VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Dream to Goal Scholars

Citation Management Tools

A citation manager, such as one of those listed below, can save a lot of time and effort. Although VCU Libraries provides RefWorks, other citation management tools are just as good. If you use the same citation manager as your colleagues, it's easier to share references and to help each other with technology bugs. 

With ANY computerized citation tool, you will need to review and correct the draft citations it generates. Especially in subscripts, superscripts, and italicized terms these tools make errors. 

Checking your References

 General Check for Any Citation Style

  • Did you cite everything, including figures and images, that you did not create?
  • Is everything cited in your text included in the Liturature Cited?
  • Is everything listed in the Literature Cited cited somewhere in your text?
  • Does every citation include complete information?
  • Are all of your citations formatted the same way?

Specific Check for Author-Date Format in Scientific Articles

  • Do your in-text citations include the authors' surname(s) and the year in parentheses?
  • Is your Literature Cited organized alphabetically by the surname of the first author of each article?
  • Are all of your citations in the Liturature Cited organized consistently with authors names, followed by year, then (article and journal) titles, then volume number, and ending with page numbers?
  • In the text, are there semicolons between citations if you include more than one source in a single citation. 
  • In the Literature Cited, did you use the authors' initials instead of their first and middle names?
  • Are there spaces between the letters of the authors' initials?
  • Did you use sentence-style capitalization for article titles?
  • Did you properly capitalize and italicize species names and non-English words in article titles?
  • Did you use title-style capitalization for journal and book titles?
  • Is there a period at the end of an article title, before the beginning of a journal title?

Avoiding Plagiarism