When you do scientific research, you are entering into a conversation between scholars and building upon the work of others. It is important to cite the existing works of others whenever you use a source for inspiration, background information, comparison, quoting/paraphrasing, data, procedures, and anything else.
Careful citing continues the scientific conversation in the following ways:
There are a number of citation managers (also called reference managers) available to use. These programs are designed for students and researchers and they have the following capabilities:
If you are working in a laboratory, you may need to use the citation manager that your research advisor prefers. Check with them about what the research norms are for your specific team.
If you're getting started on your own, here are some of the citation managers I recommended: