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British History Research Guide

Citation Managers

Many databases allow you to export citations from your search results to a citation manager. A citation manager lets you save all of your research in one place, keep it well organized and easily accessible. And when it comes time to type your paper, the better citation managers let you select citations you saved in your account and then automatically formats them in both your footnotes and bibliography.

To export citations from Historical Abstracts, or any EBSCO database (look for EBSCO in the upper left of the screen), first click the folder icon to the right of an article citation that you want to export, then click the folder icon at the top of the screen, then click Export on the right. In a ProQuest database (look for ProQuest in the upper left), check off the boxes next to  the article citations you want to export, then click the ... icon in the upper right, then then select a citation manager under CITATION EXPORT..

I think RefWorks is a good citation manager, pretty easy to use, with lots of advanced functions. But you have a number of options. Zotero is very popular with many historians. Pick one you're most comfortable with. Most are free and will save you time in the long run. Just make sure to double check the citations the citation manager produces. Citation managers are not infallible.

If you have questions about citation managers, you can email the Libraries citation experts:

Chicago Manual of Style

Historians generally use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for citing sources, in footnotes and bibliography. You may also want to try the OWL site at Purdue University, an easy-to-use guide to CMS.

Many of the databases will create a CMS bibliography citation for you. Historical Abstracts is an EBSCO database. If you see EBSCO in the upper right of any database, simply click the title of an article in your search results to see the full record, then click Cite on the right. Similarly, if you see ProQuest in the upper right, click the " icon in the brief or the full record of an article. In QuickSearch, also click the " icon.

To use a citation manager to save and organize research and automatically generate both your footnotes and bibliography, see the Citation Managers box.


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