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BIOL 2309: Biology Project Lab

What are Citation Styles and What are Citation Managers?

Citation Styles

Citation styles are the formats used by journals to acknowledge work done by previous authors. All research is a part of a larger conversation in your field, in which current projects are simultaneously informed by previous research work and will inform future research work as well. Some popular ones in biology are Cell, Science, and Nature styles. Check with your professor to see which citation style they prefer you use. 

Citation Managers

If you have only ever cited in APA or MLA style, that is okay! The concept of citing work that is not yours will be the same, but the format will change. Use a citation manager to help you easily format your in-text citations and bibliography as well as switch between citation styles. Citation managers are also organizational tools to help you keep track of your literature research in addition to automatically formatting citations in your paper.
There are four citation managers supported by the Northeastern University Library: Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley, and RefWorks. Which one of these you choose may vary based on your needs and preferences, but you can use the comparison chart below to help you decide which one is the best fit for you.

Each of the guides below will help you learn how to download and get started using the product:

Both EndNote and Zotero have been popular choices for biology students. If you are in a research lab or working on a group project, we recommend using the citation manager used by others in your lab or group, as you cannot use multiple citation managers in a single Word or Google doc.