Citation generators include anything that offers to create a citation for you. Publicly available ones include Citation Machine, EasyBib, Zotero, BibMe, NoodleTools, Scribbr, and more. Microsoft Word and Word for Mac also have the ability to create citations.
Fox Hunt and Library databases also offer citations for your sources.
This guide is designed to help you better understand how these work, how to use them more responsibly, and how to correct the mistakes they make.
Citation generators create a citation based upon the information that is input into them. This can be done one of two ways by those generators that are publicly available
This information is then matched to a field in the citation style and the generator applies the citation style's format. They do not correct the information so if something is in all capital letters, it will remain in all capital letters. If you leave out information or don't put something in the correct field, it will not correct it. It is relying on you or the website to give it the correct information.
In Fox Hunt and Library Databases, the citation is created for the individual source, but again you are relying on the person or computer that entered the information into Fox Hunt and the Library databases to have done it correctly, which is not always the case.
While these are useful tools to get started with your citations, it is important to check that these are correct as none of them are always 100% accurate. Common errors found in citations from these generators include:
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