Developing well-rounded thinkers should be a goal teachers have when teaching K-12 writing. Students today have more online resources available to parse that the research writing process is more complicated than ever. With newer forms of media, including blog posts, tweets, and podcasts, finding, analyzing, and determining reliable sources from unreliable ones and then organizing sources and notes become quite the undertaking for budding researchers. On top of it all, students need to properly cite sources. With all the time that goes into vetting and reading sources and then putting together a paper, students often leave the dreaded task of building a bibliography or works cited page for last. It wouldn’t surprise teachers to discover that their students rushed through citations at the last minute and that their students are unsure if they even cited their sources correctly. If you haven’t considered one before, citation managers are a valuable tool for citing sources quickly and accurately.
What is a citation manager?
It’s important to know that there is a difference between a citation manager and a citation generator. Citation generators are only good for creating a single, one-time citation based on source data you’ve entered into the input fields like author, publish date or citation style. Citation managers on the other hand are much more robust offering a suite of tools to improve research and citation accuracy. Citation managers are effective tools for not only citation but also for keeping track of sources and collaborating with research partners which is especially helpful for older K-12 students and college students.
Using citation managers to cite sources faster
Citation generators offer a way to make citation less tedious, but students still need a strong foundation on citation styles and mediums to ensure correct information is input for reliable results. Click here for tips on how students can use citation generators properly. The most beneficial part about helping students to cite, organize and keep track of their sources is that they’ll have more time to focus on research and critical thinking, so they’re equipped to do their best research writing.
Choosing a citation manager
Citation managers can help students create accurate citations, but understanding the limitations of each is essential. Prioritizing your students’ needs can help you select the best options for your students. Some popular features of citation managers include creating bibliographies in different citation styles, folders to organize references, and Microsoft Word plug-ins to help students cite in their papers as they write. The more advanced research and collaboration students need, the more they’re going to find free citation generators lacking. Check out this infographic on Clarivate EndNote™ 20 that showcases advanced features that provide better organization, collaboration, and cross-platform compatibility, giving students a smarter way to research.
Clarivate™ | EndNote™
EndNote™ 20 Battlecard
|Free Online Bibliography Generators||EndNote™ 20|
|Limited citation styles||– Automatically build your bibliography using the library of 7,000+ reference types or your own customized style.|
|Bibliography created online only||– Insert in-text citations from your library with the Cite While You Write feature in Microsoft® Word. -Easily read, review, annotate and search PDFs in your library.|
|Limited to no access to online resources||-Search hundreds of online resources for referenced and PDFs. -Access full text research articles with one click.|
|No Cloud or sharing capabilities||-Access your research anytime, anywhere from the Cloud. Move seamlessly between online and the desktop and iOS applications. -Share some or all of your library with collaborators worldwide. -Track your teammates’ changes and view their activity in your shared library.|
|Limited to no error detection||-Keep your data accurate with automatic reference and link updating. -Ensure your bibliography is accurate with refreshed journal and referencing styles. -Retracted articles flagged both in library and Cite While You Write (CWYW) documents.|
|No Additional features||-Create rules to automatically organize references as you write. -Quickly deduplicate the content in your library by searching for unique identifiers. -Provide write or read-only access to your library. -Use the new Tabs feature for easier multitasking. -Match your paper with relevant, reputable journals using Manuscript Matcher. -Conduct large-scale literature reviews with ease and speed using the powerful analysis tools.|