RefDot and other cool online bibliography tools
As a regular reader of Richard Bryne’s awesome Free Technology for Teachers, I often find myself bookmarking cools tools for later use. About three weeks ago, Richard posted a short article about something called RefDot. And it reminded me of a couple of other handy tools for online bib creation, BibMe and EasyBib.
We talked about the Common Core and Social Studies last week a bit. These are the sorts of tools you can use to help meet the literacy standards suggested in the Common Core. And, well, we should be encouraging the use of these tools whether the Common Core suggests them or not. It’s just good academic practice.
RefDot is a Chrome browser extension that helps you and your students keep track of and cite stuff that you find online. Once installed, you use RefDot to create your own bib citations. Pretty simple process – browse to a site, click the button in the top right corner and a popup window appears, asking for specific information such as author, date, etc.
Once created, you can view your list of your citations. The list view provides the opportunity to edit, delete, reorder, and copy the list in three different formats.
RefDot automatically creates a book citation when you’re at Amazon.com without having to manually fill in any of the required information. (Yeah. I’m asking the same question. If RefDot can automatically complete the form while at Amazon, why won’t it do that for other sites? Hopefully they’ll build that feature into future updates.)
There are a couple of other handy online tools that you and your students can use to create bibliographies.
BibMe is a free website that you can use with or without an account. The cool thing about BibMe is that it doesn’t automatically create the bib entry for you. Simply type in the name of a book or website or whatever and BibMe fills in the blanks. You can edit the entry if you wish. You can also add annotations.
Once created, the entry is added to your bib. You can select whatever bib format you want – MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian (do people still even use Turabian?) and it will automatically reformat your entries. If you create a free account, you can save your bibs and download them in Word format. Without the account, you can still copy and paste the bib as simple text.
It’s all very slick.
EasyBib is very similar to BibMe. It has a free version that creates citations in MLA format as well as website evaluations and a paid version that provides access to other format types. The paid version also provides a variety of services including notebooks and no ads.
You can also share your finished bibs out via a variety of ways including Google Docs and Twitter. There are also free iPad /iPhone versions that work pretty well. If you’re curious how a teacher uses EasyBib, head over to the Nerdy Teacher.