APA 6th edition update, notecards improvements, and more

APA 6th edition

The first stage of the APA 6th edition update to NoodleBib is now live (see the previous blog post for additional information about the APA update schedule). If you open an existing APA list in your folder, you will be prompted to convert it to 6th edition formatting, but as we did with the MLA update, you also have the option to save the list with 5th edition formatting as a Word document first. This update includes:

  • Significant changes to the URL/database field prompts, as described (primarily) in section 6.32 of the APA Publication Manual. The rules for what URL to include for a given source is a little more complex in the 6th edition. NoodleBib lists the applicable rules in the order you’ll need to consider them next to the URL field. You’ll notice that another thing we’ve done is to provide spaces for students to provide online retrieval information like a URL, database name, or database accession number even in cases for when those pieces of data are not actually required in the citation. For example, when citing a journal article in a database, the DOI (if there is one) or the home page URL of the journal is required in the citation (not the name or URL of the database it was retrieved from). Allowing the student to still provide a URL or database information in these cases helps the student (and the instructor) locate and review these sources.
  • Along these same lines, the user is no longer required to select the online retrieval type (database vs. website) up front — we simply prompt for the information on the main form.
  • Formatting of contributor names has been updated. Up to seven authors/contributors are listed normally, or if there are more than 7, the first 6 are given followed by “. . .” and then the final contributor is given last. See example 2 in the 6th edition for a citation that uses this, as well as this recent APA Style Blog post.
  • Formatting changes for a number of citation types, including books, dissertations, newsgroups, electronic mailing lists, web forums, and blogs
  • Changes to the sound recording citation type to include the option of citing podcasts and other audio files online
  • Changes to the film or video recording citation type to include the option of citing video blog posts or other video files online
  • Minor changes to the help text and advanced help popups to mirror the guidance in the new edition.

Chicago/Turabian changes

We’ve made some improvements and corrections to the way we handle online sources in the Chicago/Turabian tool. A knowledge base article will be forthcoming about these changes. You’ll notice, however, that we no longer prompt the user to select between a source being in a database or a Web site. And the shortened bibliography form used in Turabian 17.5.9 is no longer used (a full bibliography entry is created) — a change that teachers have been requesting for some time.

Notecard improvements

We’ve made some improvements to the Bibliography screen that we didn’t have time to get in during our summer update. This update includes:

  • All notecards can now be viewed on the Bibliography screen. Notecards that are not associated with any source are called “Thought Cards” and are displayed above the first citation.
  • A new Notecard Display options bar near the top of the Bibliography screen allows you to show or hide notecards in different ways. Show/hide all will quickly show or hide every notecard that you have created (and this now becomes a view very similar to the old Notecards screen, where all notecards were simply displayed in full, as a list). Show/hide Thought Cards allows you to show or hide just the notecards that do not have a source association. And finally (and perhaps most importantly), the Show only notecards that have comments option allows you to open only the notecards on which an instructor has written a comment, and close all others (this allows a student to efficiently review a teacher’s feedback).
  • Commenting from the Bibliography screen has been streamlined for the instructor. Each citation and notecard on the screen is now followed by a Comments box, so the instructor can quickly write comments on several items without reloading the page at all.

Let us know what you think! We have a few more improvements for the comments feature that are coming in the next few weeks — we’ll announce them soon.

User’s Guide update
We’ve finished and posted a draft of the new user’s guide, although as you can see, things are still changing a little as we finish off the changes to the new notecards screen. Take a look!

We’ve been busy updating the knowledge base articles for MLA 7th edition, and now we need to comb through the APA articles for the new edition as well. Thank you for you patience with this. Additional screencast tutorials are also in the works.

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