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?


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 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).

Also, Faculty of 1000 Workspace (http://f1000.com/work/; geared at life sciences) has a google docs extension (http://f1000.com/work/faq/google-docs-add-on)

| improve this answer | |
  • This is a great addition to Google Docs. Thanks. – 719016 Dec 15 '12 at 4:00
  • 6
    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
  • 1
  • have you tried citing an academic article with the tool? it doesn't work... – honi Apr 30 '17 at 6:41
  • @Rikki, have you found a way to add the bibliography to the end of the document? – Saqib Ali Jul 8 at 4:35

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
| improve this answer | |
  • #1 now notes that there is Google Doc "add-on" called EasyBib, which might do the job! – Rikki Jun 1 '14 at 23:26

We've built Paperpile to solve this problem: https://paperpile.com

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


| improve this answer | |

Comparable to Paperpile, COLWIZ https://www.colwiz.com/ provides wonderful integration of a citation manager and Google Docs. Check this one out. It is completeley free (still) while Paperpile is a paid service.

| improve this answer | |

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 (http://wizfolio.com/)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    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
  • CTRL-ALT-F and a new super script number will be created and the same number will appear in the footer, you can add a link or whatever you want over there.
  • You can also do this graphically, INSERT->FOOTNOTE.
| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.