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Citation Generators: Advantages and Disadvantages: OneSearch and Databases

This research guide offers an overview of the advantages and problems of citation creators or citation generators that are integrated in library OneSearch, databases, or are available online as free bibliographic tools to facilitate the creation of works

Citation Generator in OneSearch

Like other library platforms, CUNY OneSearch offers auto-citation generators, too. It is easy and fast. Its problem is apparent, too. Here is one example. 

Problems with this auto-citation provided by OneSearch include:

  1. APA 7, which is the current edition, is not included as an option, so it is not up-to-date.
  2. Book titles follow sentence case. 
  3. No Space is needed after the main title and before the ":" 
  4. Publication date doesn't match with the one in the record. 
  5. Description about the publisher being a division of a larger company is unnecessary. 
  6. Only edition of a book other than the first is needed.

Suggested citation in APA 6
Sales, N. (2018). American girls: Social media and the secret lives of teenagers. New York: Vintage Books. 

Suggested citation in APA 7
Sales, N. (2018). American girls: Social media and the secret lives of teenagers. Vintage Books. 

Note: APA 7 does not require the place of publication in the citation of books

Citation Generator in Databases


Many databases, such as EBSCOhost, ProQuest, and JSTOR, offer the auto-citation feature. Once you find the record that you want in the database, you can click the "Cite" icon or the right half of the quotation mark ", which is generally used as a symbol representing auto-citation creation in the online environment. All you need to do is copy and paste it where needed. However, the disadvantage is that different editions of citation styles may not be clearly defined in some databases. You have to use your own judgment wisely; otherwise, systematic error could be generated when you simply do the copy-and-paste. (The above example is taken from EBSCOhost)

Asst Prof/Head of Cataloging & Serials

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