EasyBib vs. NoodleTools

For the last five years, students at my high school have organized and prepared their rigorous research in the online tool EasyBib. However, our school is now evaluating a switch to a new online service, NoodleTools. Below I hope to provide a first-glance comparison of both these services. I would love to know experience from NoodleTools users (teachers and students) as our school evaluates this program as a possible EasyBib replacement.


NoodleTools is a complete research companion. Its premium features allow citations in three major citation formats (MLA, APA, and Chicago). It generates footnote or in-text citations too. These citations are all saved by project type, but that is only where the fun begins. Each project can have a research question and thesis stated clearly at the top of the Project Dashboard. Also on the dashboard are features to share the project with student collaborators and a teacher drop box. While these features are not as user-friendly as one might expect in 2016, they are not difficult to learn either. Another feature on the dashboard I love is the “To Do” list. Students can add upcoming items they (or their team) needs to complete. Additionally, a comments section allows team members and teachers to add comments about the research in progress.

NoodleTools also offers a research note-taking and outline page which allows students an easy way to take digital notes, connected to a specific source, and then organize the notes into sections for an outline. Teaching research skills in the digital age, this is a key feature digital learners need to organize research in the cloud. I like Zotero for similar features, but unfortunately it is less glamorous than even NoodleTools.

EasyBib has been my go-to citation tool for five years. I’ve both written papers with it and helped students learn the system. Its main feature is a collaborative bibliography organizer. Students can share bibliographies with multiple users. Most importantly (and missing from NoodleTools), students can easily cite from many database and news sources without manually typing in the fields required for the source. For instance, when researching from JSTOR, EBSCOHost, ProQuest, or Gale databases, students can simply click a “send to EasyBib” button and the citation is generated automatically, with a high degree of accuracy. NoodleTools lacks this function. In fact, you cannot even import .ris files into NoodleTools, again shocking considering the other digital progress NoodleTools offers for online research.

A final assessment. In short, EasyBib is easier to use, but only as a bibliographic generator. NoodleTools offers all the same services and much more, albeit more difficult to use. Ignoring pricing differences, which you would need to investigate for your individual or organizational purposes, NoodleTools offers a far-reaching range of tools compared to EasyBib.


4 thoughts on “EasyBib vs. NoodleTools

  1. Connie Williams April 9, 2016 / 12:58 am

    Howdy! We’ve used NT for many years – I discovered it when I became an adjunct at our local community college – it’s their research platform of choice. Since most of our kids go to our local JC, this was a no-brainer to incorporate it in our high school. I have since discovered many, many ways to use this tool not only for students to keep citations together, but to keep their whole research project in one place. I can create a dropbox for them to share with me – and I can correct/grade/help with citations as they work rather than waiting to just grade them at the end of the project.
    In teaching at the junior college [a research skills class] I use NT as the central location for communication with students – they share their projects, their paper if I have them do one, their notes and they “journal’ their process using NT “idea cards”. They like the quick cite from other sources, the ability to scan ISBN print materials right into their projects from their phone or other device, and believe it or not – they do ask them questions…that get answered by real people, pretty quickly.
    All in all, it’s a great tool to have as a way to cite of course, but to also be a platform for keeping track of all their research.

    • Ericka July 6, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      Thanks for your review of the two tech tools. As a current grad students I have trouble writing citation in the correct format all the time. It’s’ been a few year since I’ve been in school and when I was in school we used MLA so now that I have to use APA I have a hard time using the correct format for different sources . I did use easybib and I found it a little confusing being that I have limited tech skills. But I will give NT a try.

  2. Rebecca Sofferman October 6, 2016 / 8:40 am

    Noodletools does not integrate directly with databases with the click of a button like EasyBib, but it DOES have a copy and paste function that allows the user to add a preformatted citaiton directly from a database into their bibliography.
    A couple of other comparisons to note: Noodletools now integrates directly with Google Apps for Education, allowing GAFE schools to use it without a separate login, as long as they are logged onto Google. This is huge as it allows the teacher and student to access not only the notes and citations but also the paper itself all in one place. EasyBib does have a chrome extension and an app (the Noodletools app is currently a bit weak).

  3. Linda December 1, 2016 / 11:08 am

    NT has a copy paste feature so you can copy and paste the citation available from a database. It will then format is correctly and add it to your other sources. It has collaborative feature also so students can compile a Works Cited for a team project.

Share your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s