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How do I Cite My Sources?: Use Databases to Generate Citations

Where to find information on citing sources in styles including APA, MLA, AMA, and Chicago.

Databases Can Generate Citations

Most databases will produce citations for the articles that you find inside them. Sometimes you can generate a citation for each article as you find it. Sometimes you can create a list of articles you are interested in and have the database produce a list of citations like a bibliography. Every database works differently, so you will need to discover which method works best in the database you are using. The boxes below have some common examples.

All of these tools can make mistakes. Consult a style guide/manual to proofread your citations before turning in an assignment.

Creating a List of Citations

When you have a list of search results in a database, you may be able to select all of the articles of interest (by checking boxes next to the title or by adding them to a folder) and then create a bibliography using a feature in the database.

screensnot of a database results list

(Example above is from Scopus.)

Citing a Single Source

When you click on an article's title inside a list of database search results, you are taken to an individual record describing that article. There is often a "Cite" feature in the available tools.

screenshot of a record in an Ebsco database for a single article record. The tool to cite the article is in the column of tools on the right side of the screen.

(Example above is from Academic Search Premier.)