Free Bibliography Cites

For the policy page about citing Wikipedia within Wikipedia articles, please see WP:CIRCULAR.

For the citation-generation tool to create a citation from any article, please see Special:CiteThisPage

Caution is advised when using Wikipedia as a source. In many academic institutions, references to Wikipedia, along with most encyclopedias, are unacceptable for research papers. This does not mean that Wikipedia material should be used without citation: plagiarism of Wikipedia material is also academically unacceptable.
Wikipedia has a tool to generate citations for particular articles. For the cite tool, see Special:Cite, or follow the "Cite this page" link in the toolbox on the left of the page in the article you wish to cite.

We advise special caution when using Wikipedia as a source for research projects. Normal academic usage of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias is for getting the general facts of a problem and to gather keywords, references and bibliographical pointers, but not as a source in itself. Remember that Wikipedia is a wiki. Anyone in the world can edit an article, deleting accurate information or adding false information, which the reader may not recognize. Thus, you probably shouldn't be citing Wikipedia. This is good advice for all tertiary sources such as encyclopedias, which are designed to introduce readers to a topic, not to be the final point of reference. Wikipedia, like other encyclopedias, provides overviews of a topic and indicates sources of more extensive information. See researching with Wikipedia and academic use of Wikipedia for more information.

If you do decide to cite Wikipedia, remember that its articles are constantly changing: cite exact time, date, and the article version you are using. Page history and toolbox features "cite this article" and "permanent link" are very useful for finding that information.

If you decide to quote or paraphrase Wikipedia text (despite all the warnings above applying to the information in Wikipedia), then you must cite Wikipedia appropriately; otherwise you plagiarise.

Problems with citing Wikipedia

As with any source, especially one of unknown authorship, you should be wary and independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information if possible. For many purposes, but particularly in academe, Wikipedia may not be an acceptable source;[1] indeed, some professors and teachers may reject Wikipedia-sourced material completely.[2] This is especially true when it is used without corroboration. Most educators and professionals do not consider it appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopedias as a sole source for any information—citing an encyclopedia as an important reference in footnotes or bibliographies may result in censure or a failing grade. However, much of the content on Wikipedia is itself referenced, so an alternative is to cite the reliable source rather than the article itself.

A wiki is an unusual medium, and as such doesn't conform well to the usual book-citation formats. Wiki is not paper, so you will need to use an electronic-citation format instead. The exact format will depend upon the citation guide that you are following, but here are a few general principles to consider:

  • A special citation tool is available to assist you. On the left of every article, there is a "Cite this page" link. Clicking it will bring you to a listing of relevant information, as well as automatically generated citations in several styles. Note that it is still your responsibility to ensure the citation meets all requirements.
  • You should not cite any particular author or authors for a Wikipedia article, in general. Wikipedia is collaboratively written. However, if you do need to find the list of authors of a particular article, you can check the Page history. Authors are listed only by IP address or chosen user name; you normally cannot verify and often cannot even guess at their identities.
  • Your citation should normally list both the article title and Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, much as you would for an article in a paper publication. Every article should be a separate citation.
  • Most citation styles will likely require the full article URL. You can click "Permanent link" in the toolbox at the left of this page. This lets the URL include a unique identifier such that you can tie your reference back to the exact version of the article you are referencing. It may or may not be desirable to adopt this approach, depending upon the context of your reference. This lets you show what you saw and ignore any changes made after you accessed the page. If greater brevity is desired, you can use the regular URL, or optionally just the site URL (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/ for an English article), because an article URL can be inferred from an article title.
  • The citation style may request the full date and time of the article revision you are using. If you use the permanent link feature, this may not be necessary. However, the date and time of the last revision can be found at the bottom of every page (above the copyright notice).

Examples of alternatives to citing Wikipedia

Some Wikipedia articles (list) have been published in peer reviewed academic literature. In that case, it is possible to cite the published article. eg:

Examples of how to cite Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a tool to generate citations for particular articles. For the cite tool, see Special:Cite, or follow the "Cite this page" link in the toolbox on the left of the page in the article you wish to cite.

The following examples assume you are citing the Wikipedia article on Plagiarism, using the version that was submitted on July 22, 2004, at 10:55 UTC, and that you retrieved the article on August 10, 2004, except as otherwise noted.

APA style

Citation in APA style, as recommended by the American Psychological Association: [3]

  • Plagiarism. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism[4]

Note that in APA 5th Edition style, the following rules apply for the reference:

  • For reference books, which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries, the book title is preceded by the word In. It is not italicized, but the book title following it is.
  • The book title appears in sentence case. You capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.
  • The URL must go to the exact page that you reference.
  • No punctuation follows the URL.
  • The term or article title appears in the author position. Use sentence case for multiple-word terms or titles, where you capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.

The proper in-text citation is ("Plagiarism," 2004) for a paraphrased passage or ("Plagiarism," 2004, para. #) if you directly quote the material. Note that para. # represents the paragraph number in the page where the information appears. If there are multiple headings on the page, it is also acceptable to place the subheading and then a paragraph number within that heading.

For example, proper in-text citation for a direct quote of fewer than 40 words is:

"Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work (this could be his or her words, products or ideas) for personal advantage, without proper acknowledgment of the original work" ("Plagiarism," 2004, "Definition," para. 1).

If the quoted material is more than 40 words, use the block quote format instead.

As another example, the proper in-text citation for a paraphrased passage is:

Plagiarism is stealing the works of others ("Plagiarism," 2004).

APA Style requires that you provide a separate reference entry for each term you are citing in your paper because 1) you must provide a URL for each term that goes directly to the term, and 2) you must provide the publication date for each term separately. However, if you are discussing the "online encyclopedia" itself, not a term in the encyclopedia, you might need to reference the site itself. The proper citation of Wikipedia, the site, as referenced in APA 5th Edition Style is:

  • Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. (2004, July 22). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from https://www.wikipedia.org

The in-text citation formation would be (Wikipedia, 2004).

MLA style

Citation in MLA style, as recommended by the Modern Language Association, 8th edition:

  • "Plagiarism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004, en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350

The eighth edition published in 2016 calls for urls to omit “http://” or “https://”.

Note that MLA style calls for both the date of publication (or its latest update) and the date on which the information was retrieved.

Be sure to double check the exact syntax your institution requires.

For citation of Wikipedia as a site, use:

  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004.

MHRA style

Citation in MHRA style, as recommended by the Modern Humanities Research Association:

  • Wikipedia contributors, 'Plagiarism', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 July 2004, 10:55 UTC, <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350> [accessed 10 August 2004]

Chicago style

Citation in Chicago style:

  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. "Plagiarism," (accessed August 10, 2004), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350

Note that the Chicago Manual of Style states that "Well-known reference books, such as major dictionaries and encyclopedias, are normally cited in notes rather than bibliographies."

CBE/CSE Style

Citation in CBE/CSE style, as recommended by the Council of Science Editors:

  • Wikipedia contributors. Plagiarism [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2004 Jul 22, 10:55 UTC [cited 2004 Aug 10]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350.

Turabian style

The following are examples of how to cite Wikipedia articles according to A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th edition, by Kate L. Turabian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). ISBN 0226816265 (cloth), ISBN 0226816273 (paper).

Note on Turabian style: Please understand that Turabian does not have rules that cover anything like Wikipedia. These examples are based on "reading between the lines" and assimilating rules from various not-so-similar cases that Turabian does cover. If the party to which you are submitting your paper is particularly strict, you might want to find out if they have their own adaptation of Turabian that would apply in this case. Alternately, you could always consult with the party before the deadline to make sure it's acceptable.

Notes

1"Plagiarism," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia; (Wikimedia Foundation Inc., updated 22 July 2004, 10:55 UTC) [encyclopedia on-line]; available from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism; Internet; retrieved 10 August 2004.

2Wikipedia contributors, "Marketing."Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing (Accessed August 10, 2004)

Bibliography

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Updated 22 July 2004, 10:55 UTC. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered Species. Internet. Retrieved 10 August 2004.

(According to Turabian 6th edition, ¶9.8, for entries in the bibliography, "the first line of each entry is flush left, and any run over lines are indented five spaces". This presentation does not follow that rule.)

Parenthetical reference

("Plagiarism," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)

or

(Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. "Plagiarism")

Reference list

Plagiarism. 22 July 2003, 10:55 UTC. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism. Internet. Retrieved 10 August 2004.

(Indenting is like that of the bibliography.)

Legal citation styles

The Harvard Journal of Law & Technology has adopted the following format for citations to articles in Wikipedia:

  • [Signal] Wikipedia, [article], https://en.wikipedia/wiki/[article] [(optional other parenthetical)] (as of [date], [time] GMT).

Here is an example:

  • See Wikipedia, Bluebook, https://en.wikipedia/wiki/Bluebook (describing history and application of the Bluebook) (as of Mar. 21, 2006, 20:50 GMT).

This format reflects Rule 18.2 of the 18th and 19th edition of the Bluebook, but uses "as of" rather than "last updated"/"last visited" in the date parenthetical. This change allows specification of the exact version of the article to which the author is referring.

The date and time used should correspond exactly to the latest version listed in the article's Wikipedia history page that states the proposition for which you are citing it. Use of GMT conforms to the timestamp format used in those history entries (e.g., use 24-hour notation to avoid AM/PM).

BibTeX entry

@misc{wiki:###,author="Wikipedia contributors",title="Plagiarism --- {W}ikipedia{,} The Free Encyclopedia",year="2004",url="https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350",note="[Online; accessed 22-July-2004]"}

When using LaTeX, the "url" package can be used to improve web address formatting by putting "" somewhere in the LaTeX source preamble, then using this syntax:

@misc{ wiki:###, author = "Wikipedia contributors", title = "Plagiarism --- {W}ikipedia{,} The Free Encyclopedia", year = "2004", url = "\url{https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=5139350}", note = "[Online; accessed 22-July-2004]" }

AMA style

Citation in AMA style, as recommended by the American Medical Association: [5]

See also

Reference resources
Disclaimers
Related essays

References

External links

  1. ^Bould, Dylan M., et al., References that anyone can edit: review of Wikipedia citations in peer reviewed health science literature, 2014, British Medical Journal, 6 March 2014, 348 DOI, online from BMJ
  2. ^"Anthropology 333 syllabus from American River College"(PDF). Retrieved 2006-02-07.  [dead link]
  3. ^"APA Style Help". APA Style. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  4. ^McAdoo, Timothy. "How to Cite Wikipedia in APA Style". APA Style. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  5. ^"AMA Style Guide". University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 

The Best Free Online Bibliography And Citation Tools 

Free online bibliography and citation tools have become an integral part of every eLearning project, especially if you are on a tight eLearning budget. eLearning content developers make extensive use of these platforms to avoid being accused of stealing somebody else’s ideas. However, cost keeps rising if you add fancy citation tools with elegant and advanced features. So, here are the best free online bibliography and citation tools that are bound to get the job done without any extra burden on your eLearning budget.

1. BibMe

One of the most functional free online bibliography and citation tools on the Internet. All the features an eLearning content developer needs are there.

  • 4 Citation Styles
    Whether you are using MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago, BibMe can help you reference your work effectively.
  • Variety Of Sources
    Journals, websites, books and many other sources covering both digital and print format.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    Check your content for plagiarism against a great deal of sources on the Internet to avoid using somebody else’s words.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    Most of the features are available in the free version.

2. Citation Machine

This is definitely one of the most easy to use free online bibliography and citation tools.

  • Vast Citation Style Variety
    Citation Machine can help eLearning content developers reference in all 4 major styles, namely APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian. However, it provides an immense library of 7.000 additional citation styles for many different fields.
  • Resources And Guides
    The platform offers a guide on how to properly cite in APA, MLA and Chicago.
  • Plagiarism Checker
    Much like BibMe, this platform also offers this feature that only comes if you subscribe though.
  • Numerous Sources
    Citation Machine allows you to cite content from books, magazines, newspapers, journals, films and many other sources.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available
    Citation Machine offers many of its great features for free.

3. Citavi

Citavi is multi-purpose free online bibliography and citation tool eLearning content developers can use for their knowledge organization needs. It is also a reference manager and a task management platform.

  • Research Process Management
    From importing sources, referencing them properly and then exporting them, to managing content and allocating tasks in a team, this free online bibliography and citation tool does much more than help you create a works-cited page.
  • Many Options To Add References
    Citavi gives you the chance to choose the way you want to add references. It features 35 options to include automatical or manual referencing as well as using a bar code scanner or PDF referencing.
  • Knowledge Organizer
    Two groundbreaking options that are Citavi exclusives enable you to organize knowledge in an efficient way. Keywording and a hierarchical category system will aid you in adding your own thoughts to the platform.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version Available And Various Premium Options
    Citavi will not charge you anything for up to 100 references. Then, you have various premium membership options for commercial use, education as well as student and personal use.

4. Citefast

While having a relatively simplistic interface, this platform offers all the major functions of a good free online bibliography and citation tool.

  • 3 Citation Styles
    APA, MLA and Chicago to cover all your basic reference needs as well as an in-text citation generator.
  • Good Variety Of Sources
    Webpages, books, journals, newspapers and online videos along with many other digital and print sources.
  • Style Guides For All 3 Citation Styles
    Comprehensive list of style tips for APA, MLA and Chicago.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Programs
    Citefast offers all of its features for free.

5. Citelighter

An award-winning multi-purpose free online bibliography and citation tool that also functions as an excellent writing aid tool.

  • Automatic Bibliographies And Writing Templates
    Citelighter will generate your bibliographies automatically leaving you more time for writing. It also features great writing template variety to help you organize your thoughts effectively.

Features And Plans

  • Demo Version And 1 Premium Option Available
    Although Citelighter has a paid version, you do have the chance to test out many of its great features for free. Citelighter offers a very competitive package in a very affordable price which they claim is 80% less than similar market solutions. By contacting them you can find out about the price specifics.

6. Docear

Open-source academic literature management and free online bibliography and citation tool with lots of interesting features that can assist eLearning content developers in referencing their eLearning materials.

  • Single-Section User Interface
    Easy-to-use layout that allows users to organize documents and categorize annotations. It also enables multiple viewing of various annotations in different documents.
  • Available In Various Platforms
    Windows, Mac, and Linux to suit the needs of any eLearning content developer.

Features And Plans

  • No Premium Subscription Required
    Docear doesn’t have any premium membership options, but it does give you the chance to donate for its running and maintenance costs.

7. Recipes4Success

What’s radical about this free online bibliography and citation tool is that it gives you the chance to even reference sources like sound effects, music pieces, images and email messages.

  • Automatically Formatted Citations
    You still have to type in all the information but Recipes4Success formats it for you.
  • Simple And Easy-To-Use Interface
    Recipe4Success’s user-friendly interface is applicable to all sorts of needs.

Features And Plans

  • No Premium Subscription Required
    No fee is required for users to utilize Recipes4Success’s features.

8. OttoBib

While we are in the digital era a great deal of information comes from print publications such as books. OttoBib is one ofthose free online bibliography and citation tools that are used specifically for book sources.

  • ISBN Citations
    OttoBib enables eLearning content developers to reference their content just by providing the ISBN number of the book they used.
  • 6 Citation Styles
    MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, Wikipedia and BibTeX to cover all your basic citation needs.
  • Google Chrome Extension
    This add-on allows you to create citations from the comfort of your favorite web browser.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    OttoBib does not require any premium subscriptions.

9. RefDot

Although you wouldn’t actually call it a free online bibliography and citation tool, eLearning content developers can definitely benefit from this Google Chrome extension.

  • Numerous Citation Options
    RefDot allows you to cite books, journals and web sites.
  • Reference Storing
    References are stored in your Google Chrome browser.
  • Lots Of Features
    Simultaneous author management, XML, standard text and HTML format viewing.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    RefDot is a 100% free Google Chrome extension.

10. Zotero

Browser plugin and a great free online bibliography and citation tool that helps eLearning content developers gather, manage and share their research sources.

  • Personalized Resource Libraries
    By embedding this plugin you are able to store digital sources of virtually any kind in your library by a single click.
  • Support For Many Sites
    From university libraries to news sites, Zotero provides all the research assistance you need.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    Zotero is a free online bibliography and citation tool. As such it does not require any memberships.

11. EasyBib

Free online bibliography and citation tools constitute a functional way for people wanting to reference various types of content, both digital and print. EasyBib provides a well-rounded solution for all your citation needs.

  • 59 Content Sources
    Content sources range from traditional types such as books and journal articles all the way to live performances and newsletters.
  • Manual Cite
    Although Easybib provides automatically formatted citations, you also have the option to manually cite your references and even add annotations.

Features And Plans

  • No Subscription Required
    EasyBib offers its citation features for free.

12. CiteThisForMe

CiteThisForMe is one of those free online bibliography and citation tools that offer a plethora of features for reference management.

  • Functional Interface
    Citethisforme showcases a great layout. Everything you need is easily accessible from the comfort of your own dashboard.
  • Practical Features
    Great variety in sources, citation styles and editing options. What’s more, if you pay for a subscription you can get additional features such as a plagiarism checker, a Chrome add-on and a mobile application.

Features And Plans

  • Free Version And 1 Premium Option Available
    Although CiteThisForMe comes with a free version, there is also 1 premium option available. For $9 you can purchase the premium version and get 5 plagiarism checks per month, spelling and grammar checks as well as various other features.

Free online bibliography and citation tools are the most effective way for eLearning content developers to give credit to people whose ideas they used. More importantly, these platforms offer great and functional features with no additional expenses, which is extremely important for maintaining a low eLearning budget for an eLearning project.

Free online bibliography and citation tools are just one type of tool eLearning content developers should have in their bunker. Another one is free tools to create infographics. Read the article List Of Free Tools To Create Infographics For Your Learners and find out about the best free tools to produce quality infographics for online learners.

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