Highlight Websites, Save Research, and Generate Citations with Citelighter
Citelighter is a new web tool that allows users to highlight and save portions of websites. While this might seem like already existing resources, such as Marker.to which I have previously discussed, but Citelighter builds on this by also automatically generating citations in any of three styles (APA, MLA or Chicago/Turabian) for all highlighted passages and saving them to projects, which can then be exported to GoogleDocs or Word documents or shared via email. While Citelighter pulls citation information automatically, users can also refine the citation information if Citelighter isn’t able to pull in all of the necessary information. This allows Citelighter to effectively crowdsource improvement of citations because this refined citation information is then available to other users who may highlight the passages of the same website in the future. And, to encourage users to add this additional citation information, Citelighter also gives out 10 points for every citation a user improves. While the company hasn’t yet announced what these points will be used for, this information is expected in the coming weeks. Once a project is underway, users can post to Facebook about it or email it to friends or collaborators.
Currently, the Citelighter tool bar is only available for Firefox, but extensions for Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer are also in the works. And, Citelighter plans to allow users to pull text from pdfs and ebooks in the future as well. Even in its current form, Citelighter is a quick to install and easy to use solution for collecting and citing web-based information. As the functionality continues to expand, it will only become more useful for students and researchers who need to find and cite information on the web. The video below gives a good overview of the current functionality.