Watch one of these create videos why we cite from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University
Why We Cite
Citation: A (very) Brief Introduction
To attribute words and ideas to their original source – simply giving credit where credit is due.
To provide your readers with a kind of “map”of what you have been reading – to help your readers understand what has influenced your thinking.
To add weight and credibility to your paper –to demonstrate that you are engaged in the relevant research material
To provide an easy way for your readers to get access to the source material.
To situate yourself in an academic community with shared conventions.
To avoid plagiarism.
So how do you pick the best citation management software for you? There are many factors to consider. For example, if you are an undergraduate student, you might be looking for the fastest and easiest option—something with a short learning curve, which lets you grab citations and produce bibliographies in a snap. Oh, and let's not forget: it needs to be free or cheap.
If you're a graduate student or a faculty member, you might have different considerations: the software needs to work well with the databases you use frequently, it must be able to organize and filter a large number of citations, and it should be able to produce a bibliography in the primary style used in your discipline. If you're working on a research team, you'll also want to make sure the software allows you to collaborate with your colleagues smoothly.
U of T has created this guide comparison chart below to help you examine the different features available and figure out the best option for you. We've adapted it slightly to reflect Ryerson's resources.
Adapted from University of Toronto Libraries Citation Management