The other day on LifeHack, I read a post featuring 10 Best Google Drive Add-Ons You Should Be Using (I’m always curious to see who thinks what is “best”, and why). Number 8 in this list was EasyBib. I’ve used the Easy Bib web site, but wasn’t familiar with the Google Docs Tool version.
From the video introduction, you might think that this tool is heaven’s answer to creating a bibliography or resource list for a paper. And it is easy to use, but….as usual with tech, don’t put all your eggs in this basket.
Be sure to scan through the comments at the bottom of this tutorial on the Google Docs Add-ons page.
I tested this tool on an Extended Essay resource list that’s being created (and shared) on Google Docs. We’d already generated a nice list of books, journal articles, web pages, videos, etc. Working off that list, I used the EasyBib tool to search for items on the list, and then generate an MLA style citation. I found about half the material through the search tool, and it did create an elegantly formatted citation. It creates the bibliography alphabetically at the end of the document; you might need to sort a long list by media, which you could do by hand.
The Easy Bib web page found and created citations for some of the works that the Google Doc’s add-on tool couldn’t find, for instance
Oliver, Peter, Douglass Adair, and John A. Schutz. Peter Oliver’s Origin & Progress of the American Rebellion: A Tory View. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1961. Print.
I found that using a combination of the citation tool and the word search tool (command F) in the doc helped me locate the correct resource much more easily in what was often a very long list of resources.
My take: This tool will save you time if you already have your list of resources. I think it might waste your time, or even be quite dangerous, if you tried to use it instead of a regular search page to hunt for resources.
If you’re not sure what the citation format should be, check The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab.