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

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.



Whew. We’re just now recovering from the craziness that was Mendeley Open Day. While we didn’t film everything (to protect the innocent…and the not-so-innocent), you can relive, rewind, and re-watch the day via our YouTube Playlist or catch up on Tweets through our Storify.

If for some reason you decide you don’t want to watch 9 hours of video (why ever not?!), here are some of the highlights and features announced at Open Day.

Top 5 Features announced at Mendeley Open Day

1. Improved iOS speed + Android phone preview!
Steve Dennis was surprised to receive a spontaneous ovation from the audience after describing the iOS sync speed as improving 5000 percent better

You can catch his moment below (starts at 28:05) and stay tuned for the Android preview

2. Improved Web Library
Your Mendeley Library will soon be even more portable, with improved Web Library (starts at 35:36)

3. Research Data Management
Joe Shell, Senior Project Manager, shared why he thinks data is like wine, (“it gets better with age”) and his vision for seamless data management for researchers and laboratories. (starts at 1:00:00)

4. Sneak preview of your new Mendeley Profile Page
See Wah Cheng gave us a sneak preview of an updated Mendeley profile page and explained how Mendeley is creating better research work flow through improved social networking. (starts at 1:10:00)

5. Mendeley API is improving other workflow tools, including writeLaTeX

API Developer Joyce Stack shared how third-party developers are using Mendeley API to create better tools for researchers, including better .bib import to writeLaTeX, as announced Dr. John Lees-Miller

Best Talk on Researcher Workflow

One of my favourite bits was from Mendeley Advisor Vicky Pyne, who talked about how she gets things done with her system called (wait for it) “Getting Things Done.” (starts at 37:10)

There was so much more, so you really ought to watch the videos. If you tuned in already, tell us, what was your favourite bit? What are you hoping to learn more about?

The days have flown by and now we are less than a week away from the Mendeley Open Day. The Open Day is to connect our user community, including our Advisors and Librarians, together with the Mendeley team, with a smattering of special guest speakers and hilarious entertainment for good measure. We have a packed schedule for our 1 October event, held in London.

Unable to attend in person? Tune in on 1 October at 10am BST to check out our interactive livestream and we’ll keep you in the loop. Register for reminders and your chance to *win* your own Mendeley Open Day prize pack.

You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #MDOD14, or on our brand-new Instagram account.

In true clickbait-style (you’re here, aren’t you?) here are the top 15 things we’re looking forward to at Mendeley Open Day.

1. Location, location, location

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014










You’re a rockstar in the world of research, we’re rockstars in the world of research (if we do say so ourselves), so it makes sense we have it in a rockin’ location.

2. Hangout with us LIVE!

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014













Unable to make it to London? We’ll be streaming live with an interactive Google Hangout! Register here.


3. Roadmaps Galore!

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014











We’re not a bunch of cats behind the wheels, we actually have plans! And we want to share them with you.

4. All things API

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014









We just released Mendeley API Version 1, and we’re ridiculously excited about it. We’re not only hearing from our API team, but some of the third-party developers who have successfully used our API and created the apps you love.

5. Summer Video preview

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014










To make you wish we were back in the sun.

6. Infamous Mendeley Social

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014








Ain’t no party like a Mendeley party cause a Mendeley party don’t stop.

7. Data, Data, and more Data

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014








That is literally the name of one of the talks. Big Data is so hot right now…plus who doesn’t get excited by data? Especially when you don’t have to process it?

(P.S. Meet our Data Science team)

8. Meet the Mendeley Team

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014







Bouquets and Brickbats accepted.

(*Disclaimer: Bill Nye does not actually work with us, but he’s always in our hearts.)

9. Live Illustrations and a Photobooth

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014











Warning: What happens in the photobooth does not stay in the photobooth.

10. Awesomely nerdy entertainment

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014









It’s a bit of a secret/surprise, but actually we TOTALLY GIVE IT AWAY IN THIS GIF, actually.

11. Networking social

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014







Cause we can be serious at our parties too.

12. Design & Product discussions


meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014

Our Product Team is seriously cool and they’ll be talking about bringing product development from vision to reality and user-centered design. Awesome.



13. Old-school video games

 meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014










Just because we’re on the forefront of technology doesn’t mean we can’t kick it old school.


14. Developer Showcase

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014










We can’t wait to show you what folks have done with our API and what we have in store for the next few years.

15. Drinks

meettheteam events 2 community relations mdod14  Top 15 things to get excited about at Mendeley Open Day 2014








Also because that was my first gif-based blog post and I don’t know how those sites do it on the daily.


(all GIFs via Giphy or otherwise noted)

A big part of research is data, but for the Mendeley Data Sciences team, data is all they research. The team makes a big deal of big data, acting as wizards in our Mendeley world, magically bringing bits together. The Data Science team links data and projects, and connects research and business to build better products, such as the paper recommender and social networks. Collaboration is key to making the most of big data, and our Data Science team is constantly involved with conferences, meetings and internal talks to help connect Mendeley to the world of research.

Kris Jack

mendelife meettheteam  Meet the Data Science Team!Chief Data Scientist


Kris joined Mendeley in 2010. He has a wide range of experience in Data Science both in industry and academia.

He obtained BSc Hons in Computer Science at the University of Dundee in 2002, followed by a PhD in 2006. Following that, Kris was employed as an Expert R&D Engineer in France Telecom until 2008 then at the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique until 2009. Before joining Mendeley, he worked as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester in their Text Mining team.

How do you describe your role on the Data Science Team?

I’m responsible for leading the Data Science team, making way for them to do great work and hopefully pitching in myself along the way.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

Knowing that we’re making a difference to how research gets done. As a researcher myself, I know how hard research is and how much easier we could make it with the right tools to support us.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Relaxing with my family.


Phil Gooch

Senior Data Scientistmendelife meettheteam  Meet the Data Science Team!

Phil joined Mendeley in June 2014. He’s been conjuring structured knowledge from unstructured text within STM publishing and in academia for several years.

Prior to Mendeley, Phil worked for Oxford University Press as a Language Technologist. He completed a PhD in Health Informatics in 2012. Following this, he worked as a Research Associate for the University of Sheffield in their Natural Language Processing group, and as Research Developer in Digital Humanities at Kings College, London. In previous career-lives, Phil worked as a rehab therapist in the NHS, a computer games programmer, and musician.


How do you describe your role on the Data Science Team?

I contribute expertise in natural language processing and information extraction, so that as a Data Science team, and in collaboration with our Platform team, we can create useful – and hopefully exciting! – tools for researchers.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I love working with text, and developing workflows and tools to uncover the knowledge and connections that are buried in the vast amount of research literature. Also, working with the really smart people here who can work the magic to turn prototype code into something production-worthy!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Long walks in the countryside with family and friends, being by the sea, cycling, writing music, enjoying the arts.


Maya Hristakeva

Senior Data Scientist

mendelife meettheteam  Meet the Data Science Team!Machine learning is Maya’s passion and she has focused her entire career thus far in this space by developing algorithms and building software within start-up organisations. Before moving to the UK in 2010, Maya was a Machine Learning PhD student at University of California- Santa Cruz. She also worked as a Researcher at Silicon Valley based startup C8 Medisensors, where she developed algorithms to non-invasively measure blood sugar in people (using ramen spectroscopy – no needles).

After moving to the UK, Maya worked at Mendeley before the Elsevier acquisition as a Data Mining Engineer. Then, I joined Cognitive Match, another startup, as a Sr. Research Scientist focusing on using machine learning techniques for behavioral targeting and recommendations.

Within 2 years my path crossed with Mendeley again after the Elsevier acquisition. She is happy to be back working as a member of the Data Science team where we are focused on the next generation of solutions to help our users connect to their research and to other collaborators in innovative, valuable ways.

How do you describe your role on the Data Science Team?

I work on building recommender systems to help researchers contextualise their work within the global body of research, and connect them with relevant researchers, groups and articles.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I enjoy the creative working environment, lots of smart and diverse people, as well as having the latest technologies at my fingertips. I also love that Mendeley reaches millions of people with our products and makes a difference in researchers’ lives.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Wine, Food, Kickboxing, Argentine Tango, and Traveling (but not necessarily in that order)

developer resources  Mendeley API Version 1 is Out!


It has been a long 12-month journey, and the path wasn’t always lined with rose petals and unicorns, but last week we did allow ourselves a small celebration as version 1 of the Mendeley API was released.

developer resources  Mendeley API Version 1 is Out!

The API team designed this from the ground up, working alongside other Mendeley and Elsevier teams as well as key external partners, who all helped to test it out and provided crucial feedback to bring it into shape.

Mendeley users have already seen some of the results of this work, with better, seamless integration with Scopus and Science Direct in features such as the Web Importer and Readership Stats. This is something that Elsevier is really supportive of, as it provides an open platform to improve and optimise the research workflow at every step. The API is a key piece of that puzzle and we’re excited to see the new innovative applications it will lead to. If you’re a developer, be sure to check out the Mendeley Dev Portal and give the new API a whirl!

You can read more about this in our dedicated Mendeley Dev blog, and about API’s in general in this Huffington Post Article. As always, don’t be shy of letting us know what you think in the comments, Twitter or just email api@mendeley.com

Congratulations and Thank You to Yarimar Rosa Rodriguez, our September Advisor of the Month!

Yari, an instructor in Clinical Psychology at University of Puerto Rico, answered our call last month encouraging more Mendeley presentations by scheduling half a dozen presentations over the next few months, including talks at a large conference. Wow! mendeley advisors advisor of the month  Congrats September Advisor of the Month!

She’s in for the long-haul in academia, starting research at the young age of 17. “My area of research includes health psychology, well-being and more specific at the moment, youth healthy development,” said Yari. Her new research proposal looks into the pathways to resilience and optimism (and other developmental domains like emotional, behavioral and moral/character development) and how they work within the school culture, she said.

“So I’m pretty excited with this new endeavor and off-course with the HUGE help of Mendeley to keep on track with my research proposal.”


How long have you been on Mendeley?

You know what? I don’t remember LOL! That’s because it feels like been part of Mendeley all my life. I was a trainer for Thomson Routers Endnote, and while doing a search (I think it was 4 years ago) I discover Mendeley. Almost immediately, I made the switch from one to the other and start to train myself. Only two months after that, I became an Advisor, and I been spreading the word since then.

How does Mendeley influence your research?

The best influence is the sense of connection when I’m looking for some article. That wonderful icon of related research on Mendeley Web is one of my favorite’s tools. Everything is connected and makes sense to me when it’s organize on my library.

Also, on this time of “publish or perish” using Mendeley from the word processor is crucial to be effective and sharp when submitting a manuscript.

Third, Mendeley is part of my research designs when and working with systematic literature review. Is so easy to organize the articles, read them on my iPad app and take notes and then transfer them to NVivo for Mac. Most of the work it’s done on Mendeley, and at the end, I just need to code and retrieve the data and my results.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I just know that everyone has to know about it and to stop paying for a service that can be free, intuitive with a beautiful and attractive interface and why not?… get connected to others doing the same thing. It’s a win-win situation. There’s no other option that gave me all that Mendeley have. And in order to give back, I volunteer as a Beta tester and have a blast contributing with the development of the tools. It make me feel part of the family, a great sense of belonging.

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?

First of all, Mendeley it’s mandatory on my Research Methods class. I have open groups for my classes and students are encouraged and allowed to share articles. They also have to create their own groups for they research project.

Second, I have an arrangement with the Academic Center for Technology Assistance in order to have two workshops per semester. Those are open to the public and students and professors are permitted to register… those are always full!!!

Also I have the opportunity this next November to promote Mendeley during the Annual Convention of the Puerto Rican Psychological Association to approximately 300 students and researchers

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Anna Karenina – I read it in high school but remember it vaguely. When Google made its tribute to Leo Tolstoy at the beginning of September I decide to get back to classic readings and downloaded on Kindle. It is refreshing to read something out of research or work and keep up with my English skills (since my first language is Spanish).

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

I love to sell jewelry! Yes, it makes me to connect with others from a different perspective and establish relationships outside the academia.

What is the best part about being a researcher?

The best for me is the sense of discovery, to teach and to learn from others… especially from my students and research assistants.

And the worst?

The culture of competition that few colleagues engage sometimes that are derived from fame and not from quality nor competence… and the search of funding that can be strenuous sometimes mendeley advisors advisor of the month  Congrats September Advisor of the Month!

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

Research has not to be a scavenger hunt. It can be fun and systematic with few easy steps. If I have to choose a tool to just show to someone that one has to be The SAVE TO MENDELEY button. There’s a saying on my team: We love Mendeley just because that button on the tool bar!!! They actually want t-shirts that say We Love Mendeley.

guest blog  Getting Grant Funding for Your Startup

Jan Reichelt, Co-founder and President of Mendeley, talks about his experience of using grants from funding bodies such as EUREKA and the Technology Strategy Board to help grow the company.

guest blog  Getting Grant Funding for Your Startup

By: Elitsa Dermendzhiyska, Co-founder of Grant Central

Is there such a thing as a free lunch when it comes to startup funding? That’s the question hanging in the air as I sit down with Jan Reichelt, co-founder of Mendeley, a research collaboration platform boasting over 3 million users and touted as one of the startups most likey to change the world for the better. If anyone had the answer, that would be Jan: on top of a Series A funding and acquisition by Reed Elsevier, over the past 6 years Mendeley has won a slew of national and EU grants whose precise number Jan seems to have lost track of.

Equity-free money in the form of grants holds a special allure for bootstrapped, cash-starved startup founders – an allure Jan is quick to dispel. Grants are like a sweetener, he says. They are nice to have, but startups shouldn’t count on them. Even if you get one, the money can be slow to come in, so you need to have other funding sources ready at hand.

Back in 2008, when Mendeley applied for the EUREKA Eurostars grant scheme, the startup had already secured seed funding and was eyeing VC investment to develop its research collaboration platform. The grant wouldn’t make or break Jan’s vision; rather, it just turned out to be the right fit at the right time.

Jan wouldn’t recommend the grant route for most startups, invoking the somewhat laborious process of obtaining and managing the funds. The amount of time you have to dedicate to writing the application through to forming a partnership to reporting and monitoring the project is only justified if you can find the right fit between your goals and the purpose of the grant, he says.

Grants such as the ones offered by Eurostars exist for two main reasons: to encourage research or to facilitate collaboration between academia and businesses. Mendeley fit both requirements, as the startup was looking to engage with academic experts in crowdsourcing and modern semantic technologies in order to provide real-time impact analysis for its platform users.

With the grant, the startup was able to create a win-win consortium by partnering with the Estonian Technology Competence Centre in Electronics-, Info- and Communication Technologies (ELIKO) and Austria’s Competence Centre for Knowledge Management (Know-Center).

Besides fit, another consideration businesses need to keep in mind is the rigidity of most EU grant schemes vis-a-vis VC funding. Grant applications often call for specific development plans and growth projections over 2 to 4 years down the line – something almost unthinkable for startups used to changing direction (or “pivoting”) on the go. A grant entails pre-committing to a certain course of action and any later changes, while possible, require reasonable justification and official permission from the government funders. A helpful strategy, Jan offers, is to make up a story and define your roadmap broadly enough to leave room for flexibility.

Grants require founders to maintain constant communication, as rules call for regular financial and technical reports to keep the funding authorities apprised of any progress, delays and changes to the project. Consortium agreements and allocation of responsibilities among partners also come with their own set of communication challenges. One example is deciding who would own the IP developed, – an issue that can become tricky if there are two or more commercial partners involved. Further still, aligning academic and business needs may require careful treading – or what Jan aptly describes as “hand holding” – in order to keep the theoretically appealing in line with the practical commercial realities.

Grant funding can appear rather rigorous to founders tied in the day-to-day running of business, and Jan, who tackled the initial Eurostars application by himself, concedes that the initial learning curve can be steep. Apart from hammering out a comprehensive application, he needed to then setup solid management and reporting processes in the post-grant period. And yet grants, while no free lunch, offer an opportunity for startups to grow on their own terms if they can muster the management skill, clear vision and R&D potential.

Have you had any experience of applying for similar grants? Share them with us in the comments!