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Environmental Studies

What is a citation style and how to choose one?

A citation style (or format) specifies what information should appear in your citation, how that information is ordered and how it is formatted (punctuation, italics, etc.). APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver and CSE are examples of citations styles.

To know which citation style to use, consult with your professor. If your professor doesn’t have a preferred citation style, APA is normally recommended as it is well documented. CSE is a citation style that is preferred in the field of biology.

Citation style - APA

Citation style - CSE

Citation management software

Not sure which citation software to use? At McGill, we support EndNote, but if you want to know more about the other ones available before you chose. This chart from UOttawa that list the characteristics of the 4 more popular ones can be helpful. If you have questions, don't hesitate to talk to your librarian about it!

Access
Zotero Mendeley EndNote Web EndNote Desktop
Free Yes Yes Yes No
Desktop version Yes Yes No Yes
Web-based access (in some cases, online storage may be limited) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Yes Yes No Yes
French-language option Yes No No No
Everyday use Zotero Mendeley EndNote Web EndNote Desktop
Import from databases (in some cases, might not always work well) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import from Web pages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import from PDF Yes Yes No Yes
Attach files (ex. PDFs) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create a bibliography Yes Yes Yes Yes
Word processor plugin Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of citation styles available 8400+ 8000+ 3400+ 6000+
Ability to edit citation style Yes Yes No Yes
Export citations to Excel Yes Yes Yes Yes
Duplicate feature Yes upon import Yes Yes
Syncing, collaborating and sharing Zotero Mendeley EndNote Web EndNote Desktop
Access on multiple devices Yes Yes Yes Yes
Offline access Yes Yes No Yes
Collaborative group work or sharing citations Yes Yes Yes Yes

Source: University of Ottawa. (2017). Citation manager comparison chart.
This table was updated on Feb. 2, 2017

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