Crème of the Web - EasyBib

Hervé Basset, independent consultant and author of the Science Intelligence blog, recommends EasyBib.

Everyone knows how boring it is to create the bibliography for a research paper. Fortunately, citation generators such as EndNote and Mendele exist to do the dirty work for us!

EasyBib is a free web-based bibliography formatting tool.  You can use it to compose, format, alphabetise and print out your citation list.  You simply enter your sources onto a basic form, and click 'Cite this'. EasyBib will format your references according to the most updated standards (MLA, APA, etc.) and will export the list to MS Word or GoogleDoc, within a few seconds!

The service claims to hold 323 millions sources and contains not only articles but also books, newspapers, websites and 58 other types of documents. If a citation is not yet indexed, one of the 24 million users can enter the reference to update the database and improve so the system.

In 2006, EasyBib was the first free advanced bibliography maker on the Web.  Since then, other services appeared but EasyBib is one of the last survivors. The citation maker is very popular amongst American students but has not yet reached its largest audience in Europe. American students enjoy its simplicity of use, while Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks etc. are more designed to manage the huge bibliographies of experienced researchers.

EasyBib is free of charge but there is also a premium account which gives access to more options in formatting and to a notebook which helps with the organisation of research findings.

By comparison with other free first-level services on the market (BibMe, citationMachine, etc.), EasyBib offers more formats, more options and more educational materials: the visual guide to citations for instance is well designed and easy to understand.

EasyBib also focuses on innovation and development of the service. ImagineEasy, the owner, has recently signed a partnership with the non-profit OCLC to integrate library services into EasyBib.  "It's about bringing the library to the student, and making the library relevant for the every day, modern researcher", says Founder Neal Taparia.

My personal opinion: Really nice service that should be promoted by universities and academic libraries.

Hervé Basset is an independent consultant.  He blogs at about how information professionals can help scientists manage their information and knowledge resources.