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American History Research Guide: Your Footnotes, Bibliography

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 America: History & Life, or any EBSCO database (look for EBSCO in the upper left of the screen), first click the folder icon next to 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, then click RefWorks, EndNote, Noodle Tools or EasyBib.

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 for example is very popular with many historians. BibMe, Noodle Tools, EasyBib, and many others. Pick one you're most comfortable with. Many are free and all 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, see this brief video or click Email Me.


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. America: History & Life is an EBSCO database. If you see EBSCO in the upper left 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, for any ProQuest database, if you see ProQuest in the upper left, 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 your research and automatically generate both your footnotes and bibliography, see the Citation Managers box.

American History Librarian - New Brunswick

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Tom Glynn
Alexander Library
Rutgers University
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(848) 932-6105

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