A Tale of Two Citation Tools

Recently, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools shifted from using EasyBib as its primary citation maker tool to NoodleTools. The reason: EasyBib started flooding its site with ads.

So what is NoodleTools? Essentially, NoodleTools is a tool similar to EasyBib in that it helps the user properly format and order citations. Carrboro High School’s library website explains that the district no longer sub- scribes to EasyBib and has switched to NoodleTools. However, one can still find EasyBib on the Google Apps page.

There has been some retaliation by Carrboro High School students, especially since some teachers now require that students use NoodleTools for project citations.

Some students prefer EasyBib for its feature set and simplicity.

“I think it’s really convenient to use,” commented Cora Van Raay, a sophomore at CHS, when asked her opinion of EasyBib. “I don’t really like NoodleTools, because you have to put in  all the information yourself, and it takes a lot of time.”

NoodleTools markets itself as a paid resource for educators by educators. Primarily, its selling points as a citation tool are the number of options available to adjust and the ability for teachers to communicate with their students along the way. NoodleTools aims to turn students from basic users into experts throughout the course of multiple projects.

EasyBib, on the other hand, tries to be the quick-and-easy citation generator. The citation builder textbox is the first thing a student sees on the site. Gathering sources flows fluidly by having users fill out information one piece at a time. EasyBib also automatically searches websites for information such as authors, publishers, publishing dates and credibility, which eliminates a good chunk of the work. The site offers both a free and paid service, the latter of which removes ads and unlocks some other features.

But how much of an issue are the ads?

“Personally I don’t really notice the ads,” said Van Raay. “I don’t really care because they’re not really getting in the way of anything.”

However, others do see these advertisements as an issue. Because loading advertisements takes a while to process on slower internet connections, navigating through EasyBib can waste minutes of one’s time.

“EasyBib’s got all those ads, so it slows it down a lot,” explained Maxwell Luce, CHS freshmen. He finds that both resources are fairly comparable. “I’ll probably switch to NoodleTools soon; it’s just a matter of getting familiarized with the website.”

Illustration by Ryx Zan