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How can I add my bibliographic references to a Google Docs document?

I've googled around for an answer and found WizCiteWeb from WizFolio, but they say it only works with the older version of Google Docs and I can't seem to find any way to move back to the older version of Google docs. Any ideas?

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4 Answers 4

Google Docs now has built-in citation, using the research tool.

The Research tool makes it easy to add information from the web to your documents and presentations. To access the tool:

  • Select the Research option from the Tools menu.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Cmd+I on Mac, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I on PC).
  • Right-click on a specific word and select Research.

Choose scholar in the search bar; search for your citation, and click on "Cite as Footnote".



I have just been made aware of a third-party add-on that provides more extensive citation functionality to Google Docs called Paperpile. It provides many different inline and footnoted citation styles (They claim >7000).

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This is a great addition to Google Docs. Thanks. –  719016 Dec 15 '12 at 4:00
But this is completely inappropriate for academic writing, where citations are done in particular formats (e.g. (Harvard, 1995) or IEEE [3]) and references are stored in a bibliography section at the end. Citing as footnotes is generally not acceptable in university papers, or journal and conference papers. –  Rikki Jun 1 '14 at 23:25

We've built Paperpile to solve this problem:

Here is a detailed guide how to add citations and format a bibliography in Google docs:

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The process for adding bibliographic data is

  1. (Enter the references into the reference management of your choice.)
  2. For every title you want to cite, insert the corresponding placeholder string into the Google Docs document. An example for such a placeholder would be {Baeza-Yates 1997 #3}. The reference management software will usually allow to copy the placeholder string for a chosen title to clipboard.
  3. With all the placeholders entered into the document, export it as .rtf file.
  4. Feed the .rtf file into the reference management software. Out will come a .rtf file with all the placeholders replaced by citations (in the style chosen) and a trailing list of citations.

... or use WizFolio web service (

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Apparently, WizFolio used to work on the older version of Google Docs (mid 2010) but not on the new one, which is the only one available right now. It would be great to see this tool updated! –  719016 Nov 28 '11 at 9:24

These three options could be useful to you:

  1. You can use Zotero with Google Docs, making footnotes or in-text citations and bibliographies!
  2. Citing With URIs in Google Docs
  3. 3 quick ways to use Mendeley for citations anywhere
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+1 for anything involving HubMed –  Chinasaur Feb 28 '13 at 22:09
#1 now notes that there is Google Doc "add-on" called EasyBib, which might do the job! –  Rikki Jun 1 '14 at 23:26

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