Friday, January 20, 2012

Citation Aggregators

I don't know how in the world I made it through undergrad without a citation generator. Plugging a source was easy enough (and my pre-librarian consciousness willed it), but figuring out all that punctuation was sort of a nightmare at times..especially when one professor wanted Turabian, the other wanted MLA, and a third wanted APA style.

These days, students are well versed in all the citation generators available. CitationMachine, BibMe, and EasyBib are just a few examples of free websites that, given the necessary information, computes a nice and tidy citation to be copied and pasted into their References slide or page.

The difference between a citation generator and a citation aggregator is that a generator does just pumps out a citation, given the proper information. An aggregator, on the other hand, is a collector. EasyBib is a great example of an aggregator because your students can create accounts and then save and organize their citations over time. That is immensely helpful to students collecting a variety of sources for assignments.
Zotero is another example. Many users enjoy Zotero because it has a plug-in you can install to your browser and it will automatically generate a citation (and save it) for whatever site you are reading/browsing/etc. Additionally, Zotero will input citations directly into your word processing software. Pretty nifty!

Kids today...sheesh! They have it made! :)

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