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Scribendi Reviews: Citation Software

Written by Scribendi

Creating and organizing citations is necessary in most academic writing, but doing it correctly can sometimes be a hassle, to say the least. It is often difficult to organize and format citations exactly to your journal's or professor's specifications.

Luckily, many citation software programs can help ease your frustration, including . . . 


Flowcite is an integrated academic research, writing, editing, and publishing platform that brings together all the information, resources, and technical formatting tools needed to prepare an academic paper. By connecting the most innovative software for collaborative research, writing, and publishing into one intuitive interface, Flowcite offers a new ‘all-in-one’ approach to academic research and writing.

This all-in-one approach is a huge time saver for academic writers. As noted on their website, using Flowcite to optimize routine administrative and formatting tasks can save up to 80% of researchers' time spent on non-writing activities. The comprehensive nature of Flowcite will allow you to easily handle every step of the academic writing process so you can focus on your research.

Best of all, Flowcite is accessible to everyone for free. However, you can upgrade your account if you require additional storage and unrestricted usage.


CiteULike is another online citation service. It allows registered users to store references, search for new references, and share references with peers studying in similar fields. This service is especially useful for students or academics with many references to organize—CiteULike's specialty.

Some of CiteULike's impressive features include the Search and Trade options. The Search option allows you to search for articles using "CiteGeist." For example, if you are researching a paper on cloud computing, you can find the most frequently posted articles on this subject. Because they are the most frequently posted, they are likely to be relevant to your topic. The range of topics CiteGeist offers appears to be fairly broad as well, which is useful for academics in all fields.

The Trade option allows members who are conducting research in the same field to share references that they have discovered. This brings to mind the old adage "two heads are better than one," except, in this case, you have access to an entire network of heads.


Zotero is an online add-on that offers bibliography management (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago). It allows users to create a library of references that can be managed and, most importantly, specifically formatted. 

The citation software consists of two separate Firefox add-ons. The first is a management system for references and bibliographies that can be used to store individual references or entire bibliographies. Bibliographies can then be exported directly to emails, papers, or other websites. The second add-on can be used for bibliography creation. In terms of an entirely browser-based add-on, Zotero does an excellent job.

Zotero also works as a plug-in for programs such as Word and can be used to format your citations to your preferred style. This means that if your professor has requested your paper be formatted according to the APA style guide, Zotero can create a bibliography that complies with APA guidelines. The user simply has to input the information, and Zotero does the rest. This is likely what most people are looking for in a referencing program, and it delivers.

Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Desktop can be used to manage and store references, create bibliographies, and format references into specific styles. In fact, its style database is stocked with over 1,000 different style variations, which could prove very useful to any academic who must subscribe to an obscure style that isn't widely used. The main interface opens when the desktop icon is clicked, and it is easily navigable with user-friendly icons and prompts.

Mendeley Cite, much like Zotero, is a plug-in for Word that serves as a bibliography builder and reference formatter. Mendeley Desktop also features an extensive library of references as well as a social networking element for researchers.

All in all…

Should you continue to have issues with formatting and bibliography creation, feel free to send your work, along with your desired style guide, to our academic proofreaders at Scribendi. We will be happy to format and organize your citations for you to ensure your work is publication-ready. 



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