Best AI Tools To Find References For Academic Research

Navigating the vast ocean of academic literature can be daunting, but the advent of AI tools has revolutionised this task. From streamlining literature reviews to pinpointing precise sources, these AI-powered tools are transforming how researchers and students approach their studies.

In this article, we’ll explore the best AI tools available for finding references for academic research, highlighting how they can simplify your search, enhance accuracy, and save valuable time, all while keeping you abreast of the latest scholarly developments.

Best AI Tools To Find References For Academic Research

Scite Assistant– Advanced NLP for smart citations
– Identifies supporting/contradicting papers
– Automated source finding
– Can experience ‘hallucination’
– Not all provided papers may be relevant
Research Rabbit– Blends NLP and deep learning for source finding
– Smart citation feature
– Full-text access from major databases.
– Potential difficulty in distinguishing high-quality research
– Small risk of hallucination
SciSpace– Advanced natural language AI for literature sourcing
– Automated task handling,
– Smart citation generation.
– Risk of hallucination
– critical cross-checking and verification required.

Scite Assistant

Scite is an AI-powered tool that acts as a research assistant. This AI assistant, leveraging large language models like GPT-3, helps researchers ensure accuracy and stay up-to-date with the latest research.

Scite uses advanced natural language processing to classify citation statements, indicating whether a paper supports or contradicts your research question.

Imagine you’re working on a scientific paper and need to summarise the literature review quickly. Scite not only helps you find key papers but also provides detailed information about how these papers are cited in subsequent research. 

This feature is particularly useful for identifying relevant papers that may offer supporting or contrasting evidence to your argument.

One of the standout features of Scite is its ability to automate the process of finding sources. By specifying a keyword or a specific research topic, Scite’s AI-powered literature sourcing tool:

  • Searches through millions of academic publications,
  • Pulling out relevant articles, and even
  • Offering a full-text view in some cases.

This function is akin to having a conversational chatbot, like ChatGPT, but specifically tailored for academic research.

However, Scite isn’t without its limitations. While it’s a state-of-the-art AI tool for finding sources, its deep learning model can sometimes experience ‘hallucination’, where it might generate references that aren’t entirely accurate or relevant.

Therefore, it’s crucial for users to cross-verify the suggested sources. Additionally, while Scite can provide a list of up to 10 papers, not all may be directly pertinent to your research, requiring you to sift through them.

Research Rabbit

Research Rabbit is a state-of-the-art AI-powered tool, blending advanced natural language processing with deep learning models. It is a strong tool to help you find relevant sources and stay up-to-date with the latest research.

Imagine you’re delving into a specific research topic, say steroids and ion mobility. With Research Rabbit, you begin by creating a collection – a dashboard of sorts – focusing on your research question.

Here, you can add research papers, either by specifying keywords or using citation statements. The tool then harnesses AI to assist in expanding your collection, offering suggestions of related papers, supporting or contrasting evidence, and even full-text articles from comprehensive databases like:

  • PubMed
  • Semantic Scholar, or
  • Elsevier.

What sets Research Rabbit apart is its smart citation feature. It not only helps you classify papers but also provides detailed information about each citing paper. This is particularly useful when you’re trying to understand the context and impact of a scientific paper.

Moreover, the AI-powered literature sourcing tool integrates seamlessly with citation management tools like Zotero, automating the tedious task of organizing citations in APA, MLA, or any preferred format.

However, users should be aware of potential limitations. Like any AI-powered source, Research Rabbit might not always distinguish between high-quality research and less credible sources. It’s essential to use AI tools judiciously and verify the information.

Another thing to note about Research Rabbit is hallucination. Sure it can summarise and provide key insights from millions of academic papers, but there’s a small risk of hallucination or errors.


Scispace is an AI-powered tool that’s transforming the way students and researchers approach their literature reviews and source finding.

It’s like having a research assistant that’s constantly up-to-date with the latest research, only this one operates with advanced natural language capabilities of AI.

This makes it a state-of-the-art AI-powered literature sourcing tool.

Imagine you’re sifting through research articles on Google Scholar or PubMed, and there’s a sea of information to navigate. Scispace simplifies this by using AI tools like deep learning models to:

  • Find relevant sources,
  • Classify them, and
  • Summarise them.

This AI assistant can automate tasks that previously consumed hours, such as finding supporting or contrasting evidence in scientific papers or generating smart citation statements for your APA or MLA needs.

But it’s not just about finding information. SciSpace goes beyond just source finding. It helps researchers stay up-to-date with the latest publications, ensuring they don’t miss any crucial piece of information.

Its dashboard can provide a list of related papers, helping you expand your research horizon.

Scispace’s AI-driven approach can ensure accuracy and prevents plagiarism, thanks to its capability to identify relevant information from real papers.

However, it’s essential to remember that while Scispace can find key details and offer a comprehensive database, it’s not infallible.

AI, even state-of-the-art models like GPT-4, can sometimes experience issues like hallucination, where the AI might generate incorrect or misleading information.

Best AI Tools To Find Sources And Citations

Leveraging AI tools for academic research is a game-changer. Tools like SciSpace, Research Rabbit or Scite Assistant offer unparalleled ease in sourcing relevant papers, automating literature reviews, and ensuring up-to-date citations.

They serve as indispensable aids for students and researchers, streamlining the research process while maintaining accuracy. However, it’s vital to use these tools in conjunction with critical analysis to ensure the integrity and depth of research outcomes.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.