To help students with online research, the Boston-based company WebNotes has created a web-based highlighting and “sticky note” tool that allows users to compile information from multiple web pages to organize and share their findings. “Users can capture information that’s important and share it with other people,” said co-founder Ryan Damico. Damico and his partner Alex King began developing WebNotes about two years ago after seeing a need for a product that allowed students to annotate web pages for research purposes–and especially group research. Damico said he has seen other web-based annotation services, but most are based within social networking tools and create problems with productivity. WebNotes is the free, basic version of the tool, which allows users to highlight texts and attach virtual “sticky notes” to web pages as they browse the web. WebNotes Pro, which costs $10 a month, allows users to highlight in multiple colors and to annotate PDF files as well as web pages. The WebNotes tools can be installed as a toolbar or as a bookmarklet (a small computer application stored as a URL in a web browser) if you don’t want to download the software to your computer. All of the annotations you make are automatically saved to your WebNotes account, and because it’s web-based, you can see your annotations from any computer. WebNotes not only allows users to save and share annotated web pages easier, but it also helps cut down on printing costs, Damico said. In the future, he hopes to expand the software’s ability to generate citation lists, something he said was requested by beta users.

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