Cite Sources

The library DOES NOT subscribe to citation managers, which are software tools that can help you save, organize, and cite sources you find when searching in library databases. Here are some recommended options, however they may or may not require a paid subscription.

  • RefWorks -A commercial reference management software from ProQuest that allows users to save full text documents and organize their references and create citations. RefWorks offers a 30-day free trial subscription.
  • EndNote – A commercial reference management software that allows users to organize their citation. In addition, the software permits users to annotate and PDFs available in their library.
  • Mendeley – A PDF manager and academic social network. Mendeley works best when you download the software application to your computer and use it to organize PDF files you already have saved. It is less effective at importing citations from databases.
  • Zotero – A reference management tool allowing users to collect, organize, and cite papers included in their research. It offers up to 300 MB of free storage, after which a paid subscription is required.

Copying Citations from Library Databases

The library’s databases automatically generate citations for materials that you find there, which you can copy and paste. Here are instructions for some of our most commonly-used resources. Always check automatically-generated citations for accuracy!

  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
  1. After searching in an EBSCO database, click the title of any result you want to cite.
  2. In the next screen, look for the list of Tools down the right-hand side. The Cite option appears toward the bottom.
  3. Click the Cite option to open a list of citations for the item in different citation styles. Scroll through the list until you find your citation style, and copy and paste the citation. |
  • ProQuest
  1. After searching in a ProQuest database, click the checkbox next to any result you want to cite.
  2. Click the “quotation marks” button at the top of your list of results to open the Cite pop-up window.
  3. Select your citation style from the drop-down list to generate the appropriate citation, and copy and paste the citation.

Citation Guides

If you need more information on citing in a particular style, here are some in-depth guides available online.

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) – Detailed guides to citing in APA, MLA, Chicago, and AMA styles, with examples, exercises, FAQs, and instructional materials.
  • EasyBib – a site with a free citation generator as well as citation guides.
  • APA Academic Writer – Official resource on APA style. Includes style guides, tutorials, research guides, and templates. NOTICE: Database will not work on Internet Explorer or Edge.
  • ASA – Official resource on ASA style. Includes style guides, tutorials, research guides, and templates.
  • Trinity University Coates Library APA Style Citations – A guide with examples on how to cite different sources based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 7th

Trinity University Coates Library MLA Style Citations – A guide with examples on how to cite different sources based on the Modern Language Association Manual 8th edition.


These links provide tutorials created by other college and university libraries on commonly requested topics.


Even when your courses are entirely or mostly online, there are still several options for how to arrange research instruction for your students:

  • Request an Information Literacy session for your class through this Please note, faculty should submit their requests at least two weeks prior to the scheduled session. All forms can be emailed to [email protected] and are also available in paper format at the library.
  • Contact a librarian to arrange customized instruction via Zoom. This could take multiple forms, from something as simple as a synchronous virtual meeting with your class, to something as complex as developing a new asynchronous module. Please be aware, however, that creating custom instruction takes time, especially if it means developing new resources. Please reach out to your librarian as early as possible and we can work together on deciding what type of instruction will meet your needs.
  • Schedule a consultation for an in-depth conversation with a librarian at [email protected]. We will respond within one business day.
  • For West Law login issues please contact: [email protected]


Essex County College Guide To Open Educational Resources (OERs)

This guide introduces and explains open educational resources and provides help for faculty on finding, evaluating and creating OERs. Open educational resources are any material used in the classroom to help students learn that have been made freely available online and licensed for others to reuse them. Educational institutions embraced the movement for OERs in response to rising costs of traditional college textbooks.

Information on OERs

  1. An Open Education Reader – Edited by David Wiley for a graduate class at Brigham Young University, this book is a collection of readings covering the basics of OERs.
  2. OER Handbook for Educators – This book is aimed at educators actively looking to use or create an OER.

Online Classes on How to Use OERs

  1. Introduction to Open Education Resources – Created by OpenStax, this short lesson on OERs includes tips on finding and creating them, as well as using public domain resources and how to store OERs.
  2. How to Use Open Educational Resources – Another short, introductory workshop on OERs, created by OpenWashington.

Sources – Where to Find OERs

  1. American Institute of Mathematics Open Resources – The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) has developed evaluation criteria to identify the books that are suitable for use in traditional university courses. The Editorial Board maintains a list of Approved Textbooks which have been judged to meet these criteria.
  2. BC Campus – BCCampus, supported by the government of British Columbia, curates the OERs created by British Columbia academic institutions. The collection comprises of 159 textbooks by topics. About half include peer reviews.
  3. Digital Public Library of America – The Digital Public Library of America aggregates more than 14 million items from libraries, archives and museums. Items include text, videos, images and audio.
  4. Directory of Open Access Books – Although not focused on textbooks, this database curates scholarly books that are free and open to reuse.
  5. OER Commons – This database of OERs lets you search by education level, learning material type and accessibility. Supported by the not-for-profit group Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.
  6. Flat World – A collection of customizable textbooks, equipped with a full-range of instructor supplements and a homework system.
  7. Hathi Trust Digital Library – Use this database to search a variety of material formats that are in the public domain or were made open from universities across the country. Make sure to use the Full Text search to ensure access to the material.
  8. JStor Open Access Textbooks – More than 6,000 Open Access ebooks from 75+ publishers, including Brill, Cornell University Press, De Gruyter, and University of California Press, are now available at no cost to libraries or users.
  9. LibreText – The LibreText Project, a leading, non-commercial open textbook organization initiated at the University of California, Davis, runs their Open Textbooks Program, intended to decrease the burden of textbook costs on college students while increasing the availability, usage and educational value of open textbooks that are freely available to download, edit, and share to better serve all students.
  1. Merlot – Run by the California State University System, MERLOT curates OERs that have been licensed for reuse and materials that are online for free. Search includes audience, language, material type, Creative Commons licenses and accessibility.
  2. MIT Open Course – Search through OERs created by MIT. Materials include textbooks, audio/visual lectures, lecture notes, assessments and courseware.
  3. NOBA – Teach and learn psychology for free – Noba is a free online platform that provides high-quality, flexibly structured textbooks and educational materials. These textbooks and materials are licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License. Users may reuse, redistribute, and remix the content to suit their needs.
  4. NYPL Digital Collection – The New York Public Library has made almost 700,000 items – mostly images, although text, maps, audio and movie files are included – in their digital collections free to the public. Check individual items for any other copyright restrictions.
  5. OasisA new database to search hundreds of sources of OERs hosted by SUNY Geneseo.
  6. Open Education Consortium– The Open Education Consortium (OEC) is a non-profit, global, members-based network of open education institutions and organizations. OEC works with its members to build capacity to find, reuse, create and share Open Educational Resources (OER), develop open policy, create sustainable open education models, and enable international collaboration and innovation.
  7. Open Textbook Library – This database, overseen by the Open Textbook Network, includes books authored by faculty from universities across the country, and many include peer reviews. You can browse by subject or do a simple search.
  8. Open Textbook Network – The Open Textbook Library maintains a database of peer-reviewed academic textbooks. The textbooks are free, openly licensed, and complete; their adoption creates a measurable, positive impact on student success.
  9. OpenStax – Although small, this collection of 34 textbooks covers some of the basic introductory classes in math, sciences and social sciences. The books have all been peer-reviewed.
  10. Project Gutenberg – A digital library of over 60,000 free eBooks, including but not limited to the world’s great literature, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.
  11. Teaching Commons – Browse for OERs in this aggregated database by the creator’s institution, material type and subject.
  12. World Digital Library – The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world. The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.


  1. Choosing a Database

​​​​​Goals – by the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Select a broad or a narrow database based on your need
  • Select a database based on your subject of study
  • Select a database based on the type of resource you need
  • Use research guides to evaluate different databases


  • What is a Database?
  • Finding Databases
  • Broad Versus Focused Databases
  • Narrowing by Subject
  • Narrowing by Source Types
  • Practicing Selections

  1. Citing Sources: Plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism is a serious problem for undergraduate students. Many students don’t know how to prevent it, even when they want to. Worse, even unintentional plagiarism can have serious consequences. Repeatedly plagiarizing unintentionally will be considered a more severe violation each time, with consequences that may include failing the course, probation, suspension, or even expulsion. But there is good news. Citing sources correctly and avoiding plagiarism are skills that can be improved with practice. This video from the University of Rhode Island Libraries explains in more detail why it is important to cite your sources:

  1. Evaluating Online Sources through Lateral Reading: An Introduction

Audience – Essex County College students, faculty, and staff interested in strengthening their fact-checking and online source evaluation skills

Purpose – developing new strategies for evaluating online sources and improving one’s ability to investigate source credibility in order to recognize credible sources

Learning outcomes:

  • Be familiar approaches to evaluating online sources.
  • Recognize the importance of pausing when you have a strong emotional reaction to an information source in order to analyze sources more critically.
  • Apply approaches to completing an initial evaluation of a web source’s credibility.

  1. Finding Newspaper Articles

There is a lot of newspaper content available freely online, much of which is of high quality. However, many of the most credible newspapers provide only limited access to their online content, and a lot of historical content remains unavailable online. The Library can provide access to a great deal of the news content that isn’t offered freely.

Learning outcomes:

  • Search for newspaper articles from various newspaper publications.
  • Develop and refine search strategies in the Newspaper Search in order to find newspaper articles that are relevant to a given topic.
  • Locate a specific newspaper publication by using the Journal Finder in Library Search.
  • Locate newspaper databases and online resources that are starting points for your search.

  1. Search Terms and Strategies

You will need – a research topic or question

 Goals – by the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Develop keywords for searching from your research topic or question
  • Analyze results of an initial search to determine how you might adjust your terms to make it more effective


  • Key Concepts
  • Variations
  • Creating Your Search
  • Practice Searching
  • Analyzing Your Results
  • Next Steps

Please see the Rowan University tutorial