The Undercover Librarian

Quick Cite: Photograph a barcode, get a citation – or – “There’s an app. for that.”

Thanks to @ALA_TechSource on Twitter and The Centred Librarian for this one:

“A group of students at the University of Waterloo have released Quick Cite, which lets you use the camera on an iOS or Android smartphone to scan a barcode and have the app email you a properly-formatted entry (in MLA, APA, Chicago, or IEEE formats).

According to the very brief post, QuickCite searches a number of online databases to find the book to be cited. The application works off of ISBN codes, so citing journals is still problematic. It looks like the app. is currently available through iTunes.There aren’t many reviews up yet, but so far, all of them are positive, and once I can coerce someone I know into downloading the app. so I can test it, I’ll report back.

But I’m still on the fence about techology like this. I’m a firm believer in the idea that students should learn how to use a style guide and write citations from scratch, but the more time I spend working with students, the more I realise that, regretably, this isn’t how things are done anymore. (But I’ll keep pushing old fashioned style guides until the day I die – afterall, it’s good to have a backup when the network goes down the night before a paper is due.)

(The post subtitle was outright stolen from friends of mine who recently wrote this piece for Microsoft. Full credit for the inspiration goes to them.)


What are your thoughts on programs like RefWorks and Quick Cite? Are they useful, or do they encourage students to become too dependent on technology?


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This entry was posted on February 26, 2011 by and tagged , .
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