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

@_krisjack

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.

@Phil_Gooch

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!

academic features  A look at Mendeley Readership Statistics

By See Wah Cheng, Product Manager at Mendeley

We live in an age where knowledge dissemination happens at an incredible speed, researchers are always looking for ways to evaluate new discovery. Mendeley’s vision has always been to accelerate research, and by crowdsourcing readership statistics, we provide a new way for you to look at the impact of research articles.

What is Mendeley Readership?

Mendeley Readership is one measure of how researchers engage with research on Mendeley. Simply put, it is the number of Mendeley users who have added a particular article into their personal library. You can see this number on the article pages on our Research Catalog. Furthermore, based on our anonymised aggregated statistics, we can provide demographic insights such as geographical info, discipline and academic status of readers.

How does it compare with traditional metrics?

Mendeley Readership is a measure which complements traditional bibliometrics such as citation counts by showing an early indicator of the impact a work has, both on other authors within the same field as the work’s author as well as non-authors such as clinicians, policymakers, funders, and interested members of the public. Additionally, some early research into the relationship of Mendeley readership with traditional citations has found evidence supporting that Mendeley readership counts correlate moderately with future citations. If you are interested in digging deeper into the existing research on the meaning of Mendeley readership, we suggest starting with “Do altmetrics work? Twitter and ten other social web services” (Thelwall, Haustein, Larivière, & Sugimoto, 2013), and also looking at a more recent research study (Zahedi, Costas, & Wouters, 2014) from CWTS, Leiden University. A more comprehensive listing of research related to Mendeley readership statistics can also be found in the altmetrics group on Mendeley. Scholarly Activity, including Mendeley Activity, has recently been endorsed by the Snowball Metrics initiative as part of their global standards for institutional benchmarking.

Our API

Mendeley believes in open data. Via our API, researchers and developers around the world can gain access to Mendeley Activity, including Readership Statistics. Scopus, the world’s largest citation database, has recently added Mendeley Activity to their article pages, and our data is used by all of the leading altmetrics services, including ImpactStory, Plum Analytics, and Altmetric.com. Visit our Developer Portal for more info.

We are constantly improving our service. For example, we have made all demographic insights available (instead of just the top 3 disciplines as was previously the case), in addition to data on countries and academic statuses. Future work will further refine the data we make available to include more detail on how researchers are engaging with research on Mendeley.

Join the Conversation 

Finally, if you are interested in the topic of altmetrics, why not go along to 1am:London 2014, taking place on the 25th and the 26th of September 2014? We might see you there!

events 2  Cambridge Union Society Debates Right to be Forgotten

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruling saw Google and other search engines receiving thousands of requests to remove links to certain content deemed damaging to individuals. Sir Jimmy Wales from the Wikimedia Foundation is amongst those that have spoken out at length against the ruling. In the company’s first transparency report, it posted Google’s Removal Notices, something that Wales describes as akin to “removing the index from a book”.

As things stand, in Europe people have the right to request such removals if content relating to them is inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant or excessive in the light of elapsed time. However, apart from serious concerns raised with regards to self-censorship, it is argued that the Right to be Forgotten is actually a false promise, since the information itself is not corrected, but links to it are “silently deleted,” prompting outcries against lack of transparency and breach of public interest.

This is clearly a very complex issue, which impacts all areas of modern society, including academic research. One example would be if only the latest version of research papers were made available because certain information contained within them was deemed “inadequate” or “irrelevant”. This could potentially leave researchers unable to place current research into broader context, and different, less proven theories and perspectives within scientific debates could be excluded, leading to narrowed perspectives and possibly damaging the integrity of studies conducted within those filtered conditions.

It is, however, crucial to safeguard privacy and individual rights, but what is the best way of providing those mechanisms without causing broader infringements upon collective rights to information? The Cambridge Union Society, which is celebrating its 200th year of tradition in debating difficult topics, is now stepping up to tackle this thorny issue head on.

Mendeley is sponsoring this debate on the 23rd October 2014, which hopefully will spark some lively discussion and offer useful insights. Jan Reichelt, Co-founder and president of Mendeley will be opening up proceedings by addressing the assembly and Gabriel Hughes, who has a long tradition of working with Big Data and Analytics in companies like Google, Elsevier, and now Mendeley will give his personal perspective on some possible solutions. He will be joining other prominent speakers who will argue both sides of the issue.

The full line-up will be announced shortly and the event will also be live streamed. To be kept up-to-date with the latest and join the discussion make sure to join the Mendeley Right to be Forgotten group, and follow @mendeley_com @gabehughes or @alicebonasio on Twitter.