By Joyce Stack, API Developer Outreach

Back in July I stumbled across writeLaTeX after a ‘tweet archaeology’ exercise where I found this old tweet, which mentioned integrating with Mendeley. So I promptly got in touch with the folks at writeLaTeX and we collaborated together to make it possible to import Mendeley bibliography into their writeLaTeX projects. WriteLaTeX “is an online service that allows you to create, edit and share your scientific ideas using LaTex.”

And now, not only can you import your Mendeley reference library into writeLaTeX, but try writeLaTeX Pro for 50% off as a Mendeley user!

Here is writeLaTeX co-founder John Lees-Miller on the Mendeley writeLaTeX integration:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

It’s here! The feature you’ve been asking for since we first launched our bibliography manager integration in September. You can now import your reference library directly from Mendeley to writeLaTeX, to make it easy to manage your references and citations in your projects.

This is thanks to a concerted effort from our development team – Tim Alby in particular – and the Mendeley API team with whom we’ve been working in order to refine and improve the BibTeX output from the API.

To see how it works, check out the illustrated guide below. We’re also pleased to offer a special promotion for all Mendeley users – save 50% on writeLaTeX Pro!

 

 

Using the new Mendeley reference importer in writeLaTeX

How does it work? It’s very simple – from the project menu in the editor select Add files -> Add bibliography, which brings up the bibliography import screen:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

 

 

The first time you do this, you’ll be prompted to connect your Mendeley account with your writeLaTeX account:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

And then to authorise this on the Mendeley website:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

 

Once the accounts are linked, all you need to do is choose a name for the Mendeley bibliography file in the project:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

Once the file has been uploaded into the project, you can use it with bibtex in the usual way:

news guest blog developer resources  Mendeley and writeLaTeX integration is here!

If you add more references to your Mendeley library, you can refresh the link to pull in the new .bib content (and the file can also be refreshed via the project menu).

Save 50% on writeLaTeX Pro if you’re a Mendeley user

To mark this feature launch, we’re pleased to offer a special promotion to all Mendeley users – you can get a full year of writeLaTeX Pro for only $48, a 50% discount on the regular price.

To take advantage of this offer, simply head to the promo page and claim your discount today!*

*Promotion runs until 31st December 2014. Please see promo page for terms and conditions.

 

 

guest blog  Inspiring Women in Technology

By: Paula Clerkin, 3rd year CS with AI student at the University of Nottingham

As a third and final year, I am having to come to terms with the end of my time at university. It’s pretty daunting thinking about leaving this lovely bubble of support and finding a proper job in the real world.

Over the past few years, I have tallied up a rather impressive number of attendances to careers events across the country. I like to think that I’ve learned new things at each event but I find I’ve always come away feeling a little disheartened and overwhelmed by the tough requirements and competition. These events manage to, rather heavy handily coerce attendees into applying for internships and grad schemes using impressive facts, figures and shiny benefits. These careers events are missing something. They don’t inspire their attendees.

Although I’ve been to many career events, I still don’t know what path I should take. This is why I am organising Inspire Women In Technology (WIT).

Inspire WIT is a day to celebrate the female individuals working within the technology industry. We have fascinating speakers from all walks of life talking about their personal experiences of working in the industry. They all have different backgrounds and areas, yet they share the same drive and passion for technology.

I find every one of our speakers inspiring. These are the ladies that I adamantly follow on Twitter, I read their blogs and I aspire to do what they do. But I want to know more; I want to know about how they got where they are, the stories behind the decisions they’ve made and I want to listen to their advice. And I know I’m not the only one.

I think it’s about time there was a day for everyone; tech enthusiasts, non-programmers, students at college and university, women and men, to come together and see how truly vast and impressive the technology industry is and how everyone can be part of it.

But it’s not just about talks. The second half of the day will consist of workshops, mini-events and networking opportunities. An Introduction to Programming for Beginners run by Code Club, How to Tackle a Technical Interview by Bloomberg and a live Ethical Hack in 10 by CapitalOne, are just a few of the workshops attendees can go to. There are of course and hardware hack and an all-important careers talk. There truly is something for everyone.

Although networking sounds formal, Inspire WIT attendees will be able to meet and mingle with representatives from the best technology companies around. I have added mini-events such as retro game stations, Oculus’ and a photo booth. There is no pressure, no speed-networking; the emphasis is on taking your time, asking all your questions and most importantly, being inspired and having fun!

I want Inspire WIT to be an opportunity for over 200 attendees to discover their potential and learn more about such a fascinating industry. If there is only one thing that Inspire WIT helped just one person discover, then we have done our job.

events 2  Science Startups meet at Le Web 2014

Since becoming Elsevier’s VP of Strategy, Mendeley Co-founder and CEO Victor Henning has been up to a lot of exciting stuff. Here he tells us a bit about his latest project, Axon, which is stirring things up by bringing together the best and brightest new startups in the fields of Science and Research at Le Web 2014.

Over the last few years, I have watched something interesting happen in the world of science: Tech startups and VCs suddenly care about scientists. Strangely, this wasn’t always the case.

When the World Wide Web was invented at CERN, its original purpose was to help manage and share scientific information about particle accelerator experiments. Yet, with the exception of a few search engines, document repositories, and journal databases, the web remained barren of well-designed tools and applications engineered for scientists.

Instead, the last 15 years witnessed the explosion of the consumer web and mobile apps, fueled by advertising revenue. Jeff Hammersbacher, an early Facebook data science employee (and now founder of Cloudera), summed it up as:

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks. If instead of pointing their incredible infrastructure at making people click on ads, they pointed it at great unsolved problems in science, how would the world be different today?”

How indeed? We might be watching hilarious cat gifs on the screens of our flying cars.

Around 2008, things started to change: A small wave of bootstrapped startups began building document management tools, social networks, and recommendation engines for scientists. Among them was Mendeley, my own company. Grown out of our own frustrations as researchers, my co-founders and I built Mendeley to make science more open, more efficient, and more collaborative. Getting started wasn’t easy – many VCs turned us down because they saw research as a “niche”. We nonetheless managed to convince a couple of angel investors (among them the founders of Skype) to invest in us.

After launching in 2009, we came to LeWeb to participate in the startup competition. I have the fondest memories of the event – a freezing, pre-Christmas Paris in December, and Dave McClure, the famously foul-mouthed Silicon Valley angel investor, tweeting his sexual arousal at seeing our pitch:

Events like LeWeb helped put us on the map with international investors, press, and potential users. From there, Mendeley grew to a research platform connecting more than 3.5 million researchers in 180 countries, with institutional customers like Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. In April 2013, we were acquired by Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of science and health information.

Without wanting to claim undue credit, quite a few Ph.D. students and Postdocs who became entrepreneurs themselves have told me that Mendeley was an inspiration for them: It proved that tools for researchers could go from garage to global audience, and it proved to potential investors that the “niche” could also deliver sizeable exits.

We are now seeing the emergence of a second wave of venture-backed research startups, offering a much wider range of scientific workflow tools. They help scientists keep electronic versions of lab notebooks, organize and share experimental data, order lab materials, write papers collaboratively, outsource experiments to other labs and to the cloud, get credit for peer reviews, launch their own journals, and even raise crowdfunding for their research projects.

It’s time to give this movement more visibility. Elsevier and LeWeb 2014 are teaming up to run a half-day event called Axon@LeWeb (in case you’re wondering – in the brain, axons are the fibres that carry impulses from neurons to other nerve cells). We want to bring together the most exciting science and research startups – the ones that build tools for the best minds of our generation, to help them crack those great unsolved problems.

Startups can apply online here, and we already have applications from amazing companies in the US, Canada, Sweden, France, the UK, and Germany. The 15 best startups will receive a free ticket to LeWeb 2014, as well as the opportunity to present at Axon@LeWeb and network with the hottest companies in this space. Even if your startup is not among the 15 selected to present, Elsevier is sponsoring a €200 discount on the regular startup ticket for all science and research startups that want to join us at LeWeb.

Applications for Axon@LeWeb close on Sunday, 16th November, at midnight CET, and the winning startups will be announced by Tuesday, 18th November.

Hope to see you in Paris in December!

guest blog  Is Crowdfunding a Good Option for Your Research?

By: Nick Dragojlovic, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia

Picture this… It’s 8am. You take your first sip of coffee, ready to start your day. You check your email and…

You find out your latest grant application didn’t get funded. Bummer.

You give it a couple of days to get over the feeling of rejection, and then start working on your next application. Rinse and repeat until you either: 1) land the grant that will keep your research program going, or 2) run out of funding and have to leave academia.

You tell yourself that in an era of budget austerity, this is just what a researcher’s life entails.

Then, in a flight of fancy, you image that maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe you could crowdfund your next research project and show the narrow-minded review committees you were right. After all, if glowing plants raised half a million dollars, you could raise $10,000 to run your study. No?

Well, maybe.

——————-

Crowdfunding can be a viable option to obtain research funds, but it’s hard work and it’s not a cash machine. So if you’re thinking about crowdfunding one of your research projects, use this Q&A to help you decide whether it’s worth the effort.

Q: How much money can I raise through crowdfunding?

A: Like so much in life, it depends.

Based on a range of estimates, the vast majority of research crowdfunding campaigns to date have raised $7,000 or less.

Some research teams, however, have managed to raise a whole lot more. If you happen to be working on Ebola during a panic-inducing epidemic, you can raise a hundred thousand dollars in short order. In fact, medical research campaigns seem to be able to raise significantly more than the average figures. A study published in Drug Discovery Today, for example, found that 97 crowdfunding campaigns focused on cancer research raised an average of about $45,500 each.

The larger amounts raised by many medical research projects are in large part due to alliances between researchers and existing medical research foundations, who are typically much better placed to raise money. The Tisch MS Center, for example, recently raised over $300,000 on Indiegogo to help fund a Phase I clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. And in perhaps the most impressive example to date, a coalition of foundations have raised over $2 million to support a Phase I trial for Abeona Therapeutics’ experimental gene therapy for Sanfillipo Syndrome.

Long story short, the amount you can plausibly raise through crowdfunding will depend on how appealing your project is to potential donors and on how big of an audience you have at your disposal, but will most likely be under $10,000.

Q: What can I do to increase my chances of success?

A: Build an audience.

Fundraising takes a lot of work. Ultimately, you’ll only attract sufficient donations if you actually ask a lot of people for money. This means you’ll have to go beyond your own personal network, and the single most important thing you can do to make that easier is to invest in building a personal following long before you even think about launching a crowdfunding campaign.

Thankfully, social media makes this possible even if you don’t get invited to appear on TV on a regular basis. In fact, building up a sizeable online audience could be worth tens of thousands of crowdfunding dollars a year. Twitter, email, and the number of media contacts fundraisers made, for example, were the three key drivers of donations in the #SciFund Challenge campaigns. In fact, taken together, Facebook (38%) and Twitter (12%) drove half of the total traffic to Hubbub, a crowdfunding service provider that focuses on higher education and non-profits. So you really need to build your online network if you’re going to crowdfund.

One thing to keep in mind is that running even a small crowdfunding campaign can help to build your audience, and that the true value of your audience goes way beyond the money you raise in your first campaign. Not only can you go back to your donors in subsequent crowdfunding campaigns, but if you keep engaging with your new followers, they will also follow you over the course of your career, and could potentially connect you to new collaborators, high-net-worth philanthropists, and investors years down the line.

Q: Which crowdfunding platform should I use?

A: It probably doesn’t matter much.

If you’ve built a large following before launching a campaign (you have, haven’t you?), then the choice of crowdfunding platform is less important than you might think, since you’ll be driving most donors to the fundraising page yourself. That said, there are a range of options.

Most smaller projects use one of the niche research-focused portals. Some of these have geographic limitations about where project creators can be based, and you’ll want to check with your university to make sure that your campaign complies with institutional policies. Be warned that most of these sites also take a percentage of any money donated (usually between 5% and 10%) as a commission.

An alternative might be to use your university’s own crowdfunding portal. More and more universities are creating their own crowdfunding sites for faculty, staff, students, and alumni to use, and they typically do not take a cut of the donations. In addition, the service providers used by many of these universities, such as Hubbub, offer in-person training and marketing advice for prospective fundraisers. If your university doesn’t have its own platform, you might also consider Hubbub’s open crowdfunding site, which doesn’t take any commissions.

Finally, a new set of online fundraising platforms for researchers are aiming to move beyond the traditional campaign-centered crowdfunding model, and to fund researchers instead of research projects. If you’re interested in doing video-based science outreach and getting viewers to “sponsor” you, you can try Thinkable, and if you’re thinking about fundraising to support your medical research lab over the long-term, you might want to check out LabCures.

Ultimately, though, the choice of platform is not as important as actually starting to talk to the public about your research and building a community of supporters.

Q:  So should I try to crowdfund my research?

A: Yes, if the conditions are right.

For most researchers (i.e., if you’re not already a super-star with a huge media presence), crowdfunding might make sense if you meet any or all of these three criteria:

  • You have an experiment that you could do for under $10,000, and data from this experiment could help you to attract funding from other sources.
  • You have a very marketable topic and/or you have the backing of a foundation or other group with an existing network of donors and supporters.
  • You want to build your online network as a long-term investment – i.e., it’s not about the money, but crowdfunding can provide the impetus for you to put in the work necessary to build your network.

And if you’re still not sure, you can always ask the crowd.

What do you think? Have you looked to crowdfunding to enable your research, or are thinking about putting together your first campaign? Join the conversation on our Mendeley Crowdfunding Group or tweet @NickDragojlovic

Nick Dragojlovic is a Vancouver-based science communication researcher passionate about how crowdfunding can be used to accelerate scientific research and biomedical innovation. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and writes about crowdfunding scientific research at Funded Science.

mendeley advisors guest blog  Midwest Scholars ConferenceMendeley loves our Advisors and recently one of our Advisors, Chris Devers hosted a session at the Midwest Scholars Conference. He tells us about his session in today’s Guest Blog Post:

Recently, Mendeley sponsored the Midwest Scholars Conference. At the conference, I provided a seminar that demonstrated some of Mendeley’s advanced features. During the seminar, participants described how they used Mendeley in their research process and asked how I use Mendeley in my research. They were thrilled to learn that I use it in all my projects and that I provide frequent seminars on Mendeley that are streamed live and recorded for later viewing.

All the participants at the seminar were actively using Mendeley but wanted to learn more about Mendeley’s advanced features. For example, some participants wanted to learn more about groups and how to collaborate with colleagues, and were pleased to learn that Mendeley could rename files by author, date, etc.

In addition to showing the attendees how the group feature worked and facilitated collaboration, I also demonstrated how I use the group feature in my own research and collaborate with others. Specifically, when I am working on a project with colleagues or students, everyone involved uses Mendeley to share, annotate, and organize relevant literature. All of our notes, highlights, and comments are shared across the group, as well as when we add articles. It also provides a place for us to discuss the literature — all of our research is in one location and not spread-out over multiple documents, email, etc.

For example, one of our projects explores note-taking and learning, and a student who works with me, Christine Lee (Ph.D. student at UCLA), uploaded an article from Psychological Science comparing pen note-taking versus computer note-taking. If we had used email to share the article, we both would have had to enter the information separately, which would not be as efficient as using Mendeley.

Mendeley is not simply a reference manager, but rather it helps us facilitate and manage our research projects, and provides us with new recommendations as we build the literature base for the project.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

By: Gabriel Hughes, VP Web Analytics at Elsevier

Images © Chris Williamson, courtesy of the Cambridge Union Society 

Should we have the right to require websites to ‘forget’ or ‘delete’ stories and posts about us which we find embarrassing or just don’t want other people to see? Should people be able to force search engines to remove links to information like that? Do individuals need more legal powers to control their personal data online?

As a growing technology company based in London, Mendeley finds itself drawn into many of the great debates facing the technology sector in Europe today, and we take this responsibility very seriously.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

This October, we were proud to sponsor the prestigious Cambridge Union Society as it debated the ‘The Right To Be Forgotten’, a contentious issue following recent legal developments in Europe.

Under a ruling made in May, in a case brought against Google, European citizens may now demand that search engines remove links to online public information about them. This is the current legal interpretation of the ‘right to be forgotten’, a concept which has been debated for some years and is outlined in the EU’s Data Protection Directive drafted back in the 1990s. This ethical and legal issue is still evolving and whatever finally emerges is likely to have far reaching implications for the internet for many decades to come.

I entered the debate from my personal position, one that is also informed by my experience working at Google, which is of course the company most significantly affected by this new ruling. My fellow teammates in opposition were the MP for Cambridge Julian Huppert,  Mariam Cook, CEO of Position Dial, and Alistair McCapra, CEO of Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The side in proposition of the motion was led by David Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office, and also included Jon Crowcroft,  Professor of Communications Systems at Cambridge, Gavin Phillipson, Chair of Law at Durham University and also Emma Carr, Director of Big Brother Watch. Each of these expert speakers brought considerable depth of knowledge and unique perspectives to this complex issue.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

My argument in opposition was based not on a disagreement with the right to privacy or control over one’s personal information, quite the contrary. It focused on the deep flaws in the recent European court ruling, which targeted search engines and technology companies, who are not responsible for what publishers and individuals post online. A perverse outcome of the ruling is that in asking Google to delete a link to something you do not like, they are put in a position where they alone have to judge whether it is in fact right for them to do so, leaving the publisher under no obligation to delete the offending post itself. The information remains online, and search engines are forced into a censorship role which few can defend.

In my opinion, search engines are just a part of the navigational infrastructure that enables the internet to function, together with social networks, wiki pages, feeds and the hypertext link itself, and this ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling confuses navigational linking technology with the content that it points to. Nobody seems to think it is a good idea to force Google into this new Big Brother role where it now tries to arbitrate what websites can share online, and this new right turns the neutral and automated role of a search engine on its head.

The opposing team also pointed out that many of the worst cases where private or embarrassing information has been posted online are already covered under data protection, harassment and privacy laws. New laws have a habit of creating unintended consequences that could lead us down a dark path of censorship and excessive regulation, they warned.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

In the end, this team opposing the right to be forgotten won the debate. Before entering the debate chamber 40 per cent of the audience indicated they supported the motion ‘this house supports the right to be forgotten’, but after hearing the debate, the balance of the vote had shifted against, with the ‘nay’ side winning by 35 per cent to 30.

Yet the debate highlighted the complexity of the issue and this was reflected in how close the vote ended and in how many felt compelled to abstain. Indeed, one audience member spoke up ask whether the debate was about the principle of the Right To Be Forgotten, or the actual right in law now defined by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Some of those arguing in support of the proposition did not seem to think search engines should be targeted and distanced their arguments from the court ruling. Likewise, those speaking against the motion acknowledged the real concerns of many people about how their data is used online.

It seems a balance has to be struck between opposing demands. An absolute right to be forgotten, allowing everyone complete control over what information about them should be published online, makes no sense. There are too many politicians who have over-claimed expenses, doctors who have been sued for malpractice, and bankers who have been convicted of fraud. If there are to be more legal powers to control what information about you is out there, then everyone accepts there have to be counter-balancing limitations in defence of freedom of speech and freedom to know.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

At the same time, we all have to recognise that our society is going through a period of enormous change, whereby more data than ever is collected about our day-to-day life. We are moving too close to the point where almost every waking moment of our lives is recorded online, and can potentially be shared or made public. The volumes of data about us that are being collected and stored are truly immense and unprecedented in our history.

Given this, the truth is that our society does need to evolve new mechanisms, both technical and maybe even legal, to ensure that individuals are empowered to better manage their privacy and identity online. The challenge will be doing this in such a way that we do not introduce censorship, and an Internet plagued by legal disputes over what should or should not be online. Reflecting on the debate, it looks very much like we do need new solutions, but perhaps just not this one.

guest blog  Mendeley Debates At Cambridge : Do We Need A ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ?

As Jan Reichelt, President and Co-founder of Mendeley, made clear in his introduction, we have a firm ethical policy to preserve data protection and privacy for our users. We also believe in the power of technology innovation to solve the very toughest problems, often powered by data that our researchers and the scientific community creates. We will continue to support the great debate about to balance these interests, so we can support both freedom of speech and the right to privacy.

Interested to contribute to the debate ? Tweet us at @Mendeley_com or @gabehughes #RTBF

While our Data Science team makes a big deal out of big data, they aren’t the only ones digging their hands in the data here at Mendeley. Aside of setting and monitoring company KPIs and writing some critical reports, the Mendeley Analytics team primarily focuses on user behaviour. That means, they study how and why you use Mendeley to better inform how and why we grow different Mendeley products and features. The Analytics team works closely with nearly every team here at Mendeley, from technical teams, to Product teams, to our Community team. Without further ado, meet the Analytics team:

Gabriel Hughes PhD, VP Analytics

meettheteam  Meet the Analytics Team!Until last year, Gabriel worked Head of Attribution at Google for 6 years, and has worked with data and analytics throughout his career. Follow him @gabehughes

1. How do you describe your role on the Analytics Team?

I’m responsible for user analytics across Mendeley and also Elsevier. My role is help guide the team and ensure they have the resources and support they need from the rest of the company, and manage relationships with the rest of Elsevier. We also work closely on defining company objectives for measuring how we better engage and grow our core users.

2. What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

The commitment and focus of the Mendeley teams to improving the platform makes this a great place to work. The Analytics team are dedicated to supporting their colleagues, working hard to guide the rest of company with insights into how people use Mendeley. We use these insights to help product managers and engineers decide how best improve the user experience.

3. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have two children and recently we have been exploring some of great new board and card games out there, like Forbidden Island, Loot and Braggart which are great fun to play and really stimulate the mind. One of great things about having kids is you can revisit all this cool stuff all over again.

 

Sebastian Pöhlmann, Insights & Analytics Manager

meettheteam  Meet the Analytics Team!Seb is originally from Germany where he obtained a degree in Economics. An interest in development economics got him to spend a year in Norway studying System Dynamics modelling and on to work in Rome for an international agriculture research organisation. A year working on business development projects in Malawi brought back new enthusiasm about the (global!) potential of science and technology.
Returning to Europe, London provided a unique blend of opportunities and Mendeley the perfect place to work.

1. How do you describe your role on the Analytics Team?

Seb leads, grows and learns from the Analytics team. Often my day is “like a box of chocolate” : )

2. What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

My colleagues. And the amazing learning opportunities.

3. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Family time out and about, traveling, reading.

 

Andi Rutherford, Data Engineer and Architect

meettheteam  Meet the Analytics Team!Andi is one of the last of the original developers and architects of Mendeley –
designed & implemented API v.1, worked on the Desktop and iOS mobile
clients and Website, and did Operations and Systems Administration –
in a start-up environment you do everything! Most recently he’s been
building systems and weaving datasets via Hadoop technologies and
enabling Analytical technical function to produce strategically
significant reports. Andi also helps organise our monthly Hackdays.
Follow him @cogpie

1. How do you describe your role on the Analytics Team?

I currently provide the technical knowledge and data history to
support analysis, as well as look at future tools to help us further.
I help organise and process large datastores and act as resource for
for best practices to access and query the data for speed and quality.
My mathematics and data background helps as sounding board for the
results of analytical products.

2. What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I like the challenge, the people, the datasets and working with
them – but actually, the vision of what Mendeley will be sold the
project to me – its scope is breathtaking; now we just have to get
there!

3. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

These days: home improvement! But usually: reading, reading,
reading; building things, ‘perfecting’ recipes, planning romantic
dates, dreaming about having a pet pig one day, as I just fulfilled my
other dream of a herb garden.

 

Dr Lili Tcheang, Research Data Analyst

meettheteam  Meet the Analytics Team!Lili trained as a neuroscientist after completing an undergraduate degree in Physics. She hen had a spell in academia, looking at visuospatial processing in virtual reality environments, doing brain scanning and brain stimulation experiments. Basically messing with people’s heads. She finally came to the conclusion that she was am never going to collect as much data as she wanted in order to understand human behaviour and jumped into industry to try and make science better for my fellow scientists.

1. How do you describe your role on the Analytics Team?

I support product in assessing how well their products/projects are working. I also work on user behaviour, segmenting this and attempting to predict it, with the long term goal of understanding our users better.

2. What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

Having the opportunity to be directly involved in a product that has the potential to change the way that we do science.

3. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my spare time, I like to eat really good food, talk about really good food and travel to places with really good food. I daydream about which realistic scientific advances I would most like to see happen. I have passed the stage where I now marvel at technological advances in the way our parents did about phoning England from Australia. I also like to buy toys for myself on the pretext that they are educational for my daughter.

 

Jonathan Warner, Senior Data Engineer

meettheteam  Meet the Analytics Team!This is Jonathan’s first week at Mendeley! Welcome Jonathan! Prior to starting here, he developed software at various companies doing display advertising, QR code tracking, affiliate marketing and securities lending.

1. How do you describe your role on the Analytics Team?

My role in the team is to take the clever ideas that the team members have, and make sure they are built in a clear, scalable and maintainable fashion.

2. What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

The atmosphere, the people and the problems we get to work on.

3. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy yoga, photography and watching American TV of decidedly variable quality.

Congratulations and thank you to Yoilán Fimia León!

mendeley advisors advisor of the month  Congratulations October Advisor of the Month — Yoilán Fimia León!Yoilán, who is involved with higher education, often teaches Mendeley at his institute, Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de Las Villas, in Cuba. Recently, he designed a one-credit academic course on Mendeley and reference management, which already has full classes this fall.

“My university noted that in one national evaluation that the Ministry of Higher Education conduct every year over the students one of the variables measured is “the use of reference managers” and it was found that this was the variable with the lower grades during the last 4 years,” Yoilán said. “In that sense, future actions will be taken relating the use of Mendeley at UCLV and probably future training programs for students will be raised.”

How long have you been on Mendeley?

I don’t know exactly but based on my oldest reference in my library on Mendeley I have been there since February 28th, 2010.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

I used Endnote previously to Mendeley

How does Mendeley influence your research?

I think my research history can be divided in two phases (after and before Mendeley). The organization I have of all my research literature with more than 5,000 references could be only optimally managed thanks to Mendeley. In my point of view, the opportunity Mendeley gives me to get in contact with researches around the world working on similar fields is one of the more valued features and it has influence my results.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

Good things that can make the difference always attract many people. I fell in love the first time I saw Mendeley working so why not let the people know?

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?

I started introducing Mendeley to the people working in my department of Educational Technology at UCLV. Later on I suggested my students to used Mendeley to organize their references, to insert citations in documents, and to automatically generate bibliographies. After many informal sessions, more than 250 students know about the Mendeley’s existence and benefits. I did the arrangements to include Mendeley in one course named “Bibliographic management” for students in my university. I also included the subject related to the use of Mendeley in public document writing for a special programme named “Public Administration” oriented to people in public administration jobs. This programme have a module of ICT in public administration and Mendeley was one of the tools showed in this course. Afterwards, I organized several formal and informal Mendeley workshops and training sessions to show its benefits to researchers, librarians, and university managers. Finally, I have designed an official postgraduate training programme for my university. The new programme seems to have good acceptance and many request have been registered.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

At this moment I´m reading some books about statistics due to my PhD, but I found that the library in my university have one copy of the first edition of “El Quijote” and I would like to read it again from this very old copy.mendeley advisors advisor of the month  Congratulations October Advisor of the Month — Yoilán Fimia León!

Any fun fact people might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m teaching my 6 year old son how to use Mendeley to record and organize his drawings and first texts.

What is the best part about being a researcher?

I think the best part about being a researcher is the inquiry spirit and the ability to share the results and be the pillar for further research and findings.

And the worst?

The time you lose to be with your lovely people because you are researching.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

I think that people in front and behind Mendeley are very nice and have developed an incredible sharing spirit. This spirit has been transmitted to the network of user using the tool.
Now that Elsevier is the owner of the product I´m really sure they will continue encouraging and supporting this spirit in order to get something really valuable for our society.

Anything Else?

I would thanks to “Centro de Documentación e Información Científico-Técnica” (CDICT – UCLV) and to the Network Project between VLIR and Five Cuban Universities. Special thanks to Maggie Fimia for all her support.

events 2  Mendeley at JCDL 2014

Image by Patrick Hochstenback @hochstenbach

The Mendeley Data Science team have been busy attending some important events around the world. One of them has been JCDL 2014, the most prominent conference in the Digital Libraries arena. The conference looks at many of the problems we’re tackling at the moment, such as article recommendations and the best ways of automatically extracting information from research articles.

Maya Hristakeva, Senior Data Scientist at Mendeley, was particularly excited about the various approaches to topic modelling that were discussed at the event. “Topics were used as features for a diverse range of tasks, such as prediction of an author’s future citation counts, making personalised recommendations, search, author disambiguation, and creating more relevant citation networks, all features that make a direct impact to the research workflow on Mendeley.”

“We saw some really thought-provoking output come out of the JCDL14 proceedings such as Characterizing Scholar Popularity : A Case Study in the Computer Science Research Community. In JCDL’14” explains Kris Jack, Chief Data Scientist at Mendeley. “Some of the interesting research questions raised included one by Gonçalves, G. D., Figueiredo, F., Almeida, J. M., & Gonçalves, M. A. (2014) which asked whether it is possible to represent the popularity of a researcher using the number of readers that they have.”

It was also nice to see evidence in some of the papers presented that Mendeley readership is highly correlated with various measures of academic impact, such as h-index and publication venue importance,” says Mendeley Senior Data Scientist Phil Gooch.

Overall, this was a really valuable opportunity to connect with researchers who are working on similar problems to Mendeley, such as metadata extraction, recommendations, and citation/author/venue disambiguation, so we’re thinking about the idea of perhaps running an open challenge to focus this research into concrete output that could be of use in features for our users. If you have any ideas around that, do get in touch on Twitter with @_krisjack @mayahhf and @Phil_Gooch

Note: At Mendeley, we believe in dogfooding (it’s not as disgusting at it sounds, merely techy slang for using your own product to validate the qualities of that product…) so Maya, Kris and Phil took notes using Mendeley Desktop events 2  Mendeley at JCDL 2014

 


Maya and Kris from the Mendeley Data Science team have just returned from RecSys2014, the most important conference in the Recommender System world. RecSys is remarkable in that it attracts an equal number of participants from industry and academia, many of whom are at the forefront of innovation in their fields.

The team had a chance to exchange perspectives and experiences with various researchers, scholars and practitioners.

“To me, it was encouraging to see how top companies across the world are investing in recommenders, as they are shown to enhance customer satisfaction and bring real value to both users and companies,” says Mendeley Senior Data Scientist Maya Hristakeva. “LinkedIn reported that 50% of the connections made in their social network come from their follower recommender, while Netflix says that if they can stop 1% of users from cancelling their subscription then that’s worth $500M a year, which of course justifies the fact they are investing $150M/year in their content recommendation team, consisting of 300 people.”

But one of the advantages of such a hybrid event is that it did not shy away from addressing the broader issues, such as how to ward against creating a “filter bubble” effect, how to preserve user’s privacy, and optimising systems for what really matters (and how this can be effectively defined). Daniel Tunkelang, LinkedIn, and Xavier Amatriain, Netflix, moderated a panel on “Controversial Questions About Personalization“, tackling some of these topics head on. Hector Garcia Molina from Stanford University also put forward the view that we’ll increasingly see a convergence of recommendations, search and advertising, despite noticeable scepticism from the attendees.

Kris Jack, Chief Data Scientist at Mendeley, says one of the main messages that he took away from the conference was the importance of winning a user’s trust in the early stages of using a recommender system.

“The best systems have been shown to start off by providing recommendations that can quickly be evaluated by users as being useful before gradually introducing more novel recommendations. So in the case of helping researchers to find relevant articles to read, it’s probably best to start by recommending well known but important articles in their field, before recommending some less well known but very pertinent articles to their specific problem domain.” explains Kris. “Other important factors include reranking (the order in which recommendations should be shown), the UI design that can best support interaction with the recommender system, and the ways in which we can build context-aware recommendations.”

What do you think of the current recommendation features on Mendeley? Are there any particular ones that you’d like to see implemented? Would you like to join the team and work on making them even better? Let us know in the comments below, or Tweet the team directly @_krisjack @mayahhf and @Phil_Gooch .If you’re interested in finding out more about what the Data Science Team is developing in that arena, you can also watch their Mendeley Open Day presentation here.