Research Citation Apps

Apps to create citations for research

Most of the tasks of research these days can be automated, so I thought there must be a way to automate citations as well.

Adding citations to your research paper is very very important and it can easily get messy if you are a little forgetful about the sources in your white paper.

So without any ado, here is the list.

You might also want to check the best apps for research students in all categories.

Zotero (Download)

Zotero is an easy-to-use free tool to help you collect, cite, share, and organize research work. With the help of Microsoft Word/LibreOffice plugin, it takes the pain out of citations, by doing all the heavy lifting for you. The tool is crucial for students.

You can add new sources from the internet with a click. The integration of the word processor plugin to make citations and bibliographies is a relief. You can easily sync and collaborate your work also you are privileged to send your collection of work with e-mail, to create a new collection of citations.

You can also check our list of best apps for students.

Readcube Papers App (Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Web)

Readcube provides personalized recommendation engine and related article feed to ensure that you haven’t missed any important paper. PaperApp helps you to focus on a task with full-screen PDF reader and highlight, strike through along with many other striking features.

With SmartCite you got an option to choose from 9000 citation styles. You can e-mail your document to other app users quickly and easily. You can collaborate with 25 other Papers users at a given time. The app works well with other citation managers such as Endnote and Zotero.

It also has Google Docs Add-on for reference management for researchers that helps you to collect the research material. With the handy browser extension, you can search across the scholarly search engines and enjoy a single click download.

This app can also be useful for literature students.

Docear Academic Literature Suite (Download)

Docear is an academic literature suite. The app is integrated with everything that you need to organize, search, and create academic literature into a sole application.

The software is consists of a huge digital library with support for reference manager, PDF documents, Information manager, and note-taking.

It is very easy to import and manage PDF annotations. A free and open-source application with PDF Metadata extraction. Software that contains a variety of basic functions for research students!

JabRef (Download)

An open-source bibliography reference manager with the native file format of BibTeX, the standard LaTeX bibliography format. A very intuitive software package to use that let you insert citations by just copying and pasting the BibTeX references.

The most liked feature of JabRef is, it is open source and work the best with all the version. You can manage thousands of references and corresponding files, entries, selecting, updating and so on.

Endnote (Download)

Keep your research work smart, easy and organized with Endnote. It is very easy to create bibliographies, edit individual entries. The software allows you to keep your references organized as you write so you need not find them all at the end.

In case you change the position of reference, it automatically changes the no. It will let you share selected groups of references, manage team access and track activity, also it will help you to find the best-fit journal for your research paper.

Paperpile (Download)

In case, you need to tackle a lot of research papers, go for Paperpile – a reference manager that based on the web. Just download a chrome add-on and you are on its way.

The software uses your Google drive free storage space to save papers. So, on uploading PDFs to Google Drive by the app, you can access your collection from anywhere.

You can easily manage the system for articles and PDF’s and it will also let you share your articles and reference lists with others.

Citation Maker (Android)

Share the information about the topic that you have with you in the form of book, Journal, Website or Video, rest will be done by the app – supported both MLA and APA formats. Featured with a vast library of 7000 citation styles, Plagiarism checker and huge sources to cite content from books, newspapers, and many other sources.

It is currently not available on the Web or iPhone.

MarginNote2 (iPhone / iOS / Web)

MarginNote2 App to reorganize your sources.

Highly powerful reading software applicable to Apple products, the app enables the learners to connect and reorganize knowledge from different sources.  You annotate and take notes through MarginNote whether you are a student, educator, lawyer or learner. Highlights automatically turned into flashcards for review. You can perform the operation of import, export, and sync. 

Mendeley (Android / iPhone)

Mendeley - Document management app for research students
Mendeley document management app

Mendeley is more than formatting your bibliographies. It is a document management software – a powerful tool for researchers of any field. The citation plugin of Mendeley helps to generate citations and bibliographies in Word, LibreOffice, and LaTex. 

Reference Manager of Mendeley helps to organize research and collaborate with others of your notes and annotations. You can add papers from the browser, desktop, mobile, supported more than 8000 citation styles. The cross-platform support of this app makes it easier for you to work anywhere.

Bookends (iPhone / Web)

Bookends app to cite references or download papers
Bookends App

This reference management app that will let you search for your research from Amazon, Google Books, Google Scholar, JSTOR, the Library of Congress, arXiv, PubMed, PubMed Central, and Web of Science (requires access privileges and IP authentication) for references or download.

You can organize your references by groups, annotate pdfs directly within Backends. The free version of Backends returns a maximum of 20 references and only 50 references you can store on your local database. With the pro version of Bookends, you can cloud sync references and attachments, unlimited barcode scans and many more. 

Ref n Write (Download)

‘Ref n Write’ provides a list of academic phrase templates suitable for the text being processed. The phrase templates are extracted from high-quality scientific journal papers. Ref n Write tool offers plenty of writing ideas that the user can use to rewrite and reword the text into a format that is academically acceptable.

Citavi Reference Management and Knowledge Organization (Download)

Citavi is a reference management tool that combines referencing with task management. Citavi allows research students to search for sources, analyze content, structure ideas and write a paper. You can import PDFs by dragging and dropping files and add books and articles using ISBN.

When you find information on the web, you can use Citavi browser plugin to import quotations, pictures, and web pages to the Citavi library. You can annotate PDFs and save pictures to the Citavi library.

You can also make a note of your thoughts while reading a research paper using the Citavi Thoughts Option. You can add tasks to the tasks manager window to manage project deadlines. You can structure your paper by creating an outline in Citavi.

Then you can also drag and drop references, images, and quotations to relevant sections of the paper. So, you can download the paper outline as a Word and start adding in the missing bits of the paper.


I have curated a list of tools, apps, plugins, browser add-ons that can help you to create and manage citations for your next research paper with ease.

If I have missed any great app to create citations, please mention it in the comments section. I also created apps/tools to discover more content. Let me know if you liked it or not.

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Apps to create citations for research

by Mohit Sehgal time to read: 5 min