Mlibs event – Bibliographic management on mobile devices

This is part of a series of blog posts based on the sessions held at the Mobile technologies in libraries: information sharing event. More resources from the day are available at the event Lanyrd page.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones

Mike Jones (University of Bristol) presented during the afternoon breakout sessions on bibliographic management on mobile devices.

Mike gave an overview of the m-biblio project which is being undertaken at the University of Bristol as part of the JISC Mobile Infrastructure for Libraries programme.

The project is investigating the use of mobile devices in capturing references and looking at how it might be possible to gather useful statistics for the Library, including data about library items that are often confined to branches such as periodicals, journals and reference books.

The project has included a student survey and a workshop, both of which have contributed to a greater understanding of how students use bibliographic data and how this can be supported by mobile devices. This also uncovered the pain points and what students would like from a simple piece of software to help:

Compile them, format them to the desired style, and alphabetise

The m-biblio project has ensured that the information from the survey and the workshop has fed into the development of the mobile app, which we were fortunate enough to watch a demo of. Mike was able to scan the barcode of a book and get the bibliographic data into the app, and also showed us how you can add information in (or edit) manually – great for when the information isn’t quite right. He then showed us how to export the list ready for adding to assignments.

Although it’s still in development, what’s there so far is simple to use yet effective and we all agreed it would be great to be able to offer this sort of app to our students.

Some brief notes from the flipchart based on the discussion that followed the presentation and demo:

  • Easybib –  mobile app for bibliographic data on mobile devices (though doesn’t provide as much functionality as m-biblio)
  • Could m-biblio be available as a mobile website rather than an app? (the project team had investigated this option but decided against it due to the advantage of being able to use the camera through an app)
  • Geolocation – is this creepy or does it have potential for obtaining library metrics (i.e. where materials are being used)

Mike’s presentation is available on Slideshare at and for more information on the m-biblio project you can visit their project blog.

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