Productivity Boosters

‘Tis the season when students write term papers. Which, alas, means that it’s also the season when some students struggle with citation formats. The TCU library has some great information about bibliographies, but I also want to share these four online citation builders, including the hilariously named Son of a Citation Machine. You can direct your students to these websites for help building MLA, APA, Turabian, or Chicago references.

I think it’s also the time in the semester when instructors and students alike start wishing for a clone. No link for that (yet!), but here’s a tip about Vlingo, a virtual assistant for smartphones. Think of this like Siri, but for your older iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Nokia, or Windows smartphone. Vlingo’s voice recognition can send messages, schedule meetings, make telephone calls, record notes, and update your facebook and twitter accounts. Also, it’s free.

Last, are you ever researching something and you desperately need that one article that’s in a journal to which your institution does not subscribe, is hidden in some database behind a moving wall, or is otherwise inaccessible to you? Well, if said article is from one of the 280 journals published by Cambridge University Press, you can now “rent” it for 24 hours. For $5.99 you get a link to the article in PDF format which you can consult as often as you’d like for the next 24 hours – no downloading, printing, or copying and pasting is allowed, though. I can see independent scholars or researchers perhaps using a pay-per-article plan, but I’m not sure those with  institutional affiliations would actually use it (even in a crunch). What do you think? Worth it to you? Potentially useful?

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