While it’s been a few years since I had to whip up a proper bibliography, I remember they were quite daunting. I understand that citing sources is important but I never understood why they had to be so strictly formatted — MPA or Chicago style, etc.? I remember actually losing points on an essay because my bibliography wasn’t up to par. Psh.
Thankfully, tools like EasyBib make a student’s life a lot easier. The web app, which is also available for the iPhone and iPad and on Android, helps students determine appropriate and credible sources to use and provides simple tools to cite sources and avoid plagiarism. EasyBib’s mission is to help educators combat information illiteracy — a problem that user-generated content has exacerbated.
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For example, the #1 website that students cite when writing a research paper is Wikipedia, yet according to EasyBib, 75% of educators do not believe Wikipedia should be used. Students usually don’t know any better, and with user-generated content on the rise (Quora, Blogs, Twitter, etc.), the ability to discern good content will only get tougher. For example, do you know how to cite a tweet in an academic paper?
The two founders (pictured above), Darshan Somashekar (former co-founder of drop.io) and Neal Taparia (ex-Lehman Bros), have been best friends since 5th grade and started EasyBib while in high school in 2001. EasyBib is now used by over 34 million students and over 100 colleges, universities and high schools. Today, EasyBib is announcing that its just hit half a BILLION citations created through the platform. After 10 years in business, that’s an average of 50 million citations every year.
While I wasn’t sold on EasyBib as a news story at first, I tweeted about it late last night and dozens of my younger, college-aged Twitter followers replied telling me how much they used and relied on the app.
“I love it because its very easy to use and it makes students lives a little bit simpler to Cite works,” said film director Andrew Phillips.
Public relations and social media enthusiast Anita Chauhan loves EasyBib’s ISBN find function; basically you put in your ISBN, and it adds all the info you need for your bibliography.
Ankit Shah, a student at UPenn and the Founder of Alternote gave EasyBib a glorious review:
Bibliographies are usually the dreaded last task of putting together a research paper. You think you’re done, and then you realize you have that stupid ‘Works Cited’ page to put together, and, normally, that means that when you finish your 15 page research report on cultural diffusion from Ancient Greece / Macedonia into Northern India east of the Ganges and vice versa at 4:00am, you have another two hours of work to do — backtracking all your sources, putting them in MLA format, indenting them properly, alphabetizing them all, and then finally closing your eyes and calling it a night at 6:00am.
EasyBib flies in like Robin Hood at the right moment (I guess he doesn’t fly, but you get the point) — when you couldn’t hate your life any more than you already do. It’s beautiful. You just enter websites, names of books, and it does everything for you. You never have to worry about conventions of citation again — well, almost never. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Now, instead of sleeping at 4:00am, I’m tucked in by 4:15am. My circadian rhythm is grateful for EasyBib.
Have you used EasyBib? If so, let us know what you think of it in the comments.
Supri Suharjoto via shutterstock