Cite in style with the EasyBib scanner

EasyBib is one of many freely available bibliography generators. While it has most of the standard options seen in other services, it does have some innovative features. You can link up your bibliography with a Google Drive document and automatically cite websites using an extension in Chrome. But perhaps the most interesting feature is the ability to add books using a barcode scanner in the EasyBib mobile app.

The EasyBib app is free and available for Android and IOS (Apple) devices. The app doesn’t require an EasyBib account. In fact one of the main limitations of the app is that it doesn’t integrate with your account at all. But the barcode scanning feature works well and bibliographies can then be sent by email.

To use the scanner, simply open the app, click Scan and then point your camera at a book’s barcode.


If the barcode is recognised the details of the book will be added to your citations list. You can select from MLA, APA or Chicago citation styles, organise your citation list with the Manage button, and then email your citations when you are finished. Unfortunately at this stage there is no option to manually edit or correct the details of an item.

Emailed citations also include an option to add the item to your EasyBib account (once you are logged in on your computer).

Despite the limitations of EasyBib free accounts (such as limited citations styles) the option to scan barcodes in the app is definitely useful. It is certainly a feature that is likely to appeal to students, but might be even more popular with those of us who can remember those dark days of having to meticulously type out all of those bibliographies and citations.

Save quotes with Citelighter

Citelighter is a free online bibliographic management tool. It claims to be a simple tool that allows you click on a ‘Capture’ button every time you want to add a resource to your collection. This will then allow you to automatically create a bibliography.

After downloading the widget to Firefox, I ran into trouble right from the start – the Citelighter toolbar didn’t seem to let me login and the ‘Capture’ button didn’t seem to work. I tried logging off and logging back on but that didn’t help.  But after a few attempts I managed to get it going. Using the toolbar in Google Chrome seemed to work better. Despite the way Citelighter lets you save quotes with one- click,  I still have a few reservations about the extent of its usefulness:

– The introductory video mentioned that it “grabs most of the bibliographic information”. Despite this, Citelighter will not grab details of books. In this way it is less powerful than tools like Zotero or BibMe. Citelighter is not as efficient if we have to source and enter the missing information.

– Citelighter seems to rely on the user to highlight the text and also fill in several bibliographic details. This can be problematic for people who prefer to read from the printed text. This indicates that Citelighter is only capable of recognising websites but not printed resources such as books and journals. And yes, sure enough, you will need to manually add all the bibliographic details yourself – how inconvenient!

Citelighter lets you highlight and capture quotes

Overall I would say that Citelighter and the toolbar is a useful tool for keeping track of online quotes, but it is not as powerful as a tool like Zotero. But if all you need is a service that lets you save quotes and produce bibliographies for online materials, then Citelighter could be useful. Have a look at our guide to using Citelighter to see how to get started.


Bibme is an online tool that helps students (and teachers, in fact anyone who needs to) compile a bibliography.

Bibme homepage
Bibme homepage

There are two ways to enter the data needed for Bibme to automatically create your bibliography:

  1. Scan or type in the ISBN
  2. If the ISBN cannot be found by Bibme, enter the publication details into the template

Once this has been done, click “Add to my bibliography”. Bibliographies can be saved to your Bibme account or downloaded directly into Microsoft Word. MLA, APA, Chicago, & Turabian styles are supported by Bibme.

Books, magazines, films, newspapers, website and journals are all supported, although some Australian publications are not catered for. In this instance, simply use the manual fill mode explained in step two above.

Bibme has a citation guide, so that if appropriate, students can learn how to write their own bibliographies without Bibme’s help.

Citation guide

Citation guide

We all know how difficult it can be to get students to complete a bibliography (correctly or even at all), so Bibme may be a useful resource for teachers who require a bibliography to be submitted with schoolwork. Please note that users must be over 13 years of age.


Worldcat is a catalogue that links users to approximately 10,000 libraries worldwide and contains details of over 1.2 billion items.

People interested can use Worldcat just as a catalogue, to see if an item is available in a library near them. The advantage of using Worldcat is that if you are a member of several public library services, one simple Worldcat search can list where the item is located. By simply selecting what type of item you are looking for (books, DVDs, CDs and articles), entering a search term and then your postcode, Worldcat will then list the libraries nearest you that hold that item. Often Worldcat can give you the distance from your postcode to the nearest libraries with the item. Users can also set their ‘favourite’ libraries which will be listed first. Currently some of the Victorian libraries that have their holdings listed on Worldcat are:

Please be aware that some results pertaining to libraries holding particular items are not always 100% correct. Some items are listed in Worldcat results and some are not. Not sure whether that is a Worldcat issue or participating library issue.

However, users can also signup for a free account that enables them to add content to the Worldcat website. Currently lists (think Librarything or lists created in Amazon), bibliographies and reviews can be added to the site. Users can modify or delete their own review, ‘but other users can edit information that has been contributed under Details (similar to Wikipedia).’

For those library staff out there that occasionally need to do some original cataloguing if items cannot be found on SCIS, Library Link Victoria or Libraries Australia, Worldcat is a great last resort before having to invent the wheel yourself.

Worldcat are also currently trialling Worldcat mobile where according to their website, users can:

  • Search for library materials—Enter search terms such as keywords, author or title
  • Find a WorldCat library near you—Enter your ZIP, postal code or location in the Libraries Locator
  • Call a library—Highlight and click the phone number in a library listing to place a call
  • Map a route—Find the fastest way to a WorldCat library using the mapping software already on your device
Worldcat mobile
Worldcat mobile
Currently this service is only available to residents of the US and Canada, but here’s hoping for wider coverage once the trial is complete.