one


WorksCited4U tool creates citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago automatically.

It creates citations for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles in just a few minutes. You will be able to save a lot of time by filling in as few fields as possible as you use it as an automatic data source.

Access: free
Functionality: manual entry of data only
Extra Features: n/a


NoodleTools - Software for Academic Writing, Including Citation Tools.

A number of useful tools are available in NoodleTools, including note-taking and citation tools that will help students with their academic writing. APA, MLA, and Chicago citations can be generated using the citation maker.

Access: Citations are available for free; however, if you want additional features (notecards, collaboration, and sharing features), you will have to pay a fee
Functionality: The entry of data is manual
Extra Features: A premium account allows you to use note-taking tools and get expert help if you need it


A free online bibliography and citation tool that is one of the most functional on the Internet today. An eLearning content developer will find all the features he or she needs in this software package.

  • 4 Citation Styles
    With BibMe you will be able to reference your work effectively regardless of whether you use MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago format.
  • Variety Of Sources
    There are many sources pertaining to digital and print formats, including journals, websites, books, and many other sources.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    If you want to avoid using somebody else’s words in your content, check your content against plenty of sources on the Internet to make sure you are not plagiarizing.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    The free version comes with the majority of the features that you would find in the paid version.

Citation Machine

A free online bibliography and citation tool like this is probably one of the easiest tools you will find online.

  • Vast Citation Style Variety
    Using Citation Machine, eLearning content developers will be able to create references that follow all four major citation styles, namely APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian. As a result, it is able to provide a very large library of 7, 000 additional citation styles for a wide range of different fields.
  • Resources And Guides
    A guide is available on the platform that explains how to properly cite in the formats of APA, MLA, and Chicago.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    In the same way that BibMe offers this feature that can only be accessed if you subscribe to the platform, this platform also does offer it.
  • Numerous Sources
    You can cite content from a wide range of sources using Citation Machine, including books, magazines, newspapers, journals, films, and many other sources of information.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    There are many great features of Citation Machine that can be used for free.



eLearning content developers can use Citavi as a free multipurpose online bibliography and citation tool that they can use for their knowledge organization needs when creating eLearning content. Additionally, it can also be used as a tool for managing references and tasks.

  • Research Process Management
    There are many useful features of this free online bibliography and citation tool, ranging from importing sources, referencing them appropriately, exporting them, managing content, allocating tasks to a team, and much more. It does much more than just help you create a works-cited page.
  • Many Options To Add References
    As you can see, Citavi gives you the opportunity to choose how you want to add references to your paper. A total of 35 options can be selected, which include automatic or manual referencing, bar-code scanning, and referencing from a PDF file.
  • Knowledge Organizer
    It is Citavi’s pioneering features that enable you to organize knowledge in an efficient manner, two of which are exclusive to Citavi. You will be able to add your own thoughts to the platform using keywording and a hierarchical category system which will aid you in adding your own input.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available And Various Premium Options
    As long as you use Citavi up to 100 references, you will not be charged anything. Then, there are a number of premium membership options that you can choose from, including commercial, education, student, and personal memberships.


As a free online bibliography and citation tool, this resource provides all the major functions of a good free online bibliography and citation tool, despite having a relatively simplistic interface.

  • 3 Citation Styles
    As well as covering all of your basic reference needs, this generator will allow you to create in-text citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago format.
  • Good Variety Of Sources
    Besides websites and books, there are also many other digital and print sources you can use, such as journals, magazines, newspapers, online videos, and a wide variety of other things.
  • Style Guides For All 3 Citation Styles
    You can find APA, MLA, and Chicago style tips in this comprehensive list.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Programs
    Citefast offers all of its features for free.


It is an award-winning free online bibliography and citation maker that also serves as an excellent writing aid tool that is multipurpose and offers an array of useful features.

  • Automatic Bibliographies And Writing Templates
    Citelighter will automatically generate your bibliographies for you, giving you more time to spend on writing. Additionally, it has a great range of writing templates that will help you organize your thoughts to help you come up with the best ideas.

Features And Plans

  • Demo Version And 1 Premium Option Available
    Despite the fact that Citelighter does have a paid version, you do have the opportunity to try out many of its great features for free before you buy. Compared to similar market solutions, Citelighter offers a very competitive package with a very affordable price that, according to the company, is 80% less than similar market solutions. You can get more information about the specifics of the prices by contacting them directly.


Open-source academic literature management and free online bibliography and citation tool with lots of interesting features that can assist eLearning content developers in referencing their eLearning materials.

  • Single-Section User Interface
    Layout that is easy to use and allows users to categorize annotations and organize documents in a straightforward manner. There is also the possibility of viewing different annotations in different documents at the same time.
  • Available In Various Platforms
    This tool is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux so it can be used by any eLearning content developer.

Features And Plans

  • No Premium Subscription Required
    It is important to note that Docear does not currently offer a premium membership option, but it does offer the possibility to donate for the website’s maintenance and operation.


In addition to making your bibliography and citations easier, one of the most exciting features of this free online bibliography tool is the fact that you can even include sound effects, music pieces, images and e-mail messages as references.

  • Automatically Formatted Citations
    Despite the fact that you still have to type in all the information, Recipes4Success formats it for you automatically.
  • Simple And Easy-To-Use Interface
    There are many types of users out there looking for recipes that are easy to use, such as Recipe4Success.

Features And Plans

  • There is no need for a premium subscription
    For users to be able to take advantage of Recipes4Success’s features, there is no fee to be paid.


Although we live in an era when most information can be accessed digitally, print publications such as books still provide a great deal of information. A convenient tool for citing book sources is OttoBib, which is a free online bibliography tool that is especially designed for bibliographies and citations of books.

  • ISBN Citations
    Using OttoBib, eLearning content developers can reference their content by simply providing the ISBN number of the book they used to reference their content in their course.
  • 6 Citation Styles
    To help you with all your basic citation needs, we provide MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, Wikipedia, and BibTeX.
  • Google Chrome Extension
    From the comfort of your favorite web browser, you are able to create citations from within this add-on.

Features And Plans

  • There is no need for a subscription
    There are no premium subscriptions required to use OttoBib.

Find, choose and compare the top eLearning Authoring Tools for Academic Learning to be able to design the best learning experience for your academic audience. HOW TO FIND THE BEST VENDOR FOR YOUR PROJECT


There is no doubt that eLearning content developers can benefit from this Google Chrome extension even though it cannot be considered to be a free online bibliography and citation tool.

  • Numerous Citation Options
    Citations can be made for books, journals, and websites with the help of RefDot.
  • Reference Storing
    In Google Chrome, references are stored in a file called references.
  • Lots Of Features
    It allows simultaneous author management, XML, standard text as well as HTML format viewing and editing.

Features And Plans

  • There is no need to subscribe to our service
    Google Chrome extension RefDot is 100% free to download and use on any computer.


In order to aid eLearning content developers in gathering, managing and sharing research sources, the tool offers a browser plugin as well as a free online citation and bibliography generator.

  • Personalized Resource Libraries
    With this plugin, you will be able to store virtually any kind of digital source in your library by simply embedding it into your WordPress site and clicking on it.
  • Support for a wide range of websites
    You can easily find all the research assistance you need with Zotero, whether you want to search university libraries or news sites.

Features And Plans

  • There is no need to subscribe to anything
    There is an online tool called Zotero that allows you to manage your bibliography and citations. There is no membership requirement as a result of this.


Having access to free online bibliography and citation tools can be a very useful thing for people who want to reference various kinds of content, both digital and printed, in a comprehensive way. For all the citation needs that you may have, EasyBib provides you with a well-rounded solution.

  • 59 Content Sources
    It is important to note that the types of content that are available range from traditional sources such as books and articles in journals to live performances and newsletters.
  • Manual Cite
    Despite Easybib’s automatic formatting of your citations, you have the option of manually citing your references and even adding annotations to your references if you wish.

Features And Plans

  • There is no need to subscribe
    It is free to use EasyBib’s citation feature if you are a registered user.


There are times when you need to cite your sources in a paper or project. If you are looking for citation management software for academic purposes, you can consider using one of the following free citation maker online. Zotero is probably the most popular online citation maker available today because it doesn’t only help to create citations but also allows for other things like automatically adding bibliographies.

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