Library

Citing Insights 1.0 Released!

photo of students presenting

Created by HSU students, Citing Insights is "a powerful web application designed to streamline assessment of students' information literacy and other skills. With Citing Insights, you can easily upload a student papers, the citations are detected and links to discovery tools make it easy to evaluate the sources. Discovery tools include Semantic Scholar, Google Scholar, and a Library's Alma Primo. Citing Insights is designed to automate using or editing AAC&U Information Literacy Value Rubrics, and other assessment rubrics, for assessing the student papers. You can also add annotation, and provide students feedback, or provide accrediting bodies with detailed assessment reports." (github)

On August 12, 2020, the Humboldt State University Library announces the release of version 1.0 of the open source software, Citing Insights. Over the past 18 months, thanks to the support of HSU and the California State University Graduation Initiative 2025, undergraduate students have developed Citing Insights, innovative and powerful software designed to streamline assessment of student learning, and enabling inter-rater reliability norming and analytics.

After extensive research and analysis with faculty and librarians, Citing Insights was released in beta on March 14, 2020, featuring: streamlining assessment of information literacy and other key competencies, automated citation detection and sources discovery, rubric tools for the evaluation of sources of citations used in student papers, and customizable assessment rubrics for the overall paper and citations. Citing Insights streamlines assessment of student papers by enabling the user to upload one or a set of student papers, detecting citations in the paper, and enabling one click access to the sources of citations via Semantic Scholar, Google Scholar, or a library’s discovery system. Thanks to feedback from alpha and beta testing, the Citing Insights team streamlined the interface and added powerful new features, including group assessments and inter-rater reliability norming and analytics. Now, with group functionality, users and members of your group can evaluate the papers and citations using the built in Information Literacy or Critical Thinking Value rubrics from the AAC&U, or customize and share rubrics for program assessments. Scores and annotations are saved and can be retrieved by group or by paper. These results can be downloaded in CSV format. If you are interested in evaluating Citing Insights as an assessment tool, details are available at https://github.com/hsu-library-project-x/citing-insights-version1.

HSU Library internships and project-based student employment provide powerful learning opportunities designed to solve challenges faced by higher education and community. One of the key questions for the Citing Insights project is how can we make assessment easier? We answered that question with the completion of the first phase. The next phase is to take what we learned from assessing student papers, and develop software to support student research and writing. You can help support this endeavor. To learn more about HSU Library Scholar Internships and projects, please visit http://library.humboldt.edu/about/lsinternships or contact Cyril Oberlander, Library Dean at cyril.oberlander@humboldt.edu.

What is next for the Citing Insights Team? They will present this software to library conferences and to the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, looking for opportunities to further develop this innovative technology and encourage adoption. Congratulations Liz, Kyle, Ben, Cindy, Mitchell, and HSU Library!

The Citing Insights Team: Liz Lujan, Computer Science ‘20, Kyle Smith, Computer Science ‘20, Ben Miller, Computer Science ‘19, Cindy Batres, Art ‘20, and Mitchell Walters, Computer Science ‘19.