How to Research and Cite Articles in Google Docs

Opening the Explore Panel

At one stage in Google Doc’s life, it had a panel called “Research” that allowed you to do just that. These days it has the somewhat confusing name “Explore” but still fills the niche of doing research within Google Docs. To open the Explore panel, click on “Tools” at the top, then “Explore.”

An Explore panel will open on the right side.

Authentication

Interacting with the Zotero functionality for the first time in a document will prompt you to authenticate the plugin with your Google account. Be sure to select the Google account you used to create the document or that has been given editing access by the document's creator. This is unrelated to any Zotero account you may have, which isn't required to use Zotero or Google Docs integration.

Once authenticated, you can begin inserting citations from your Zotero libraries.

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Add Citations and Bibliography Using an Add-on

Google Docs also has a few add-ons that can help you cite sources with ease. The add-ons will allow you to save your citations for repeated use instead of adding citations for each document separately.

Some of the popular names include EasyBib, Sciwheel, Paperpile, etc. These add-ons also offer a few more options while adding citations such as in-text citation, spelling and plagiarism checker, etc.

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Insert an In-Text Citation

1. In the text of your document, place your cursor where you want the citation to appear.

2. In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source you want to cite.

3. A Cite button appears on the side of the citation source.

4. Click Cite.

5. The source appears in your selected style within the text of your document.

6. If a “#” appears in the text of your document, delete it or replace it with the page

Bibliography

Clicking the “Add/Edit Bibliography” menu option inserts a bibliography at the cursor location.

You can edit which items appear in the bibliography by clicking the “Add/Edit Bibliography” button again, which will open the bibliography editor. See Editing the Bibliography below for more info. Manual edits made to the bibliography in the document will be overwritten the next time Zotero refreshes the document.

Edit a citation source

  1. In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source you want to edit. A Menu Click Menu   Edit. button appears on the side of the citation source.
  2. Click Menu Edit your source information in the fields.
      Edit. Edit.
  3. Edit your source information in the fields. Recommended fields include a blue asterisk.
  4. At the bottom of the sidebar, click Save source.

How to Reuse Footnotes in Google Docs

You can reuse the same footnote multiple times around your document by using the copy-paste trick. 

Here are the steps for it: 

Select the word containing the footnote reference
Select the word containing the footnote reference

Step 1: Select a word that the footnote you want refers to, along with the word that follows it.

Copy the word containing the footnote reference
Copy the word containing the footnote reference

Step 2: Copy both the words. 

Your footnote is automatically added
Your footnote is automatically added

Step 3: Paste them anywhere in your document. The footnote reference will automatically get added at the bottom of the document. 

Step 4: This will allow you to reuse the footnote (as many times as you need) while the original one will remain the same. Google Docs will automatically adjust the footnote number accordingly. 

How to add footnotes in Google Docs using the mobile app

If you’re using the Google Docs mobile app for Android or iOS, adding footnotes is just as easy as it is on the web. 

The plus symbol takes you to the Insert menu.
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How to add a citation in a Google Doc

After you’ve added all of your sources, you may then cite sources in your Google Doc text.

  1. If the Citations side panel is not displayed, select Tools, then Citations.
  2. Position your cursor at the point in your Google Doc where you want to add a citation.
  3. Move your cursor over the source you want to cite. When you do, a Cite option will display, along with a three-vertical dot menu. This “more options” menu lets you Edit, Send Feedback, or Delete the source.
  4. Select Cite. This inserts your formatted citation in your document.
  5. Edit the inserted citation to add any necessary details, such as page numbers.

Citing Research

Once you’ve found a website that you’d like to cite, write about it in your paper. Then, put the blinking cursor at the point in the document where you would like to add a citation.

Hover over the result you’d like to cite here. Click the quotation button will appear to the top right of the result.

Once clicked, two things will happen. First, Google Docs will add a superscript number where your cursor is to identify it. Then, Google will cite it at the bottom of the document. It’s worth noting that this citation isn’t written into the footer, so you can still use it for page numbers and other options.

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Insert a bibliography

  1. In your document, place your cursor where you want the bibliography to appear.
  2. In the Citations sidebar at the bottom, click Insert bibliography. A bibliography appears in your selected style.

How to Add Bibliography in Google Docs

Apart from inserting citations, Google Docs also allows you to create a Bibliography to list all your sources at the end of the document. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document. Move your cursor to the place where you want to add a bibliography.

Step 2: Go to Tools and choose Citations. Now click on the Insert bibliography button at the bottom.

The bibliography will be added to the document. On

The bibliography will be added to the document. Once added, it’s important to know that any changes made in the citations will not reflect automatically in the Bibliography. Thus, make sure to cite all your sources first and then insert a bibliography.

Choose a style and submit with confidence

Format your citations and bibliography in any majo

Format your citations and bibliography in any major citation style like APA, MLA, Chicago or in one of thousands of journal-specific styles.

Need a style with special requirements? Upload and use your own customized citation style.

Relevant article suggestions

The smart citation tool suggests articles based on your writing and reference list. You can read the abstract, cite or save it for later.

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