KinSync logo

Q&A with Aaron Asaro, KinSync Founder 

So, in a nutshell, what is KinSync?

KinSync is a webapp, built on top of the Mendeley API, which automatically sends documents from your Mendeley account to your Kindle e-reader. It aims to “Get documents from your Mendeley account to your Kindle. No wires. No fuss.”

How was the app developed?

At first we wanted KinSync to completely do away with the need to print an academic paper. To achieve this, we sent PDFs to a users’ Kindle e-reader. Once we had that mechanism working, we sought to find efficient ways to annotate and highlight the documents with the Kindle. The trouble is that they’re not designed for ‘active’ reading, so we couldn’t find a good way to make that work. The first live version was therefore a bit limited.

What was the initial user reaction like?

Users seemed to like the idea at first, but stopped using it after a while because the use case we were pushing (a total replacement of printed documents) didn’t gel with their experience. This was additionally problematic as our approach to marketing has always been to build a great product and rely on people telling their friends / colleagues.

What changed, and how are users using the product now?

After about 12 months we pivoted to a free product with a set of features that more closely matched our own behavior – using KinSync to catch up on recent literature. For example, instead of printing out 20 or 30 papers each week to skim read, our users now send the papers to their Kindle. If the papers prove interesting or valuable they are then printed for more active reading (i.e. attacked with highlighters and pencil).

One feature that has helped us to attract users is “document optimization”. To begin with, PDFs were quite cumbersome to read for anyone that didn’t have a Kindle DX. However, we implemented some pretty nifty technology that breaks these documents down into the columnar components – making them a lot easier to read (as shown below).


Kinsync screenshot


What was it like working with the Mendeley API?

The API hasn’t always been the easiest to work with, particularly from a documentation standpoint. However, where this fell short the community support from the Mendeley Dev team more than made up for it. A while ago we were a little concerned that, following the Elsevier takeover, the API would be depreciated. However, we have been pleasantly surprised that Elsevier/Mendeley have instead deployed even more resources – and over time the API seems to have become more robust.

What does the future hold for KinSync?

Ever more people are getting Kindles and Amazon are doing great things to bring the technology forward and prices down. We are hoping Amazon will open up the Kindles a little more so that we can deploy some of the features that have been on ice for way too long. Until then, we will continue to experiment with different ways of best delivering this service.

We were so inspired by Josh Emerson’s Back to the Future look at internet history, we wanted to do one of our own!

We had quite a productive 2014, but it is nothing compared to what is in the works for 2015. Some of it we can reveal to you now — but stay tuned this year. Good things are happening, but here is a look at the past, present, and future of Mendeley 2015.


Mendeley Future — Android, iOS and Web Library

It’s 2015…the year we were due to get our hoverboards, according to the movie “Back to the Future.” We’re trying to convince the developers to make it happen by the next Mendeley Hack Day, but until that does, the new future of research means bringing it on the go with our upgraded iOS app and upcoming Android app. Our iOS upgrade improves syncing speed across your Mendeley platforms, using our fresh API. We expect the update to hit the iTunes store later this month — we’ll be sure to let you know when it does.
And our Android app is expected within the first half of this year! That’s right, before the summer sun (or winter sun for our southern hemisphere users) you’ll be able to take your Mendeley library on-the-go with your Android smartphones and tablets.

Anxious for a sneak preview? Product Manager Steve Dennis walks us through the latest iteration on this preview video.


We also have a sneak preview of the fresh web library, your Mendeley library accessed through a browser. The new web library, expected within the next month, is redesigned from the ground up, with a much improved user interface. Highlights include the ability to upload PDFs with automatic metadata extraction.

This is just a brief sneak peek, there are many other new things coming soon! And don’t worry about missing the news — we’ll sound the trumpets when they all get officially released!

Mendeley Present — Desktop Update

When you opened your Mendeley Desktop after your New Years’ break (and of course you took a proper break rather than work through the holidays, right?), you may have noticed an update to your Mendeley Desktop (version 1.13-dev7 for the technically-minded).

So what’s new in your Mendeley Desktop? We:

  • Fixed empty titles on document deduplication.
  • Fixed issue that would prevent the user from deleting a document note created by another user in a shared group.
  • Fixed issue that could crash the application if the owner of a shared group had deleted his account
  • Fixed issue that would prevent the user from restoring the backup.

For more information, and to find out what to do if you’ve encountered any issues with the new release, read the release notes on our website.

All of these changes feed into our bigger goal to give our users the ability for users to easily access and sync their Mendeley
library across a range of devices.

All of our updates take advantage our fresh API, which is open for everyone to use for building tools to make researchers’ lives easier.

Mendeley Past — A look back to where we started

Do you follow us on Twitter or Facebook? To close out 2014, we took a look back to the Mendeley past.

Check out what your Mendeley Desktop looked like in 2009:

And learn what Mendeley was called before it was Mendeley. Hint: It has B-movie overtones.


What do you remember best about Mendeley past? What are you hoping for most in the Mendeley future? Share your thoughts in the comments!

NewsfloSome exciting news has just come through, in that Elsevier has acquired Newsflo, an innovative service that helps academic institutions keep track of all their media coverage and social media mentions, boosting the visibility of researchers and their work.

Whereas traditionally academia has been very insular in the way they measured impact of its research output – think “walled garden” and the tyranny of citation count – these days it is increasingly accepted that citations alone are not the most accurate way of determining the reach and usefulness of research. We’ve seen the rise of Altmetrics and Mendeley has contributed a lot to this, collaborating with others to provide readership statistics that offer the research community much more relevant and granular insight on how and where their papers are being discovered, read, annotated, shared and cited.

Newsflo takes this a step further, looking beyond scholarly use of research papers towards a “media impact metric” that can be used to measure societal impact. This certainly makes sense if you consider that the purpose of Science is, after all, to benefit the whole of humanity, and that involves effectively communicating scientific research to the general public through various media. But in a world of information overload and seemingly infinite social media channels, how do you keep track of your work once it’s released into the wider world?

That was the problem that Imperial College London PhD students Ben Kaube and Freddie Witherden set out to solve when they started Newsflo. They developed a tool that helps researchers and academic institutions to measure the wider impact of their work by tracking and analyzing media coverage of their publications and findings. Currently Newsflo tracks over 55,000 English-speaking global media sources and has the technology and network to expand to non-English language media. Newsflo applies this intelligence to mine emerging trends in the academic sector and to provide relevant media alerts.

We aim to keep researchers informed of the media interest in their work, but also to help them raise their profiles, without putting extra demands on their time. Our tool lets institutions showcase the value of their research, and being a part of Elsevier will allow us to integrate our media monitoring technology into researchers’ everyday workflow.  Ben Kaube,  Newsflo Co-founder 

Now that Newsflo has joined the Elsevier family, we will be working to incorporate all these cool features into your Mendeley profile, providing individually customized evidence of the societal impact of your research through media mentions. Also, through the ongoing integration of Mendeley with Elsevier’s existing platforms, Newsflo’s media monitoring feature will become an integrated part of the workflow of all researchers publishing with Elsevier, along with tools such as the article recommender.

It’s increasingly important for researchers and departments to be able to demonstrate societal impact in order to attract students and secure funding. The technology and expertise of the Newsflo founders will be great assets to Elsevier in continuing to advance our portfolio of innovative tools to support institutional leaders and researchers’ workflows and careers. Olivier Dumon, Managing Director of Research Application & Platforms at Elsevier

You’ve seen already some of the benefits that this type of integration can bring, where we brought in features such as the article recommender and those that let you easily export papers from Science Direct or see your Mendeley Readership stats directly from Scopus. Our recently revamped API makes it much easier for all these services, across Elsevier but also 3rd party developers, to integrate with each other. We believe the key to building the best possible user experience for researchers is to seamlessly bring together all the information, content, workflow tools and social/collaboration functionalities that they need, and we’re working hard towards that goal.

It’s also really exciting to welcome these talented young entrepreneurs and work with them to develop some great new features together. Being acquired is an amazing and very challenging journey for a startup, but I think we’ve shown just how many opportunities it can bring, and I’m looking forward to helping Newsflo make the most of it so that their product can be of greatest benefit to the research community. Jan Reichelt, Mendeley President 

Co-founders Victor Henning and Paul Foeckler also stayed on following the acquisition, with Victor remaining as CEO of Mendeley but taking on an additional role as VP of Strategy at Elsevier. He’s currently spearheading innovative collaboration initiatives such as Axon@LeWeb, which brings together the most promising emerging startups in the fields of Science and Research. Paul, meanwhile, is involved in developing a new Elsevier Open Access journal that covers all disciplines, an initiative that promises to make the process of submitting your work for publication much easier and more efficient.

We think these are exciting times indeed, but as always we’d love to hear from you with any thoughts, suggestions, praise or criticism. Leave a comment below or Tweet us at @Mendeley_com

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but a majority of my (admittedly, very Gen-Y) Facebook friends posted some reference to Back to the Future on New Year’s Day.


So we are taking this New Year’s opportunity to share with you an article written by Josh Emerson, a front end developer on our Mendeley team, on the past, present and future of website development.

Josh is a prolific writer, you can also find more of his work in this month’s net magazine and on his blog.



by Josh Emerson


The first website was created at CERN. It was launched on 20 December 1990 (just in time for Christmas!), and it still works today, after twenty-four years. Isn’t that incredible?!

Why does this website still work after all this time? I can think of a few reasons.

First, the authors of this document chose HTML. Of course they couldn’t have known back then the extent to which we would be creating documents in HTML, but HTML always had a lot going for it. It’s built on top of plain text, which means it can be opened in any text editor, and it’s pretty readable, even without any parsing.

Despite the fact that HTML has changed quite a lot over the past twenty-four years, extensions to the specification have always been implemented in a backwards-compatible manner. Reading through the 1992 W3C document HTML Tags, you’ll see just how it has evolved. We still have h1h6 elements, but I’d not heard of the <plaintext> element before. Despite being deprecated since HTML2, it still works in several browsers. You can see it in action on my website.

As well as being written in HTML, there is no run-time compilation of code; the first website simply consists of HTML files transmitted over the web. Due to its lack of complexity, it stood a good chance of surviving in the turbulent World Wide Web.

That’s all well and good for a simple, static website. But websites created today are increasingly interactive. Many require a login and provide experiences that are tailored to the individual user. This type of dynamic website requires code to be executed somewhere.

Traditionally, dynamic websites would execute such code on the server, and transmit a simple HTML file to the user. As far as the browser was concerned, this wasn’t much different from the first website, as the additional complexity all happened before the document was sent to the browser.

Doing it all in the browser

In 2003, the first single page interface was created at A single page interface or single page app is a website where the page is created in the browser via JavaScript. The benefit of this technique is that, after the initial page load, subsequent interactions can happen instantly, or very quickly, as they all happen in the browser.

When software runs on the client rather than the server, it is often referred to as a fat client. This means that the bulk of the processing happens on the client rather than the server (which can now be thin).

A fat client is preferred over a thin client because:

  • It takes some processing requirements away from the server, thereby reducing the cost of servers (a thin server requires cheaper, or fewer servers).
  • They can often continue working offline, provided no server communication is required to complete tasks after initial load.
  • The latency of internet communications is bypassed after initial load, as interactions can appear near instantaneous when compared to waiting for a response from the server.

But there are also some big downsides, and these are often overlooked:

  • They can’t work without JavaScript. Obviously JavaScript is a requirement for any client-side code execution. And as the UK Government Digital Service discovered, 1.1% of their visitors did not receive JavaScript enhancements. Of that 1.1%, 81% had JavaScript enabled, but their browsers failed to execute it (possibly due to dropping the internet connection). If you care about 1.1% of your visitors, you should care about the non-JavaScript experience for your website.
  • The browser needs to do all the processing. This means that the hardware it runs on needs to be fast. It also means that we require all clients to have largely the same capabilities and browser APIs.
  • The initial payload is often much larger, and nothing will be rendered for the user until this payload has been fully downloaded and executed. If the connection drops at any point, or the code fails to execute owing to a bug, we’re left with the non-JavaScript experience.
  • They are not easily indexed as every crawler now needs to run JavaScript just to receive the content of the website.

These are not merely edge case issues to shirk off. The first three issues will affect some of your visitors; the fourth affects everyone, including you.

What problem are we trying to solve?

So what can be done to address these issues? Whereas fat clients solve some inherent issues with the web, they seem to create as many problems. When attempting to resolve any issue, it’s always good to try to uncover the original problem and work forwards from there. One of the best ways to frame a problem is as a user story. A user story considers the who, what and why of a need. Here’s a template:

As a {who} I want {what} so that {why}

I haven’t got a specific project in mind, so let’s refer to the who as user. Here’s one that could explain the use of thick clients.

As a user I want the site to respond to my actions quickly so that I get immediate feedback when I do something.

This user story could probably apply to a great number of websites, but so could this:

As a user I want to get to the content quickly, so that I don’t have to wait too long to find out what the site is all about or get the content I need.

A better solution

How can we balance both these user needs? How can we have a website that loads fast, and also reacts fast? The solution is to have a thick server, that serves the complete document, and then a thick client, that manages subsequent actions and replaces parts of the page. What we’re talking about here is simply progressive enhancement, but from the user’s perspective.

The initial payload contains the entire document. At this point, all interactions would happen in a traditional way using links or form elements. Then, once we’ve downloaded the JavaScript (asynchronously, after load) we can enhance the experience with JavaScript interactions. If for whatever reason our JavaScript fails to download or execute, it’s no biggie – we’ve already got a fully functioning website. If an API that we need isn’t available in this browser, it’s not a problem. We just fall back to the basic experience.

This second point, of having some minimum requirement for an enhanced experience, is often referred to as cutting the mustard, first used in this sense by the BBC News team. Essentially it’s an if statement like this:

if('querySelector' in document
 && 'localStorage' in window
 && 'addEventListener' in window) {
 // bootstrap the JavaScript application

This code states that the browser must support the following methods before downloading and executing the JavaScript:

  • document.querySelector (can it find elements by CSS selectors)
  • window.localStorage (can it store strings)
  • window.addEventListener (can it bind to events in a standards-compliant way)

These three properties are what the BBC News team decided to test for, as they are present in their website’s JavaScript. Each website will have its own requirements. The last method,window.addEventListener is in interesting one. Although it’s simple to bind to events on IE8 and earlier, these browsers have very inconsistent support for standards. Making any JavaScript-heavy website work on IE8 and earlier is a painful exercise, and comes at a cost to all users on other browsers, as they’ll download unnecessary code to patch support for IE.

JS API Support by browserJavaScript API support by browser.

I discovered that IE8 supports 12% of the current JavaScript APIs, while IE9 supports 16%, and IE10 51%. It seems, then, that IE10 could be the earliest version of IE that I’d like to develop JavaScript for. That doesn’t mean that users on browsers earlier than 10 can’t use the website. On the contrary, they get the core experience, and because it’s just HTML and CSS, it’s much more likely to be bug-free, and could even provide a better experience than trying to run JavaScript in their browser. They receive the thin client experience.

By reducing the number of platforms that our enhanced JavaScript version supports, we can better focus our efforts on those platforms and offer an even greater experience to those users. But we can only do that if we use progressive enhancement. Otherwise our website would be completely broken for all other users.

So what we have is a thick server, capable of serving the entire website to our users, complete with all core functionality needed for our users to complete their tasks; and we have a thick client on supported browsers, which can bring an even greater experience to those users.

This is all transparent to users. They may notice that the website seems snappier on the new iPhone they received for Christmas than on the Windows 7 machine they got five years ago, but then they probably expected it to be faster on their iPhone anyway.

Isn’t this just more work?

It’s true that making a thick server and a thick client is more work than just making one or the other. But there are some big advantages:

  • The website works for everyone.
  • You can decide when users get the enhanced experience.
  • You can enhance features in an iterative (or agile) manner.
  • When the website breaks, it doesn’t break down.
  • The more you practise this approach, the quicker you will become.


The best way to discover websites using this technique of progressive enhancement is to disable JavaScript and see if the website breaks. I use the Web Developer extension, which is available forChrome and Firefox. It lets me quickly disable JavaScript.

Web developer tools extensionWeb Developer extension.

24 ways works with and without JavaScript. Try using the menu icon to view the navigation. Without JavaScript, it’s a jump link to the bottom of the page, but with JavaScript, the menu slides in from the right.

24 ways navigation with JavaScript disabled24 ways navigation with JavaScript disabled.

24 ways navigation with JavaScript24 ways navigation with working JavaScript.

Google search will also work without JavaScript. You won’t get instant search results or anyprerendering, because those are enhancements.

For a more app-like example, try using Twitter. Without JavaScript, it still works, and looks nearly identical. But when you load JavaScript, links open in modal windows and all pages are navigated much quicker, as only the content that has changed is loaded. You can read about how they achieved this in Twitter’s blog posts Improving performance on and Implementing pushState for

Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t use progressive enhancement, which not only means that the website doesn’t work without JavaScript, but it takes longer to load. I tested it on WebPagetest and if you compare the load times of Twitter and Facebook, you’ll notice that, despite putting similar content on the page, Facebook takes two and a half times longer to render the core content on the page.

Facebook takes two and a half times longer to load than TwitterFacebook takes two and a half times longer to load than Twitter.


Every project is different, and making a website that enjoys a long life, or serves a larger number of users may or may not be a high priority. But I hope I’ve convinced you that it certainly is possible to look to the past and future simultaneously, and that there can be significant advantages to doing so.


Adapted from 24 ways to impress your friends 

logo_square next scientist

The PhD time of a researcher’s life may be one of the most trying times; you work long hours for little pay, but at the end of the tunnel is the satisfaction of a thesis and good work done. But it can sometimes be hard to stay motivated throughout.

Mendeley is teaming up with Next Scientist, a site and community dedicated to “helping PhD students stay motivated, graduate, and then find a job in industry,” run by Julio Peironcely, PhD.

Here is more from Julio about his love of Mendeley and our The Next Scientist promotion!

You know that feeling when you discover a new product that makes you wonder how you lived without it before?
I had that when I switched my note taking in pieces of paper to a Moleskine. And when I went digital and I started using Evernote. Or when I ditched that Windows Vista laptop for a Macbook pro.
It’s that feeling of using a superior product. You know what I am talking about, right? I had that feeling with several products during my PhD.
I had that feeling at the start of my PhD. That was fall of 2008, right after the first release of Mendeley. Before that, for my master’s thesis, I had used a certain reference manager, let’s call it NotaFinal.
Not liking NotaFinal at all, I switched to Mendeley to give it a try … and I got that special feeling. I went from the absolute pain of adding the bibliography to “oh, I just added all the citations and I hardly had to do a thing”.
Well, I guess I don’t need to convince you of the virtues of Mendeley, right? You wouldn’t be reading this here at Mendeley’s blog if you were not aware of them.
If you are still with me, allow me to do a shameless plug for my blog.
Next Scientist, a blog for PhD students
Next Scientist started as a self-help blog. I wrote advice I would give to myself during the darkest months of my PhD (you know the PhD dip, the Valley of Shit). To be honest, I had plenty of those dark months. I thought that if I wrote this advice out in the public, I would be forced to follow it.
Writing an academic blog helped. I got out of the Phd dip and eventually finished my PhD.
The unexpected result of the blog was that it resonated with other PhD students. I was not alone in this suffering. Slowly but steadily visitors started coming to the site. Thank you emails began dripping in my inbox.
All this gave me joy. Think about it. How many times do you get a thank you email during your PhD? In my case, zero. Thank you emails for my blogging efforts? More than I can count.
I am so thankful for my readers that I thought I wanted to give back something meaningful. Something that could make their PhDs easier and better. Since I didn’t have much to offer myself, I looked around for somebody that might have some useful product for my readers.
Giving away 5 Premium Mendeley Team Plans (for 4 years)
So this was my thinking. On the one hand I have my readers, to whom I want to show my gratitude. Let’s give them something that can benefit them.
On the other hand, I have my network. I had interacted a couple of times with people at Mendeley and I knew they were cool and forward thinking, so they could be interested in some partnership.
The idea was to give something of value (Mendeley Premium) to my readers and at the same time help a product I love (Mendeley) reach the audience it deserves (Next Scientist readers).
The chaps at Mendeley were all enthusiastic. Not only this, to make it a bit more fun, they suggested to give five Premium Team Plans of 4 years, which is what (in theory) a PhD should last. Match made in heaven, I would say.
You heard it right, we are giving away five 4-year Premium Mendeley Team Plans to the readers of Next Scientist and Mendeley blogs.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mendeley giveaway
It’s a contest/lottery draw. You just need to register with your email (and share it with your colleagues to win more entries) to have a chance to win one of the five premium accounts. 

This is what you will get the next 4 years with a Premium Team Plan from Mendeley.

  • 100GB cloud space = all the papers you will read in a lifetime, almost. That’s a bit more than the 2GB of the free account.
  • Unlimited private groups with up to 15 collaborators. So you can share papers and collaborate with your colleagues.
  • Each account is worth $6,000 and you can get one for free!!
  • You will get the chance to write for Mendeley’s blog your story on how you are using the Premium Plan in your research.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to the Mendeley giveaway page.
  • Register with your email
  • Share with your colleagues and friends (the more you share the more chances of winning you have)
The giveaway action runs till December 14th at midnight CET. From all the entries 5 winners will be drawn and awarded a Premium Mendeley Team Plan for 4 years.

Click here to enter the Next Scientist competition to win a Premium Team Plan from Mendeley.


Also check out a post by Julio at The Thesis Whisperer, which we really enjoyed!

Congratulations and Thank you to Yangki Suara! Yangki is a researcher at the Center for Economics and Development Studies, Padjadjaran University (CEDS UNPAD). His research interest include environmental economics, international development and poverty especially in emerging countries. The main reason why he works in research sector because it allows him to keep learning about different new things that are happening worldwide.

Yangki SuaraCurrently he is studying for his master degree at King’s College London on Emerging Economies and Inclusive Development. He received his BA in Economics from Faculty of Economics and Business, Padjadjaran University in Indonesia. He also an alumnus of the Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) on Energy and Environment, hosted by Institute for Training and Development, Amherst (ITD-Amherst), MA, USA.

How long have you been on Mendeley?

I just checked my email and I found out that I have been using Mendeley since July 2012. Dr. Arief Yusuf, my director at the Center for Economics and Development Studies, Padjadjaran University (CEDS UNPAD) introduced me to Mendeley.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

EndNote and RefWorks. I used EndNote from 2006 while I was studying at Padjadjaran University. From 2010 prior to Mendeley, I used RefWorks prior to my summer school at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA. 

How does Mendeley influence your research?

Mendeley save my time with its automatic references and it also helps me find some similar research papers with its Mendeley Suggest’s button. At the moment, I used Mendeley to help me dealing with my reading materials at King’s College London that is a lot. I synchronize my reading materials between Mendeley Desktop with my iPad so I can read it while I’m in a bus or while I’m traveling by train.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I decided to sign up as an Advisor because it’s a good opportunity for me to promote Mendeley. At that time there was only one Advisor in Bandung and only a few in Indonesia. As an Advisor, Mendeley also provide me with some Mendeley stuff to help me promoting Mendeley through open sessions, Mendeley workshops and other opportunities. Participants love it because they get the knowledge and also Mendeley’s promotion materials.

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?

Organized Mendeley sessions at Padjadjaran University with a help from Economics Department for undergraduate and master students. I have organized several Mendeley at King’s College London for my peer students. In addition, I use mailing list, personal website, social networks and one-to-one approach to promote Mendeley.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

I am reading “Why Nations Fail” by Daren Acemoglu & David Robinson to support my reading on States, Markets and Institutions module at King’s College London. It’s a remarkable book in explaining why some nations rich and other poor while they have the same cultural background, location and climate.

Any fun fact people might be surprised to learn about you?Yangki and his colleagues at CEDS UNPAD

The fact that I have been traveling to 16 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa in the last 6 years. Looking forward to travel to Latin America and Australia in the upcoming years.

What is the best part about being a researcher?

Traveling around Indonesia for some training and field project, and meeting with other remarkable experts in my research field.

And the worst?

Sometime you have to work on several projects in the same time with a tight deadline. In the end, you have to enjoy it because this is the consequence of being a researcher.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
Mendeley team are awesome, they responded to your questions quickly. I am so lucky that I met them personally and I had a chance visited Mendeley HQ while I am studying in London.


It’s hard not to throw too many bouquets at our Desktop Team. The Mendeley Desktop is at the heart of Mendeley as a referencing tool, the first thing you download after signing up to use Mendeley. The Desktop team is always hard at work iterating and improving the Desktop App — you can always read the release notes on our website to know the latest and greatest. Recently, the team worked together with several other teams here to introduce support for importing articles in MEDLINE format, to enable better bulk importing from PubMed. This is useful for medical researchers, who use this for systematic literature reviews. The team is already working with beta testers on the next iteration of Mendeley Desktop, a version that paves the way for our iOS and Android apps!

Vincent Delannoy — Team Lead

vincentVincent’s past positions are, in order: military Flight simulator, phone operator, finance, visual arts, mobile phones, maps, finance, finance, video, research. What finally led him to London is the french immigration services, and Londoners in general.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

As a team leader, I’m responsible for the well being of the team. That includes writing code, communicating with other teams to solve cross-team issues, promote good practices, promoting projects that will make the desktop code better, more scalable and easier to understand for new starters, taking decisions when there is no consensus on what to do.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

A happy team

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

baby sitting / playing music / drawing / painting


George Kartvelishvili —Senior Software Engineer

GeorgeGeorge was born in Tbilisi, Georgia back in the Soviet days. He developed his love of computers from an early age due to his dad’s ZX-81 and Atari ST. He moved to England with his family in the mid-nineties and studied Computer Science (BSs) and Advanced Computer Science (MSc) at the University of Manchester. Soon after graduating, he headed down to London to seek his fortune and adventures in the games industry. After 10+ years as a graphics and gameplay programmer creating electronic entertainment for PC and consoles in a variety of companies including Rockstar Games, he decided to join the thriving London startup scene. He joined Mendeley in 2012 and is now busy maintaining and improving the desktop client.

How do you describe your role on the Desktop Team?

My role involves looking after the workings of our Mendeley Desktop client. This has mostly involved extending and improving the user interface and a large chunk of behind the scenes work.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

My favourite part of working in Mendeley is the casual friendly atmosphere about the place and the underlying feeling that I might be doing something just a little bit good for the progress of science.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I do a fair bit of “recreational” programming, enjoy a good bit of DIY and I like travelling and tasting the local cuisines of the world. Although, recently my life has gotten a lot more interesting and my spare time is mostly filled with rocking a baby to sleep and changing nappies.


Robert Knight — Senior Software Engineer

Rob 2Rob studied Computer Science at Southampton University. During that time he was a contributor to the KDE desktop for Linux. Arrived at Mendeley via a recommendation from an employee he met at their annual aKademy conference.
Connect with him at Twitter @robknight_.

How do you describe your role on the Desktop Team?

I work on all areas of the desktop app across all platforms. I work on end user facing features to make the app a more useful, and hopefully delightful, tool for researchers to use, as well as infrastructure to help us improve and maintain the stability of the app and deliver updates to users.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I like working on a tool that makes a difference in people’s working lives and makes them more productive researchers. It’s also great to be in the heart of London’s busy tech scene.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I run and cycle with my local athletics club and hack on various open source projects to keep myself in the loop about new and evolving technology.



Carles Pina — Software Engineer

CarlesCarles was born and grew up in Manresa, near Barcelona. He studied computer engineering in Barcelona, worked at Elvior (Estonia) and Lexatel Technologies (Barcelona). He was involved in Linux User Groups in Catalonia and collaborated in different free software projects. In June 2009, Carles moved to London to join Mendeley. Connect with him online at his homepage and a blog.

How do you describe your role on the Desktop Team?

We all implement features and fix bugs. I always try to improve the CSL (Citation Style Language, used for citations and bibliographies) integration with Mendeley.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

Make our users happy helping them to be more productive. Seeing that users like Mendeley, find it useful, etc
Another really good part is the colleagues in the office.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In no particular order: programming (usually Python outside working hours, for a change), play table tennis, hiking (recently I finished the London LOOP), travelling…


Arnau Josep Rosselló Castelló — C++ Developer

arnauMonday was literally Arnau’s first day! His background is in the games industry and finance (yes, both).
How do you describe your role on the Desktop Team?
What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?
The newness of it all
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Climbing, Rollerblading, and catching offers on Steam


The 15 science start-ups competing through the Axon@LeWeb, the latest project from Elsevier’s VP of Strategy and Mendeley Co-founder and CEO Victor Henning , were announced. The start-ups include some Mendeley collaborators, such as WriteLaTeX, Shazino and LabFolder, and we’re excited to see how they are changing the way we do research.

Missed the deadline or not shortlisted? There is still an opportunity for your startup to attend LeWeb!

Victor tell us more:

On December 9 at LeWeb, we are bringing together 15 of the world’s most exciting science & research startups in a session entitled Axon@LeWeb. These startups are building tools that change how we do research, that help the best minds of our generations work more efficiently, that accelerate the progress of knowledge.

We have received amazing applications from all over the world for the 15 available slots at Axon@LeWeb and would like to thank all startups who applied. It is exciting to see the creativity, diversity, and impact of tools being built to advance science.

Here are the 15 startups selected to present at LeWeb on December 9 (click on their names to find out more about them):

Expernova (France) – Your innovation search engine

Kudos (UK)  – Increasing research impact

LabFolder (Germany) – The digital lab notebook

Monocl (Sweden)  – Intuitive analytics for life science professionals

Newsflo (UK)  – Media monitoring for research institutions

Overleaf (UK) – Modern authoring tools for research (USA) – GitHub for protocols – an up-to-date crowdsourced repository of science methods

Publons (New Zealand) – Turning peer review into a measurable research output

Science Exchange (USA)  – A marketplace for scientific collaboration, where researchers can order experiments from the world’s best labs

Sciencescape (Canada)  – Discover and share breaking research from the world’s scientific pioneers and innovators

Shazino (France) – Next gen web & mobile apps for smart scientists

Sparrho (UK) – Aggregating, distilling, and recommending the best scientific discoveries for you

Standard Analytics (USA)  – Organising the world’s scientific information

The Winnower (USA) – DIY Scientific Publishing

Transcriptic (USA) – On-demand, robotic cloud laboratory for molecular and cell biology research


Please join us on at LeWeb (December 9, 14.00-17.00 in conference room 1, 2nd floor, Pullman Dock) to see these startups present the future of science!

If you’re a science/research startup who missed selection for the shortlist, have no fear! Submit your company here and you may qualify for a special discounted LeWeb pass :)


Victor Henning is CEO & co-founder of Mendeley, a science startup acquired last year by Elsevier (which, like LeWeb organiser Reed MIDEM, is part of Reed Elsevier Group).

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:


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:





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


And then to authorise this on the Mendeley website:



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


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


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.




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.