Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brilliant student tool that saves tons of time


If I had to name just one time-saving tool for students, researchers and academics, it would be CITEME, a simple Facebook application. How many hours do students and researchers waste in, first working out what format should be used for citations; second writing and formatting them?

CITEME – how it works
Simply type in the name of the author, title, subject or ISBN and it will drop down a list of properly formatted citations, which you cut and paste. It’s that easy. You can also choose from a range of formats (Harvard, Chicago, APA, Turabian or MLA) as required by your institution and/or tutor.
The first problem is that academics are often vague about what format they require from their students. Is it Harvard, Chicago, APA, Turabian or MLA? To be honest it’s nit-picking, as the differences between these are miniscule, such as position of publication date and whether the date should have brackets. One thing you have to do is check the policy for format.

Saves tons of time
This tool will save you hours of time and allow you to focus on the content, rather than the searching for, writing and formatting of citations.  It also means you spend more time learning how to use proper citations. Simply write that essay or paper then go through adding the citations one by one in your chosen format. I’ve yet to meet a student who wasn’t grateful for this tip.

PS Thanks to Millie thesocialnetworkingteacher, who put me on to this tool.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Rob Spence said...

It's a good idea, but probably not better than Refworks, which is available to most students, or Zotero, which is available to anybody as a Firefox extension. The advantage of these is that they are not restricted to a few citation styles, and you don't have to work within Facebook.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Agree Rob. One of many. Surprised at how few faculty and students know about these. Why so?

3:19 PM  
Blogger Rob Spence said...

Because they are stuck in their ways. I know colleagues who still use index cards for references. Students, in my experience, don't want to take a little while to learn how to use Refworks, which is admittedly a bit clunky. Zotero is elegant though.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

I love citeulike.org

5:02 PM  
Blogger AliceK said...

I've been a long time happy user of Zotero, but I was surprised during a recent MA module how many students are still doing manual referencing.

I'd recommend tools to them - but not this one. It sounds a great idea and a useful tool, but why should I give access to my "name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends and any other information I've shared with everyone" (list from App page) in order to search citations?

5:35 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I use Bookends, which resides on my Mac. The references are stored for repeated use. You can attach .pdfs of articles to it, as well. Formats references in various styles, APA, etc. It's especially great if you use certain citations in more than one manuscript.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Good to see a variety of tools being used- but why do so few students know about these?

Alice - don't be surprised loads of academics and students don't know about these tools - a mystery to me.

Shouldn't it be the duty of the lecturer/institution to do this?
Why use any app in Facebook? Because it's convenient (exposure depends on privacy settings).

8:51 PM  
Blogger Rob Spence said...

Hi Donald
I posted a follow up, but it got lost in the ether, I think. Yes, not enough students / lecturers know about this kind of thing. I do a Refworks session with each class at the start of term - but I still have colleagues using handwritten index cards...

11:14 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Good on you Rob. Sad that there's such a lack of interest in a) students b) technology. Little steps like this would solve so many problems.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Millie The Geography Teacher said...

Hi Donald! I love this tool, we are adding it to all college Facebook pages, the students seem to find it a very easy and timesaving app as referencing has to be one of the most tedious tasks for any research project! I have tried refworks, but with 16 to 18 it is a little too involved, but the OU recommend refworks on all their courses, and if you use it from the start of any research project, it makes life so much easier.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Thanks Millie. I think the fact that it IS on Facebook is its big advantage, as it's there in your face, seems like part of your everyday world and is convenient. Keep me updated on your great work with your students.

10:54 AM  

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