This is the trial version for my review of Web 2.0 tool: EasyBib.  As you can see, I have created a document, powered through Google Docs.  The URL is: www.EasyBib.com, and is a productivity tool.

One must sign up for an account-- I have chosen a “free” account, but for full access/functionality, one must sign up either for the “Pro” or “School” versions.  There are 3-day free trials for each.

The only equipment needed is a computer (laptop, desktop, etc) and internet access.

Skills required include basic research skills, basic typing/editing skills, and use of video, as many of the instructional examples use video.

There is supposed to be a way that you can “add on” EasyBib to GoogleDrive, so that it appears in the sidebar to the right of the screen, and you can research and create citations as you write (much like EndNote, which I use frequently.)  So far, I have tried several times to get EasyBib to open up as an add-on and have been unsuccessful--as have others, if the reviews listed are up-to-date and accurate.  Perhaps logging in first to GoogleDrive then to EasyBib would make it work better--I chose the other way around.

I am going to pretend that I am citing the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, here. [1]

I will now cite a second source--pretend to cite the ACOG website version of one of our Practice Bulletins.[2]

One easy way I have found to link my sources to my document is through creating a footnote, and copying and pasting each citation onto the page, as you see below.  I think that it would be easier and more functional if I had the “pro” version, in which one can pick from several citation styles--more often in medical literature we use AMA or Vancouver citation style, not MLA/APA, which is much more useful for those in high school or undergraduate liberal arts courses.   Alternatively, as you cite, you can load your “works cited” to a MS Word document, to a Google Doc, or to email.   What is not clear, is how to embed the citations -- numbers, parentheses, etc. into the written document.

I can see how this could be a nice way to easily write papers, edit and simultaneously develop a bibliography through Web 2.0 tools, such as Google Docs, however, I think it would be most useful for groups willing to pay for the group service, such as schools or businesses, rather than having individuals pay for separate accounts.  It does not appear to interface with EndNote or RefWorks, which are very comprehensive and allow you to look up new documents (not just the citation), place and automatically renumber citations as edits are made.   The biggest disadvantage is the need for a subscription to access full functionality.

Perhaps the most useful feature of EasyBib is the accompanying learning tools that help educators teach how to properly cite works, images, etc in any style, how to avoid plagarism, and responsible research writing.  Such blogs, videocasts and links are not as readily available in other programs.   As it links to GoogleDrive and GoogleDocs, and can create bibliographies in Microsoft formats, it has potential for a wide user-base.

I give this application 3 out of 5 stars, but would likely warm up to it if it were offered as a pre-paid, fully functional service for use with others either in a learning environment (such as mentees over whom I supervise, each of whom may be collaborating on a paper) or in collaborative research. [3]

 

Works Cited

Creasy, Robert K., Robert Resnik, and Jay D. Iams. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2009. Print.


[1] "Statistics Usage in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Toward a Better Understanding." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 175.5 (1996): 1137. Web.

[2] "Practice Bulletin." American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - ACOG. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2014.

[3] Creasy, Robert K., Robert Resnik, and Jay D. Iams. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2009. Print.