LOEX Conference Proceedings 2011

Document Type

Internet Innovations: Tutorials, LibGuides and Everything Else

Publication Date



Writing proper citations is a critically important part of the research process. Instructing students how to cite is a key component of information literacy initiatives for academic and research libraries. To further support students, many libraries have purchased the licenses to bibliographic management software packages such as RefWorks and EndNote to help create and manage citations. Recently, a number of free or inexpensive Web-based citation generators such as EasyBib, NoodleBib, BibMe, KnightCite, Citation Machine, NCS Citation Builder, SourceAid have emerged and gained the attention of students as well as teaching librarians. While most of these tools are designed to emphasize ease of use, the accuracy of these programs remains to be investigated. This project takes a critical approach to assess the accuracy of these citation generators. It focuses on the commonly used citation styles of MLA, APA and Chicago bibliographies created by citation generators. Sample student bibliographies submitted to an information literacy credit course will be used as data for this study. Citation formats include books, reference books, scholarly journal articles (both print and electronic), and web sources. I will also conduct a survey of the web sites of ARL member libraries to determine which citation generator(s) is recommended by these libraries. The findings of this project will hopefully shed some light on the suitability of open source web-based citation generators for instructional services to students in academic and research libraries.