ISBN’s and Citation Management Software

A colleague asked a question… she suggested I share my answer…

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a wonderful tool for writers and researchers to understand and use. The 13-digital number is unique to each book published, and it is associated with metadata about the book.

Metadata includes much that writers care about when creating the bibliography, references, or works cited section of a research paper, article, or book. Bibliography management tools allow researchers to enter an ISBN, then initiate a search that looks up the ISBN on one of many machine-readable online databases, and retrieves information about the author, title, date of publication, publisher, and other information.

That information is stored in the user’s collection of references, then it can be exported “on-demand.” The best citation management tools allow users to select the style guide to follow when exporting, so the same item can be added to an APA-formatted document or an MLA-formatted document with just a few mouse clicks.

The citation management tool I prefer is Zotero.

Zotero logo