App No. 5 (Dec 5th) EasyBib

Easy bib

EasyBib is an app that allows you to create and to manage references/citations very quickly and easily. It can be installed on your mobile device and is available on both the iTunes App Store and on Google Play for free.

Red pin What does the EasyBib app look like, what does it do, and how do I start using it?
Are you and your students tired of typing out pages of references at the end of an assignment/article/dissertation/thesis and then having to check them twice to make sure that you’ve been consistent in your referencing style, only to find a few more mistakes the day after the document has been printed?! Well, no more! Welcome EasyBib!

EasyBib Screenshot

EasyBib is an app with a very clean interface, as can be seen above, and that does exactly what it says on the tin. You can either search for a reference by typing in the book title or ISBN number using the ‘search’ function, or scan in bar code from the back cover of the book if you have it to hand, and hey presto your reference appears on the screen. You can then choose to display it in a number of styles, namely MLA, APA or Chicago, before emailing them to yourself from where you can copy and paste them into your document.

If you create a free account on EasyBib’s website, you can set up a ‘project’ for each article that you are writing and then import the references you just emailed yourself from the app, from an option embedded in the email itself, into the bibliography for that specific project. However, you can only view your references here in the MLA style and must pay a subscription to switch references styles and access other additional features. The free account does allow you to search for references from the millions of bibliographies that have been created by other users though (‘social research’ at its best) as well as use a tool that creates references for you from a URL that you provide.  You can also export your finished bibliography from the website to Google docs. So essentially, you can use the app on-the-go and then use the free account on the website later to build up individual bibliographies and export them to a Google doc when you’re ready.

Red pin Can integrating an app such as EasyBib, further enhance, or even transform, student activity in the higher education context?
yellow square orange square 
This app is a little different to the others that we’ve looked at so far in that it’s not one that you’ll be integrating on an ongoing basis to help you deliver content or transform learning activities per se, but it can still play a role in developing your students’ digital information literacy skills. When students come into higher education they have a limited understanding of accessing different kinds of information sources and how to use those and reference them properly and so EasyBib can take the pain out of the mechanics of creating references, encouraging them (and lecturers/researchers alike!) to ‘cite as they write’ thereby reducing the risk of lost references and accidental plagiarism, and allowing more time to focus on the assignment itself.

If you’d like to see EasyBib app in action, then watch this 1.27 min YouTube video.


Red pin Optional Task
1. Download EasyBib from either the iTunes App store or Google Play
2. Scan a barcode and search for a book by its title
3. Email the citations to yourself

Green button Free Tip Friday!

Disappointed when you can’t access websites with flash content on your mobile device? Would you like to watch videos in theatre mode?
Or maybe you’d really love a virtual track pad for mouse cursor controls?
And wouldn’t a virtual gamepad be very cool for playing games on your mobile device!?

Then download Puffin Browser and be able to do all of the above! And it’s free! For more info see the Puffin Browser website.puffin

Twitter logoTwitter
Don’t forget to tweet #12appsDIT your opinion of the EasyBib app (and Puffin Browser), or indeed post a comment below. Let us know your ideas on how to use it effectively with students. The more we share, the more we learn!

All materials provided on The 12 Apps of Christmas at DIT blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Licence
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

9 Responses to App No. 5 (Dec 5th) EasyBib

  1. Another great app, thank you Frances. Have used RefMe previously which is fab, but will try this out too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fboylan says:

      Have you tried Puffin Browser? It feels very funny to be using a mouse tracker pad on your device screen instead of tapping. It actually works quite well and I can see some people loving it.


  2. barryjryan says:

    Another great app. I use Mendeley; which also into integrates into Mac/PC software (and aligns to the app). Although finding time to read all the papers is another thing! 🙂


  3. Martha Burton says:

    Great recommendation – will definitely;y try this out.


  4. I like the barcode scanner function for books etc. but it does seem somewhat limited. I can see how it would be useful to introduce students into the world of referencing, but it does create a somewhat false impression of the skills needed for referencing etc.

    Re. puffin browser – not convinced. Would have to spend more time playing to see if it really does the job well. Seems like square hole/round peg (i.e. ramming something designed one invironment into another) and the cloud dependency might be an issue when dealing with mission critical stuff. Can anyone shed light on how their magic data movements avoids eating through you data allowance?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lauramc2012 says:

    Somebodyme tioned this to me just a couple of days ago, but I hadn’t followed up yet. Looks great. I will pass it on to my postgraduate students.


  6. Emmett Coffey says:

    This is a very useful little app and I will definitely be recommending it to my postgrad students – many of whom view this essential part of research to be sheer drudgery! Cheers


  7. says:

    It is great but in our Library we use Harvard Referencing and this app doesn’t include this type. So we can’t use it.


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