Student Referencing app wins Best British Mobile Start-up

March 12, 2015
App Development,Tech News

Student Referencing app wins Best British Mobile Start-up

The referencing app, named RefMe, is a mobile app which students and academics can use to generate in-text citations, reference lists and bibliographies. As well as being available as an app, the service can also be used via its website – all you have to do is sign-up.

The London based edtech company was awarded the prize at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona after being voted for by KMPG and Trade & UK Investment (UKTI), who were two of the judges for that category.

Finalists were evaluated by the judges based on their traction/user base, revenue growth and innovation. RefMe CEO and cofounder Tom Hatton was presented the award by Ed Vaizey, the UK minister for culture and the digital economy.

Tom_Hatton_RefME_thumb800According to Hatton, the app gained over half a million users in its first eight months, meaning that it overtook Spotify and Ebay in the download charts and is currently growing faster than Pinterest and Twitter did during their first years.

The app boasts over 6,500 referencing styles, with new styles being added and updated as they are found. The app works by allowing students and academics to reference their work in a style of their choosing by scanning the barcode of a book or journal, copying and pasting a hyperlink or by searching for the publication manually. The app also synchs the data with the cloud so that it can then be accessed on multiple devices.

Similar apps have been developed before, but to little acclaim – almost all have been heavily criticised by users for having a lack of referencing styles and for failing to find  texts & reference them accurately. Online their has been a useful presence for quite some time; CiteThisforMe works efficiently, does not require a sign-up has received positive user feedback since 2011, however they missed an opportunity by neglecting to develop an app to deliver the same service as the website:

Apple have claimed that RefMe is now “saving students everywhere”, and student opinion seems to agree based on the feedback from 83 users who have rated and commented in the App Store. The opinion of university professors is divided; with some thinking that the app has seen a positive reduction in referencing errors, whilst others have criticised the app for hampering students’ abilities to produce their own reference lists and bibliographies.

After being presented with the award, Hatton said: “We are over the moon. It’s an amazing feeling to see the technology you’ve worked so hard to build be used by so many people in such a short space of time.”

RefMe was not Hatton’s first venture into the tech world; in an interview with Techworld last year, he boasted that he had a million ideas he wanted to pursue before settling on the referencing app.

He also claims to have been the first person to deliver a takeaway using a drone; a feat he achieved with his last company T+ Biscuits, who were hired by Dominos to deliver pizzas via a droned named ‘The Domicopter”. A video of iThe Domicopter’s maiden voyage can be seen HERE.

RefMe is available on both iOS and Andriod from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store respectively.

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