EasyBib: More than just citation management

By Mark Desierto
Systems Librarian
Venable LLP

Looking for an inexpensive holiday gift to give to that college student that doesn’t enjoy citing sources as much as you do?

EasyBib (www.easybib.com) is an online bibliography generator that helps users search for websites, books, or other materials and create citations for those sources, formatted to MLA standards (for free) or to APA or Chicago styles (for a fee). Once the bibliography is complete, EasyBib offers a nice range of output options, including export to Word or Google Docs.

Based on some thoroughly unscientific testing, EasyBib performs at its best on website sources. It pulls in article title, author, and date information at the push of a button. For journals (print or online) or other more traditional research formats, however, EasyBib is a little less intuitive. It is hard to say what bibliographic indices EasyBib is searching, and the ranking is a bit confusing; a search for a recent Law Library Journal article yielded a hodgepodge of results.

Nonetheless, when EasyBib cannot find a source and generate its citation automatically, it offers a handy guided form for entering the necessary bibliographic details, then outputs the citation to one of the major citation styles. So a user is no worse off than had she or he used Microsoft Word’s native citation tools or any other online bibliography guide (e.g., Son of Citation Machine).

EasyBib, which has been available for about five years, now also offers to institutional/school partners a suite of research and information literacy tools, including virtual notecards, footnote, and parenthetical formatting output options, and even guidelines for website evaluation. (These premium features were not reviewed.)

Don’t put the Bluebook or ALWD away just yet, though: EasyBib does not offer legal citation formats in the free or premium version. But for wading through the rest of the citation universe, EasyBib is a fast, friendly tool.

MLA style only: Free
APA, Chicago style and additional tools: $4.99/month, $14.99/6 months, $19.99/year; institutional rates also available
iPhone app: Free

Research Tip

Having trouble keeping on top of the proliferation of legal content available for iPad, Android, Blackberry and other mobile devices?  Check out Mobile Apps for Law (http://www.informedlibrarian.com/MobileAppsforLaw), a subscription-based, online database maintained by the helpful staff of Informed Librarian.

Mobile Apps for Law, updated frequently, currently contains annotated listings of over 700 mobile-friendly publications, including price information and links to the relevant publisher website.  Subscribers can filter searches by device and subject, and the website offers a handy tool for locating recent releases.

Did you know…?


By Harvey Morrell
University of Baltimore Law Library

This month, I thought I would highlight Sarah Glassmeyer’s blog post on tech tools that we can use to work collaboratively. Best part?  Most of the tools she mentions are free, as in free beer.

Need to herd cats (AKA, find a meeting time that people can agree on)? Use Doodle. Need to share documents with others outside your organization?  I’ve been very happy with both Dropbox and Evernote.  Once of our faculty members successfully used tokbox to broadcast to and interact with home-bound students during last year’s the swine flu scare.  I heartily recommend playing around with all the tools in Sarah’s toolbox.  Well, except for drop.io, which has been bought by facebook and is going out of business.