Citelighter (The Pinterest For Research) Launches Massive Global Learning Database

For those of you who haven’t heard of the new(ish) startup Citelighter, take note: it’s a pretty awesome tool. I’ve been playing around with it and chatted with founders of the company last week and am thoroughly impressed. So what exactly is Citelighter and why should you care?

How It Works

– Like Pinterest, you download their toolbar which allows you to quickly capture content that you’re looking at online.

– Then, you can add comments while they’re still fresh in your head (perhaps to remind you why you thought it was useful in case you forget later on?) and then the toolbar creates the corresponding bibliographic citation for you.

– Once you’re done, you export your facts, citations, and notes to a word document to use later when writing a paper or creating a reference document. As you go, you can check out your list of references and notes, organize them as you wish, and view recommended Pro Articles. As you go about your business, collecting references on the education policies of the US presidential candidates or the origins of Morse Code, Citelighter aggregates them for each specific topic on Knowledge Cards.

Today’s Announcement

Citelighter is worth checking out on its own accord, but there’s news that Edudemic has been proud to break as of this minute: Citelighter has partnered with Cengage Learning (the force behind the Questia research library) to give users the option of creating a Pro account to access the Questia library of articles to power your research. This gives Pro users access to millions of articles (newspapers, magazines, peer reviewed journals, transcripts, reference materials, etc).

I think we can all agree that millions of articles = a whole lotta research material = awesome research papers written by you.

“The team over at Citelighter has spent, and continues to spend, a lot of time with students understanding their research habits.  They  have created an efficient solution which streamlines their current process and enables students to focus on the task at hand. The end result is a much better work product in a shorter amount of time, a true win-win.”- Craig McGuinn, investor and CMO

How Do Teachers Use Citelighter?

Students at about 1,400 colleges and high schools are already using Citelighter, including a school district in Arizona that likes the product so much that they’ve even created courses to teach educators how to use it. It is easy to see how students love this tool (why didn’t this exist when I was in graduate school?!), but how can what is essentially a research tool help teachers?

1. Lets you help students focus on their research and writing process, not the organization or citation process

This one really explains itself, especially for anyone who has ever spent hours helping students correctly cite their research materials. Wouldn’t you rather be helping them learn how to flush out important information and improve their writing?

2. Helps you bolster and organize YOUR knowledge

Let’s say you’ve assigned a paper on trends in the mobile industry. You try to keep up to date with the latest  news, but it is pretty easy to miss out on things, especially in an industry that is so flush with new tools and toys nearly every day. As you read, you can capture trends and tools of note, and check in on the knowledge cards to see what others have found on the same topic. A quick search can help you keep up to date on the topics you teach so that you can pass on great information to your students, and use it to check up on them as they turn in their work.

3. Make your case in Professional Development

We know you’ve been reading a lot about things like flipped classrooms and how to implement iPads in your school, but perhaps you work in a place where there’s a lot of resistance to these ideas. Spend a few minutes collecting articles on the why and the how-to of the ideas you think are important, and you can bring a quick list of references and links to reading material to the table at your next PD meeting or event. Not only will it help your colleagues learn about new edtech developments, but you’ll look extremely organized, too.


What’s Next

I was thoroughly impressed with Citelighter and the new global learning database to the point where I was envious of current students. I wish I had this type of killer time-saving tool when I was a student. In any case, teachers and students alike should consider Citelighter as a new way to ‘pin’ your research without having to always worry about an errant semicolon or comma causing your research paper to come to a screeching halt.

More Information

Citelighter Launches Premium Product to Aid Students in Research
Partnership with Major Academic Publishing Company Enables Access to Vast Content Archive

Citelighter, the company responsible for the intuitive and easy-to-use fully automated research and citation tool, has released its newest educational product offering aimed at making research more credible, efficient, and productive.

With a scheduled release of September 17, 2012, Citelighter Pro will allow users to access a repository of paid content—millions of credible academic articles from journals, magazines, newspapers, and transcripts, from more than 6,500 sources dating back to 25 years—for only $10 a month, directly from Citelighter. The Pro version of the product can also make recommendations to relevant premium content based on a user’s research patterns.  Premium content will be displayed on Knowledge Cards, which are collections of specific facts curated by Knowledge Experts, and organized by topic.

The new service is a result of Citelighter’s recent partnership with Cengage Learning, a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide, and its premier online research and paper writing resource, Questia. Questia, with its expansive library of books, academic journals, and magazine / news content, has helped students find and cite high-quality scholarly research since its founding in 1998. The integration of Citelighter with Questia will further help students with their research tasks by allowing them to easily tap into collections of relevant, authoritative resources from Questia directly.

“We’re thrilled to start offering Citelighter users premium content on our intuitive research platform directly from a world renowned partner,” said Citelighter CEO Saad Alam. “This move makes research a snappier and more natural process for students—we’re replacing the cumbersome method of back-and-forth multi-tab browsing and eliminating the necessity for multiple log-ins with one simple, integrated experience.”

In preparation for launching Pro, Citelighter recently added plug-in support for two popular internet browsers, Google Chrome and Apple Safari; the plug-in was previously available only for Mozilla Firefox.  In the coming months Citelighter will also be launching the ability to capture content from PDFs, which allows users to expand their use in professional research databases.

About Citelighter:

Citelighter is an academic research platform that allows students to save, organize, and automatically cite information on the web, and then store these facts privately or aggregate them by topic to be shared with the community. Citelighter launched in September 2011 and is used by students in over more than 1,400 schools in 50 countries.

About Cengage Learning and Questia:

Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Questia, part of Cengage Learning, is the Web’s premier online collection of copyrighted fiction,non-fiction, and scholarly books, academic journals and research periodicals for students and includes integrated tools for note taking, organizing research, citing sources, creating footnotes and building bibliographies to help students write better research papers faster. For more information, visit or