student life

ReferenceME: the app for students like no other

Written by littlegoode

Students everywhere – our prayers have finally been answered. The gorgeous people at ReferenceME (Referencing Made Easy) have designed an app that is taking over campuses all over the country.

Students everywhere – our prayers have finally been answered. The gorgeous people at ReferenceME (Referencing Made Easy) have designed an app that is taking over campuses all over the country. And yes, it really does do your referencing for you.

Simple and incredibly easy to use, this app seems to be saving the lives of students everywhere. But how long are we going to be able to use it before some educational official cottons on to what we’re doing? And when they do, what’s going to happen to us?

Amazing app

I can’t lie to you. This app is everything and more we students have ever wanted in our lives. Forget lots of money, a sexy boyfriend and an iPhone 5 – this app will solve all of your woes. It will make you want to write your essays and turn your deadlines in on time. Hell, you might even want to Instagram a picture of your beautiful, beautiful footnotes. I know I’ve done it.

The absolute brilliance of the app comes from its simple layout and the fact that it’s lightning quick. You can choose the referencing style that you require, either Harvard, Vancouver, Oxford, Chicago, Turabian (I pity you if you attend somewhere that knows what that is), MLA, APA or the good old MHRA.

Then, all you need to do is use the camera on your phone to scan the barcode on the back of your text and, hey presto, the app generates both the bibliography format and citation format of your text. More of an e-book user? Don’t fear – you can also manually enter the website or ISBN of the source that you’re using, and the result will be the same.

I know, I know, I almost couldn’t cope either. Not only does this app take away the slow and laborious pain of referencing, but it also enables you to keep everything stored in separate folders on the app, meaning you can go back to essays you’ve written earlier in the year and still have all your references ready and waiting for re-perusal.

The best bit is, it’s all instantaneous and self-explanatory. There are no weird symbols or buttons, and no spinning wheel of death while the app tries to locate your reference. In short, it’s perfect.

Are we in trouble?

But (because there is always a ‘but’ in life) there have been questions raised about how safe this app is to use in relation to university guidelines. And even though I feel like I’ve just ripped apart the biggest, fluffiest, most beautifully silver-lined cloud by saying that, it is something worth considering.

Bearing in mind that referencing is a pretty integral part of most of our degrees, and that most universities will dock marks depending on the quality of your referencing, is there something wrong about getting a piece of technical magic to do it for us?

After all, we wouldn’t get away with someone else doing our referencing for us, so does the fact that it’s an app really give us any kind of loophole?

I think we’d all agree that referencing is such a small part of the actual work that goes into an essay, project or dissertation, particularly as we were the ones who spent weeks sweating over said piece of work.

In the end, the referencing is just citing all the texts and sources that we ourselves did read, so using an app shouldn’t take away from the real body of work.

But, most universities have a very strong position on referencing that we may not understand, but that nevertheless exists. I spent a lot of time trying to research official reactions to the app but (mercifully) none came up. Someone suggested to me speaking to my own university about it, but don’t panic guys, I don’t want to ruin this for us either.

I did email ReferenceME to ask how they feel about any potential accusations that they’re helping students to dodge some of their actual degree requirements, and although I had some correspondence with them, they didn’t answer my question.

From the little communication I had, I can tell they’re extremely proud of their app, and that they’re really focused on making sure it’s accessible to as many people as possible. Would I like to know if they’re prepared for any problems with universities in the future? Sure, I would.

But I’m also not going to deny that this app is doing an amazing thing, and all for free, and that I’ve been reccommending this app to as many people as I possibly can.

For a taste of some people’s reactions, follow @GetRefMe on Twitter. You can see how happy they’ve made so many students already, try it for yourself and continue spreading the love.

Have your say on ReferenceME in the comments section below.