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KnightCite is a web based citation generator hosted by the Calvin College Hekman Library that formats bibliographic information per academic standards for use in research papers and scholarly works.[1] It has become a popular tool among high school and college students seeking help formatting bibliographies and citations. In addition to Calvin, many other university libraries refer students to this web site.[2][3][4]

There is no advertising at the site, and the use of the tool is free of charge. It is provided as a public good by Calvin College. Glenn Remelts, library director at Calvin College said, "This is just our gift to the struggling students who've probably spent more time formatting their bibliographies than writing their papers. So if we can make life a little easier, that was our mission."[5][6] According to the developer, Justin Searls, “The purpose of citations is not to give kids another thing to learn. The purpose of citations is to avoid plagiarism of other people’s work, and in anything we can create or give students to help avoid plagiarizing other people’s work I think is for the better”[7]


This tool can generate citations and bibliographic information in three formats, MLA Style Manual, APA style and The Chicago Manual of Style. Users are prompted to enter information obtained from an academic source, and the engine automatically delivers the bibliographic reference in the requested format. "It gets rid of the need to memorize tedious syntactical styles that aren’t of any educational benefit in-and-of-themselves," according to the developer.[8]


The web site was developed in 2004 by Calvin College student Justin Searls, who built the site as an employee of the school’s Hekman Library, at the request of a digital librarian there.[9][10] As of 2005 the programming required more than 25,000 lines of code.[8]

As of August 2009, the site showed it generated more than 13 million citations.[1]


  1. ^ a b KnightCite main page
  2. ^ Kent State University Library Style Manuals & Writing Guides
  3. ^ University of Washington Library Citation & Writing Guides
  4. ^ University of Central Michigan Off-Campus Library Services : Academic writing
  5. ^ Kafanov, Lucy (2005-02-14). "Web site formats citations for students free of charge". The BG News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. 
  6. ^ pdf
  7. ^ Dodi, Nana Yaa (2004-09-24). "Site makes citations a breeze". Calvin College Chimes. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. 
  8. ^ a b Bomey, Nathan (2005-01-27). "Saline grad’s Web creation draws online visitors, attention". The Saline Reporter. Heritage Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. 
  9. ^ Calvin College News December 10, 2004
  10. ^ The Hekman Library KnightCite FAQ

External links[edit]