CHOICE review of NoodleTools (June 2006)

NoodleTools was reviewed and described as “highly recommended” in the June 2006 issue of CHOICE. The article has been reproduced here with permission from the American Library Association.

[Visited Mar’06] The NoodleTools site provides a wealth of free teaching tools on citation format and information literacy, primarily aimed at grades K-12 but useful for lower-division undergraduates as well. A subscription provides access to NoodleBib 6, a Web-based tool that assists in the process of generating, editing, and publishing an MLA works-cited list or an APA reference list. NoodleBib acts more like a wizard for creating bibliographic citations than a full-fledged bibliographic management software program. Such programs (e.g., ProCite, Reference Manager, Endnote, Biblioscape, and RefWorks) provide filters for importing information from subscription databases and modules for creating in-text citations as well as output in a wider range of citation formats. However, users need grounding in the elements of citation creation to input information by hand or to clean up the bibliographic output when filters are faulty. NoodleBib walks the user through the process of inputting citation information with clear, simple instructions that differentiate between source types with ease.

NoodleBib’s range of source type options is remarkable, and much clearer than any bibliographic management program this reviewer has used. The completed reference list can be output in .RTF format to any word processor, e-mailed, or sent to a teacher with a school or class subscription. NoodleBib does not have import or text citation functions, but it does offer guidance in creating parenthetical citations for specific entries. Although it lacks the power of true bibliographic management software, NoodleBib 6 outputs extremely accurate citations much more easily than such software programs. It could be an excellent teaching tool in lower-division undergraduate programs. Alternatively, the free tool NoodleBib Express (accessible from NoodleTools’s home page) might fulfill that teaching function just as well. Although it can output only a single source citation at a time, it has the same input and help functions as the full-featured NoodleBib. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and two-year technical program students. — M. F. Jones, East Tennessee State University

? American Library Association. Reproduced with permission, August 2006. Contact permissions@ala-choice.org for permission to reproduce or redistribute.

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