helenlt on May 25th, 2012
This post follows on rather nicely from Astrid’s previous post, which regular readers of this blog will remember was about making sure that when you create material to include information so people know it’s your work. Well, on the flip side, one of the things that we are constantly reminding people to do is to acknowledge the copyright material that they are using. Author and creators have moral rights to their work, which includes the right to be acknowledged as the author or creator.
We’ve recently discovered two iPhone apps – EasyBib and Quick Cite – that makes citing books a little bit easier. Simply download these apps and then use your iPhone to take a photo or scan the ISBN barcode on the backcover of the book. The apps have pre-loaded citation styles and will create a citation in your preferred style, which can then be emailed to you.
EasyBib is a free app from which you can email or import citations into Easybib.com’s bibliography management software. You don’t actually have to use EasyBib’s software, you can just email the citation to yourself and then cut and paste it into your document. EasyBib includes a choice of MLA, APA or Chicago citation styles. Once the ISBN barcode has been scanned, EasyBib will store the information and you can then easily switch between styles. If you have more than one barcode to scan, you can create a list and then email all the citations as a single list. I liked EasyBib, it was very easy to use and it was useful to be able to switch between styles without having to rescan the barcode.
Quick Cite costs 99 cents and includes 5 citation styles – APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard and IEEE. With Quick Cite, you specify the email address you want your citations sent to and your preferred style. These are then saved and each time you scan a ISBN barcode, a citation in the selected style is automatically sent to that email address. However, when I tested each citation style, there appeared to be very little difference between the citations and they were not as detailed as those produced by EasyBib. Quick Cite does not store the barcode, which means that if you want to change styles, you have to rescan the barcode, which is really frustrating.
Both of these apps provide a quick, cheap and easy way to create a citation for a book. Although they use academic citation styles, you do not necessarily have to use an academic style to comply with moral rights. For further information on citing other kinds of material, see Moral Rights and Citing Material. For my money, or rather the lack of my money, the free EasyBib app performed better than the 99 cents Quick Cite app.