Citing resources in a research project is incredibly important. Citations give credit to authors for their quotes and concepts and also allow readers to find the resources used in the project to get more information about the topic.
While creating in-text citations and bibliographies is important and essential, it's also tedious. Finding all the information for the correct bibliographic style and then formatting it correctly as well can take almost as long as writing the paper! Until someone kind invented a program that can do it for us... the citation manager. When I learned it was possible for a program to gather the information I need for citations AND format my bibliography AND create my in-text citations in the proper style, I couldn't believe no one had let me in on the secret three years ago when I started writing research papers.
U of M Libraries offer workshops on three different citation managers Zotero, RefWorks, and EndNote. Of the three, I think that Zotero and RefWorks can be most useful for undergraduates, because it is necessary to buy EndNote software and the other two are free for student use. Zotero is a free download and works within a specific Firefox browser (though this is being updated with the new beta program.) It can grab basic information off any website you are currently on. RefWorks is offered through a U of M account. One way this is a superior program when compared to Zotero is, since the information is connected to a U of M account it can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection.
For more information check out the libraries workshops!