This guide helps students and faculty locate and utilize the tools and features available in some of our databases that allow you to build a citation in a particular format. After making use of these tools, you can oftentimes copy and paste a complete citation (in APA, MLA or other format) directly into your preferred word processing software.
Click on a tab above to see instructions specific to a particular vendor platform.
Sawyer Library also has two online resources that actually help students build and store their bibliographies. Both are described in our separate Citation, Style Manual, and Grammar Resource Guide, along with general websites and reference print resources that help with citation tasks. NoodleBib is a basic tool that leads the user through building citations and then allows you to store them. RefWorks is a more complex resource that allows users to export references from many databases and then format them, organize them, store them, and share them. Since RefWorks has a steeper learning curve, it is not advised that students try to use it for the first time right before a paper is due. To learn more about using RefWorks, please see our RefWorks Resource Guide.
Although most databases have an export function for citation information, not all have an actual citation-builder tool. JSTOR is an example of one of these databases. The "Other Databases like JSTOR" tab illustrates how to get the citation information you need from any academic database.
CAUTION: If a database uses a computer algorithm to devise a citation for you, that's a wonderful time-saver. However, whether you are using a citation-builder tool from these databases or a citation manager like RefWorks or Zotero, be aware that computer tools DO GET THINGS WRONG. So, always compare your citations to the citation style guide that your professor wants you to use. You are responsible for the accuracy of the references at the end of your paper.