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There are various bibliographic management programs for maintaining your own personal database of references (see links below). These programs allow you to import references from article databases or catalogs, organize your references into folders according to your needs, insert references into your research papers, generate bibliographies (lists of references) for your research papers, and specify a citation style to instantly format your bibliography.
Carefully proofread when you use bibliographic management programs to create a bibliography; sometimes there are formatting problems with proper nouns or with words that have special characters (diacritics).
An online reference management application designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store, and share references, as well as generate bibliographies. Click on "Sign up for an individual account" if you've not used this application before.
An easy-to-use web-based bibliographic management tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. This tool works within your web browser; you can download plug-ins so that you can also use it while working within word processing software.
There are many other reference management tools used by researchers. Some are free, some are not. Some of the more well known free tools (in addition to Zotero) include Mendeley, Connotea, and CiteULike.
Citation Style Guides
What is a "citation style"? You are probably already familiar with the elements of a typical article citation: author, article title, journal, publication year, volume, issue, pages. The order and formatting of these elements into a citation is the citation style.
Some scientific societies have defined their own particular citation style, and most science journals have a preferred citation style.
Commonly used style guides are listed below. (Some links go to the library's print copy, some go to online resources.)