Best Online APA Reference Generator

Looking for the best APA reference generator? You are in the right place. On this page, you will find the best bibliography creator that will definitely fit your needs.

Keep reading!

⚙️ 15 Best APA Citation Generators

To create a mistake-free reference list and make proper in-text citations, you don’t need to memorize the entire APA style manual. Instead, all you have to do is open an APA reference maker, fill in the required data, and generate a citation or reference.

But how to choose the right citation generator for your paper? The answer is simple: take a look at IvyPanda rank below:

APA Citation Generator File export Extensions Other citation styles available Pricing Ads IvyScore
Zotero HTML, TXT, BibLaTeX, Zotero RDF, MS Word
  • Desktop App
  • Chrome and Firefox extention
9,000+ styles Free, starting from $20/year for extra storage Ad-free 5
MyBiB Word, BibTeX, Mendeley, Zotero, Google Drive, Email, Print Chrome Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and others Free Ad-free 5
Bibliography MS Word Chrome MLA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, IEEE, AMA Free Ad-free 5
Citavi MS Word, RTF, LaTeX, and other formats
  • Desktop App
  • Web App
  • Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome extensions
11,500+ styles Starting from $89.00/year Ad-free 4
Papers MS Word, RTF, TXT, and other formats
  • Desktop App
  • Web App
  • SmartCite for Word
  • SmartCite for Google Docs
  • SmartCite for Citekeys
9,000+ styles Starting from $3/month Ad-free 4
Paperpile MS Word, RTF, TXT, and other formats
  • Desktop App
  • Web App
  • Word Plugin
  • Google Docs extention
  • iOS and Android App
7,000+ styles Starting from $2.99/month Ad-free 4
EndNote MS Word, RTF, TXT, and other formats
  • Desktop App
  • Web App
7,000+ styles Starting from 115,95 $ (one-time fee) Ad-free 4
Mendeley MS Word, Google Docs
  • Desktop App
  • Word Plugin
  • Chrome and Firefox extention
7,000+ styles Starting from $55/year Ad-free 4
Cite This for Me MS Word Chrome MLA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, IEEE, AMA Free Ads 4
CiteFast MS Word None MLA, Chicago Free Ads 3
Scribbr MS Word, BibTeX, BibLaTeX None MLA Free Ad-free 3
Citation Machine MS Word None APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard in free version Free for basic features Ads, pop-ups 3
BibMe MS Word None MLA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, IEEE, AMA Free for basic features, $9.95 a month Ads, pop-ups 3
KnightCite No option None MLA Free Ads 2
Citation Producer No option None MLA Free Ads 2

Now, let’s learn more about each service!

1. Zotero

The first APA referencing tool in our list is Zotero. Actually, this is a referencing system that will help you organize ALL your citations.

Zotero Referencing Management App.

This tool allows its users to create references, manage their research, and create bibliographies for any text editor with ease. With Zotero, you can create a citation in any style: APA, MLA, Chicago, and more! The software supports 9,000+ citation styles.

You can use it on any device: the desktop app works well on Mac, Windows, and Linux:

Zotero Screenshot.

If you prefer to make references as you do your online research, use Zotero browser extensions. It’s very convenient to access all your files, notes, and bibliographic records whenever you need them.

You need to register to get access to all software features. The basic subscription is free and has limitations of 300 MB. If this is not enough, you may upgrade storage—prices start from $20/year for 2GB.

Zotero key features:

  • Supports 9,000+ citation styles
  • Notes and tags to reference material
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Browser extensions.

2. MyBiB

If you don’t want to install any software, try MyBiB: this free APA format citation generator allows you to create a reference within a few clicks. With its help, you can make a single in-text citation or a complete reference list.

MyBiB APA Citation Generator.

You can fill in the citation in automatic mode or manualanoyly. If you prefer auto-fill mode, you have to type the keywords or insert the URL link to the source and select the appropriate result. MyBib will do the rest and ask for any information that the tool wasn’t able to find.

MyBib Screenshot.

You can save citations to MS Word, BibTeX, Mendeley, or Zotero. Moreover, you may print it or share it with your friends via the link or email.

MyBiB key features:

  • Supports popular citation styles
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, BibTeX, Mendeley, Zotero, Google Drive, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Browser extensions
  • Ad-free.

3. Bibliography

The next tool in our APA citation generator ranking is Bibliography. This online APA referencing tool will do all the tedious work for you. Similar to BibMe, it works in two modes: auto-fill and manual entry mode.

Bibliography APA Citation Tool.

Biography searches across various databases: Yahoo News, Amazon, FindArticles, etc. You need only to add some missing information if there’s any and create a citation.

The website is free and doesn’t require registration. However, you should register to get access to extra features:

  1. Cloud storage
  2. Multiple devices access
  3. Save & export your bibliographies
  4. Early access to new features.

Bibliography works well both on smartphones and desktop Pcs. You might want to try the Bibliography Chrome extension to save references in APA style as you do online research.

Bibliography Reference Generator Screenshot.

If you need a citation in other styles, you may choose one of the following: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, IEEE, AMA.

Bibliography key features:

  • Supports popular citation styles
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, BibTeX, Mendeley, Zotero, Google Drive, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Browser extensions
  • Ad-free.

4. Citavi

Citavi is an excellent reference system that allows you to focus on the research instead of browsing across the APA style guide. With its help, you will plan future research, take notes, store and organize your references.

Citavi reference system.

We gave it only four stars in our rank because the tool is a subscription-based system. You can try Citavi for free, but then you should purchase the software. Subscription cost starts from $89/year.

Citavi Pricing.

The reference organizer has both desktop and web versions, as well as Word and browser extensions. The software allows you to search for references by author, DOI, keywords, or URLs. In addition, you can create in-text citations or bibliographies in auto or manual modes and export them to LaTeX and other reference systems.

Citavi key features:

  • 11,500+ citation styles
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, LaTeX, Google Docs, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Browser extensions
  • Ad-free.

5. Papers

Papers is an excellent reference management system that will help you to collect and organize the research material in one place. The best part is that the service has mobile apps, so you can easily switch between devices.

Papers Reference Management System.

The service allows you to search across scholarly databases and download references in one click. In addition, you can use the built-in pdf-reader and make your notes as you read articles.

Need a citation in APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other style? No problem! The software supports over 9,000 citation styles.

Papers is subscription-based software. Prices start from $3/months. Use 30-days trial to see if the app fits your needs.

Papers key features:

  • 11,500+ citation styles
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Desktop and mobile apps
  • Browser extensions
  • Ad-free.

6. Paperpile

Another reference management system in our list is Paperpile. With its help, you can keep, organize, share your references with ease. The software works great with both Word and Google Docs. Also, you can install Paperpile on your smartphone and without losing access to your research.

Paperpile Reference Management System.

You can create both bibliographies and in-text citations in automatic or manual modes. Paperpile allows searching across scholarly databases by author, title, keywords, PubMed ID, or DOI. You can export citations to other reference management systems like RIS or BibTeX, or text format including Word, TXT, etc.

Paperpile for Google Docs.

If you prefer to write your essays using Google Docs, you should definitely try this service. Paperpile allows you to search for references directly from your document. Install the add-on, and it will appear on the sidebar.

Try the software for free and, if you like it, purchase a subscription that costs starting from $2.99/month.

Paperpile key features:

  • Thousands of citation styles, including custom citation style
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, Google Docs, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Desktop and mobile apps
  • Browser extensions
  • Ad-free.

7. EndNote

EndNote might look similar to other APA referencing software: it allows you to take notes, create citations, organize bibliographic records, and share your research. If you prefer using MS Word or Apple Pages, you can install a Cite-While-You-Write plug-in for these apps. With its help, you can create references and bibliographies within a few clicks.

EndNote Referencing Management Software

EndNote allows you to search across hundreds of online resources for references and PDFs and access their full texts. Convenient, right?

Need a proper APA citation or reference in other styles? No problem! EndNote supports over 7,000 styles.

EndNote is a paid solution. After a 30-day trial, you will have to purchase it. Prices start from $115.95 (one-time purchase).

EndNote key features:

  • Thousands of citation styles, including custom citation style
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Desktop and iPad apps.

8. Mendeley

Mendeley is a reference management software by Elsevier, a well-known publishing company that specializes in scientific, medical, and technical research content.

Mendeley APA reference management software

Mendeley allows you to cite in APA and the other ten most common styles. However, if you need the style that isn’t listed in the app, you may install the one from the software database or even create a custom citation style.

Need a plug-in for Microsoft Word? Install Mendeley Cite! With its help, you will be able to add citations and create bibliographies automatically. In addition, the plug-in synchs with the desktop app so that you won’t lose your research records.

Mendeley prices start from $55/year for 5 GB storage. If you need more space, check Mendeley’s premium prices page.

Mendeley key features:

  • Various citation styles, including custom citation style
  • Collection of reference materials
  • Plug-in for MS Word
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, etc.
  • Bibliography from the collection
  • Desktop apps for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

9. Cite This for Me

Cite This For Me allows you to select among APA, MLA, Chicago, ASA, Harvard, IEEE, and AMA academic citation styles. Choose the type of source you want to cite, fill in the required fields, and get your reference.

Cite This For Me Generator.

The tool took 9th place in our APA reference generator ranking due to a moderate number of source types. Similar to other online bibliography makers, it has typical export, download, and copy-paste features. However, Cite This For Me also offer their users Web Citer, a browser extension for one-click reference creation. Web Citer supports only four styles: APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago.

The app is free, and you may use it without registration. This option works well if you don’t plan to use the references in the future. If you need to save your bibliographies for a longer time, use a plagiarism checker, and other extras, you need to purchase their subscription. It costs $9.99/month.

Cite This For Me key features:

  • Various citation styles
  • Export to DOCX or RTF
  • Export to BibTeX
  • Browser extension.

10. CiteFast

CiteFast might seem a little outdated, but this app is still worth your attention. You can create title pages, as well as citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

CiteFast APA Reference Maker.

Generate citations in automatic mode by inserting URL, ISBN, title, and more. If you prefer manual mode, the website allows you to do it too.

CiteFast is a free online citation maker. With its help, you can download your references in MS Word, use the ‘Copy&Paste’ option, or save them to your account. Register if you don’t want to lose your bibliographies.

CiteFast key features:

  • Various citation styles
  • Download to MS Word
  • Free.

11. Scribbr

Scribbr is an online ad-free APA citation generator that will keep you away from tedious bibliography making. The website is free and works well on both desktop computers and mobile devices.

Scribbr APA Reference Maker.

You can fill in your references in auto-fill mode or manually. If you choose the auto-fill mode, choose the source type and insert URL, DOI, or keywords. In the next step, you will be offered to select the appropriate search result. Check the information, confirm it, and grab your citation.

The tool allows you to copy the citation in one click or export it to MS Word.

Scribbr key features:

  • APA, MLA citation styles
  • Download to MS Word
  • Ad-free
  • Free.

12. Citation Machine

Use Citation Machine to cite in APA for free. Users can reference books, magazines, websites, films, and more. You can choose either auto-fill or manual entry mode.

Citation Machine APA Generator.

Once you complete a citation, it is added to your online bibliography. Export it to MS Word or copy and paste it into a document. If you want to save your references, upgrade to Citation Machine Plus. The subscription costs $9.95/month and gives you access to extended features: 7,000 citation styles, plagiarism checker, and so on.

The main drawback of the free version is an abundance of ads. There’re many banners, and you have to watch an ad every 48 hours to continue citing sources. The website doesn’t allow using ad-blocking software.

Citation Machine key features:

  • APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard citation styles
  • Download to MS Word
  • Free.

13. BibMe

BibMe is a free automatic citation generator that works with APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. Similar to Citation Machine, it provides two ways to create a reference: auto-fill and manual entry modes.

BibMe APA Citation Generator.

You can use the website without registration. However, loads of ads may be very distracting. Premium subscription costs $9.95/month and guarantees access to 7,000 citation styles and additional perks like plagiarism and grammar check, export citations to MS Word, etc.

BibMe key features:

  • APA, MLA, Chicago citation styles
  • Copy and paste citations
  • Free.

14. KnightCite

The KnightCite is a citation maker maintained by Hekman Library at Calvin University. This simple tool was created by a student to ease the bibliography creation process.

KnightCite Citation Maker

The interface looks a bit outdated and isn’t adapted for mobile devices. Also, KnightCite doesn’t allow you to create a citation in auto-fill mode. So, on the one hand, it might take more time to cite the source. On the other hand, you can be sure that you will get an accurate reference.

KnightCite key features:

  • APA, MLA, Chicago citation styles
  • Copy and paste citations
  • Free
  • Ad-free.

15. Citation Producer

Citation Producer is the last tool on our list. This is a free, simple, online APA reference generator. It has a simplistic interface and allows you to cite only in the five most popular types of sources.

Citation Producer.

To create a citation, you need to enter the URL or title of the book, magazine, newspaper, or journal article. In the next step, you will be directed to a short form with additional details. Complete it to get a reference.

The tool doesn’t require registration but has a lot of ads.

Citation Producer key features:

  • APA, MLA citation styles
  • Copy and paste citations
  • Free.

📝 How to Choose the Perfect Citation Generator?

As you can see, every citation management tool has multiple features and options. To choose among so many, you need to determine what criteria are important to you. The questions below will help you do so:

❓ Do you want a tool that works online or offline? Some citation makers are only available online, while others can store your references on your laptop. By the way, did you know that you can easily create a citation using MS Word?

❓ Which devices will you use to create references? Check if the desired tool can be used from multiple computers and devices. Some can work on your mobile device, while others can only store your bibliography on your computer.

❓ Can the reference maker save citations from a webpage? Most of the tools allow you to create citations from web sources. Some require you to fill in all the fields manually, while others offer auto-fill mode.

❓ Does the citation tool work for group projects? It’s convenient to be able to share your references when you work on a group research project. Several APA reference generators can share your reference lists and citations with other users or open them to public access.

☝️ 5 Tips on How to Use APA Reference Creators Properly

APA citation builders can save you lots of time, but you need to remember that they are merely tools. Below, IvyPanda Academic Experts share their advice on how to use these reference generators wisely:

1. Double-check the data you enter.

It may seem obvious, but you will get an inaccurate citation if you mistype the article’s title or misplace the author’s first and last names. In addition, if you are citing a book, don’t look for the reference data on an online site that sells that book. Doing so increases the chances of missing or omitting important information like the editor’s name or edition number.

2. Make sure to use the correct edition and version of the source.

If you use an APA cite generator that enables auto-fill mode, you should double-check the page numbers, authors’ and editors’ names, versions, etc.

3. Review the citation you receive.

Although it rarely happens, a citation generator can make an error. For example, we have seen them forget to capitalize appropriately or display page numbers incorrectly.

4. Check the APA in-text citation format.

When writing an essay, you still need to use the correct APA in-text citation format. Be vigilant about inserting your citation into your text according to the citation style guidelines. For example, the citation generator may not tell you that you need to highlight specific information, especially when citing multiple works by the same author.

5. Use multiple reference generators.

Here’s a pro tip: Using two or three APA reference generators will help you verify the reference you receive. In addition, we suggest checking the final citations and bibliography page against the APA editorial style guidelines to avoid mistakes.

📑 Common Errors when Using APA Reference Generators

Now, let’s talk about the mistakes students make when they use online citation makers. As you might have guessed, the most common error is not checking the result. However, there are other potential mistakes you should try to avoid:

❌ Using outdated tools and/or citation styles

Let’s imagine a situation: You’ve just finished writing your history essay in MLA format and then immediately start to work on your social science assignment, which requires APA style. It’s easy to forget to switch styles!

Another similar error is not checking whether the selected tool is using the updated style guidelines. There’s a difference between MLA 7th and 8th editions and APA 6th and 7th editions. That’s why you should carefully check the style guide of your reference maker to verify that it meets your professor’s requirements.

❌ Using non-reputable sources

APA reference makers produce citations according to the information you give them. They do not evaluate the sources. It is up to you to check and see if the source you’re going to use is peer-reviewed and provides transparent, well-documented evidence.

❌ Missing important information

Some citation management tools allow you to use their auto-fill entry mode. However, you will almost always need to add some information about the author, editor, page numbers, publisher, etc. Make sure you have filled in the form correctly and that there are no empty fields.

⁉️ What Is APA Reference Style?

In short, the APA citation style is the official American Psychologist Association reference format. Most education, psychology, and social science papers are formatted according to this style.

History of APA style

The American Psychologist Association (APA), the most prominent professional psychologist organization in the USA, was founded by Clark University. Just imagine, during its first year, the American Psychological Association had only 31 members, all of which were psychologists!

Nowadays, the organization is based in Washington, DC, and has over 130,000 members, including educators, scientists, clinicians, and psychology students.

Back in 1929, a group of anthropologists, psychologists, and business managers decided to produce guidelines that would cover the elements of scientific writing and improve reading comprehension. As a result of this decision, they published an article in Psychological Bulletin, in which they outlined the basics of the style rules. Later, in 1952, these guidelines were expanded into the first edition of the APA Publication Manual.

In August 2019, the APA released the 7th edition of the Publication Manual. The book is translated into 13 languages: Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Thai, Chinese (complex and simplified), Japanese, Turkish, Korean, and Arabic.

APA Style Characteristics.

Basic Features of APA Documentation Style

Similar to other citation styles, the APA editorial style regulates the use of the following elements to ensure the clear and concise presentation of written works:

  • Abbreviations and punctuation
  • Headings, abstracts, tone, length
  • Tables and figures
  • Referencing, etc.

So, what are the basic features of the APA documentation style?

First, it divides every research paper into eight parts: title page, abstract, introduction, research method, study results, ideas for further discussion, reference list, and appendices.

Second, it sets the rules for text formatting. For example, each page should be numbered and should have a header that includes the paper’s title.

APA formatting requires you to double-space the paper and prohibits extra spaces between paragraphs. Arial or Times New Roman fonts are used with 12-point text, and the standard margins are one inch.

APA Referencing FAQ

📌 What Is the APA Style of Referencing?
APA referencing style is a writing and formatting style for academic papers: scholarly articles, books, etc. Usually, it is used for citing sources and bibliographies within the field of social sciences.
📌 How to write references in APA format?
The basic rule when writing in-text citations in APA is to follow the author-date method. Place the author’s last name and the year of publication in the body of your paper, for example: (Hodges, 2015), and don’t forget to place the complete reference in the reference list.
📌 How to make an APA reference page?

The reference list in APA should include all the sources you cited in the paper. Start a new page after the body text and place the label ‘References’ at the top. Make sure it is centered and is in bold. Your references should be listed in alphabetical order.

Don’t forget to double-space the text and apply a 0.5” hanging indent.

📌 What if the Date Is Unknown in APA Referencing?
Sometimes, the exact date of publishing is unknown. However, if there’s no date posted or updated, use the abbreviation n.d. in parenthesis. Here’s the example: (Patel, n.d.). The abbreviation ‘n.d.’ stands for ‘no date.’