uncategorized guest blog  Improving Long term Healthcare with Crowdfunded Community Partnership

Collaboration and community are at the heart of bringing research to life in ways that make a real difference to people’s lives, specially when it comes to advances in healthcare. So this time we give a shout out to an interesting crowdfunding project that was launched yesterday to try and do just that:

By Chaitenya Razdan, Co-Founder and CEO, Care + Wear

Everyone has had a close friend or family member undergo some type of medical treatment and witnessed just how taxing it is; lives are completely altered for both the patient and their caretakers. Having experienced it first hand, Susan, Caroline and I combined our backgrounds to create a functional and fashionable treatment accessory that provides protection while increasing comfort during treatment.  We began with a simple concept for patients with PICC lines – the Band.

Through the development of the Band, Care + Wear was born.

PICC lines (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters) are used to administer long-term intravenous medications like chemotherapy, IV antibiotics, and TPN nutrition. Today, over 6 million are inserted annually and this number is growing quickly.

We knew that if we were going to reach as many patients as possible we would need to inspire a community effort.   First, we put together an experienced advisory board consisting of doctors, nurses, strategic growth and marketing professionals and successful entrepreneurs who have each dedicated countless hours to helping build Care + Wear. Then, we reached out to the industry’s leading foundations and now proudly call the American Cancer Society, F Cancer and the Tyler Robinson Foundation partners.

We have made significant progress since the Band was developed this Spring thanks to our advisors, partner foundations and most importantly the patients.  We’ve heard countless stories of how the Band would have, and could improve a patient’s journey through long-term medical care.  We are more inspired to bring our dream to life every day.

But in order to bring the Band to life, we needed a platform to reach more patients around the country, their friends and family, caretakers, nurses, doctors and colleagues and to spread the word. We not only want people to know that there is a product out there but also want to raise awareness for the community as a whole.

Crowdfunding gives Care + Wear an avenue to spread awareness to those living with PICC lines and their own communities. We have been overwhelmed with the excitement around the Band and are looking forward to making a difference.

Today we are proud to announce the official launch of Care + Wear. With cutting-edge designs and features, we hope to be able to help comfort, protect and inspire patients with fashionable medical accessories that also help support our foundation partners.

All the funds pledged will help us manufacture and distribute the first Bands to hospitals and patients, with a portion being donated to our foundation partners. Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to support us!

Receiving long-term medical treatments is an arduous process that often can be debilitating and leave you weak and without hope. It’s about time that we did something to help patients and their families. So join us, this is only the beginning.

If you’re interested in the subject, make sure to join our Crowdfunding Group on Mendeley and let us know what you think!

Keeping science open has always been part of Mendeley’s mission. There are many ways we achieve this, but our developer portal throws opens the Mendeley platform for developers to create and build tools to make researchers’ lives easier using Application Programming Interfaces — known as APIs. It is thanks to the Mendeley API that some of your favorite Mendeley third-party apps exist, like KinSync, PaperShip and Scholarley, to name a few. Even higher education is getting into the API game.

And now our API website has a fresh new look and a beta release. The team is currently working with a technical writer to improve the documentation, and are also busy trying to get SDKs out for mobile and other languages for a major release sometime later this year.

Think you’re ready to hack? Know any code monkeys interested in building tools to make researchers’ lives easier? Visit our Dev Portal to learn more and follow our brand-new Mendeley API blog. And meet the team behind the API in this months’ “Meet the Mendeley Team.”

start up life mendelife meettheteam  Meet the API Team!

 

Joyce Stack – Developer Outreach

start up life mendelife meettheteam  Meet the API Team!Joyce Stack completed a BSc. (Hons) Computer Science from The Open University while working in a startup in Co. Cork, Ireland. She moved to London in 2005 to join one of the City’s leading exponents of agile techniques at that time to work as a Java Developer. She is now working in the Developer Outreach role in Mendeley.
Connect with her on Twitter @MendeleyStack

How do you describe your role on the API Team?

Mainly my role is to be the “physical manifestation” of the API at conferences, meetups and hackathons.

Also, my role is to ensure we are engaging with all our clients and potential clients on the main social channels e.g. Twitter, Stack Overflow, blogs, etc.

My main responsibilities are to build up an excellent developer experience and support people in building great apps and demonstrating the value of our dataset to new potential clients. Basically, engaging with our developer community to drive adoption. Also, I’m the conduit between clients, both internal and external into the platform team and product teams, from an API perspective.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I get fed a lot. There is always a fridge full of food, ice-cream, fruit and drinks.

Primarily, though I was never one for endless iterations of work, I like the variety in this role. I get to wear many hats, e.g. product owner, support person, coder, debugger, marketing, blogger.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Take trips away to new places (8 so far this year), drinking brown beer and keeping fit with boxercise, spinning and weights.

Matt Thomson – Senior Software Developer

start up life mendelife meettheteam  Meet the API Team!Matt was born and grew up in Scunthorpe in the North of England. After graduating with an MMath from the University of Cambridge, he moved to London to join a telecommunications software provider, before joining the platform team at Mendeley in 2012.

How do you describe your role on the API Team?

I’m one of the developers of the Mendeley API, responsible for building new features, keeping the API running smoothly, and making sure that it meets the needs of all of our client developers, both internally and externally.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

The problems are challenging, our technology stack is exciting, and the people are friendly and supportive. I bet everyone says “the people”, though.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m a big fan of live comedy, and performed improvised comedy for a number of years, most notably at the Edinburgh Fringe with London’s (now defunct) Fat Kitten Improv. I also enjoy exploring London’s green spaces and pubs, and am a long-suffering follower of Scunthorpe United.

Dr David Ingram —Principal Engineer

David’s background is a mix between working in the computer industry and academia — he has a PhD in operating systems, did post doc research in distributed systems, and worked for both AT&T Labs and Google.

How do you describe your role on the API Team?start up life mendelife meettheteam  Meet the API Team!

My role is currently to look at the API both from within and from external client perspectives. I try to make sure the most important client needs are met while keeping the implementation clean and maintainable.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

The best thing about Mendeley is our goal, to improve the productivity of researchers everywhere.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time when I’m not hacking, I teach dance.

Congratulations and thank you to Vicky Pyne!

Vicky recently participated in a video for our Women in STEM series (you can see these stories on our YouTube channel, including some of our own Mendeley employees), and we loved her passion for the topic, both as a medical student and someone with a decade of experience of working for technology companies.

Luckily for us, she has the same passion for Mendeley!

Vicky is in her final year of medical school at the University of Bristol. “My major research days are still ahead of me,” said Vicky, who has already done several projects throughout her university career, including looking at the efficacy of bariatric surgery, the aetiology and management of a rare obstetric condition called ‘Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis,’ and a ‘big data’ study on the performance of mature medical students as they become mature junior doctors.

 

mendeley advisors community relations advisor of the month  Congrats August Advisor of the Month — Vicky Pyne!

How long have you been on Mendeley?
Since my second year [of medical school] in 2011.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?
EndNote and the inbuilt MS Word References tool.

How does Mendeley influence your research?
Mendeley speeds up my research by allowing me to quickly save papers to a place where I can easily find them in the future.

It’s also made a huge difference in terms of creation of my references as well – this used to be such a headache and wasted a lot of time that could be have been spent doing more useful things to improve the quality of my work.

It’s a more subtle change but I think it’s also allowed me to review more papers simultaneously to truly integrate their messages into my own work in a way that just having the files stored on my hard-drive wouldn’t give me. Finally, I imagine its saved my printing costs as well as there’s no need to print and manually highlight stuff!

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
When I first found the tool, it took almost no time to realise that this was going to be really useful. I thought it’d be good to be more involved in it and it’s nice to get the ‘Pro’ features for free!

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?
I share the link on the Facebook group for my year and always point it out to friends when our big yearly projects come around. I offer support to anyone who’s having problems – although they rarely need it!

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I’m currently reading “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. For most of the academic year, I don’t get much chance to read for pleasure but I like to get into some books when the summer holidays come around.

Any fun fact people might be surprised to learn about you?
I started dancing at the age of 3 and almost went to stage school at the age of 11. I sometimes wonder how different my life would have been if I’d gone down that route instead!

What is the best part about being a researcher?
You find yourself asking a question and you are able to go and find out the answer – sometimes it’s rather surprising and just creates a whole set of new questions. Learning and exploring is what life is all about!

And the worst?
It can be frustrating when you can’t access a paper you need as it’s behind a paywall – I understand that journals need to make money to survive but it feels there should be another way to do this that doesn’t hinder further research.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
That it just works. It’s simple to use and I can trust it completely. I’m not wasting time trying to learn a tool when I should be learning about my field of study.

We’re very pleased to announce that Mendeley Desktop 1.12 is now available, and will appearing as an auto-update for all users over the next couple of days.  This release resolves two popular user requests, as well as numerous bug fixes.

Print PDFs from Mendeley Desktop

Printing has been our #2 user request for some time (second to an Android app, which is currently in progress), so it’s great to be able to deliver.  To print a PDF, simply open it in a Mendeley reader tab, select the “File” menu at the top, and click “Print…” or press CTRL+P (CMD+P on MacOS).

new release 2  Mendeley Desktop 1.12 Available Now

From there, you have some standard print options, and the option to include or exclude your annotations.  When you include annotations, sticky notes will have a marker to the side of the document, with the full note text appended to the end of the document, in the same format that our “Export PDF with annotations” feature uses currently.

new release 2  Mendeley Desktop 1.12 Available Now

Mark as read

Automatically marking documents as read was previously quite aggressive in Mendeley Desktop.  If you opened a PDF in a tab, it was marked as read instantly.  This meant that it wasn’t a very accurate indicator of whether a document had actually been “read” or not, only opened.  We had a lot of feedback related to this, and have redesigned this system in an attempt to make it a little bit smarter.

Now the document is only marked as read once it has been scrolled most of the way through and has been opened for a reasonable period of time, dependent on the length of the document.  Without interfacing with your brain, we can’t actually check whether you’ve read a document or not, so in the case where this doesn’t quite catch something, you can still change the read/unread status of a document manually by toggling the read/unread dot.

new release 2  Mendeley Desktop 1.12 Available Now

With this change made, we feel comfortable adding read/unread support to our Mobile and web applications in the near future also.

What’s next?

The majority of our time recently has been spent supporting a company-wide migration away from numerous private APIs and services, to having all our apps communicate and sync using our new public API (currently in beta).  This is an absolutely huge piece of work, but when it’s done and stabilised, will result in a much faster and more stable base for us to iterate on and bring you value faster.  We are expecting to start rolling out this new version around September/October.

Before then though, we’ll be doing a small release with some fixes to the citation plugins, and the ability to import MEDLINE files from PubMed.  This has been another long-standing request for people who need to do systematic literature reviews across hundreds or even thousands of PubMed articles at a time.

If you’re interested in helping us test new features, you can opt-in to experimental releases via the “Help” menu in Mendeley Desktop. (you can opt out at any time to return to the last stable release).  Please report any issues you find to support@mendeley.com

Thanks a lot.

guest blog  Crowdfunding Innovative Water Treatment ResearchMendeley is proud to help spread the word about how research makes a positive impact in people’s lives, which is why we were really happy to work more closely with Elsevier in Research4Life. At its core, research is about making the world a better place, and technology is a  key way of enabling this. As part of our series of guest blog posts highlighting interesting ways in which that happens, this time we bring you the story of Jay, Viv and Kirsten, 3 young researchers from the University of Southern California, who have used crowdfunding to take their life-saving solution to communities in Rwanda.

By Jay Todd Max, co-founder of the Community Water Project

Next month, my research team and I are flying to Rwanda to build innovative water treatment systems we have been designing for the past three years. While we were earning our Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Engineering at the University of Southern California, Viv Pitter, Kirsten Rice and I were in the USC labs, researching into different innovative water treatment methods. The result is that we have created a new model of water treatment systems, tailored specifically to the needs and resources of rural communities in developing countries. This September we will make those designs a reality.

Having access to clean water is obviously a huge issue for millions of people around the world. The communities that we are targeting are ones who have access to dirty water, but no means of cleaning it. Typically these are rural communities that also do not have access to sophisticated water treatment technologies and typically do not have the technical know-how for maintaining complex water treatment systems. Our design is incredibly low-tech and uses only the natural resources found locally in these communities. It is essentially a large concrete chamber filled with gravel and sand. It traps the dirt and uses the naturally occurring micro-organisms to break down and remove all of the dangerous contaminants. Because the materials are local and there are no moving parts, the system is incredibly easy to maintain and operate.

 

guest blog  Crowdfunding Innovative Water Treatment Research

But there’s more. Many projects fail for social/cultural reasons rather than purely technical ones. Because of this, our implementation strategy diverges from usual aid models. Typically, when aid groups enter a community, they prescribe a specific technology that they have shipped from far away, install it without much community buy-in, and then leave, patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Unfortunately, the majority of these projects fall out of use and into disrepair within the first 5 years. Our implementation strategy, however, avoids this fate in two main ways. Firstly, our primary focus is on community engagement and buy-in. After all, it is the people we are interested in helping. The village leaders of Bwana, Rwanda are already eager to help make their new water systems a reality. Secondly, the systems will be monetized. The village leaders are in the process of selecting individuals from within the community who will become the owner/operators of these systems. They will charge a small fee for each container of water that gets dispensed. This money will go toward the maintenance and repair of the system, and will also act as compensation for the owner’s work. Because the owners are getting paid for their work, there will always be someone in charge of keeping the systems in operating condition.

We believe that our design, combined with our implementation strategy, have the potential to dramatically improve the success and sustainability of water projects around the world. Our model will not be validated, however, unless we take the first step of building the first ones in Rwanda this September. That is why it has been so helpful these past few weeks when donations have come from all over to raise more than $15,000 of our $20,000 fundraising goal on IndieGoGo. All of the communities that have supported the IndieGoGo campaign by sharing the link and by donating are really enabling us to prove out our water treatment concept. They are making it possible to do so much good for the community in Rwanda and possibly for water projects around the world. It really is a case of whole communities coming together to help other whole communities. It’s all made possible by crowd-sourcing funds, and it’s all for the purpose of proving out research that will improve people’s lives. If you’d like to help support the campaign or receive updates on the project’s progress, be sure to visit our campaign page!

Do you have your own stories of using crowdfunding or other social media technologies and platforms to advance your research? Join the discussion on our Crowdfunding Group on Mendeley or leave a comment below!

 

 

 

women in stem  You Need Perseverance to realise your dreams Meet Adriana Ocampo, Lead Program Executive at NASA’s New Frontier’s Program

Interview by Claire van den Broek

“I used to go to the roof of my house in Buenos Aires and dream about the stars,” recalls Adriana Ocampo. And as Science Program Manager at NASA, it’s probably fair to say that she’s one of those people who tends to turn their dreams into reality.

I tell students that they must have the courage to move forward with their dreams and believe in themselves. I have a mnemonic that I use, with the word STARS:

Smile, life is a great adventure

Transcend to triumph over the negative

Aspire to be the best

Resolve to be true to your heart

Success comes to those that never give up on their dreams

Born in Colombia and raised in Argentina, as a young girl she would sit with her dog on the roof of her house and spend hours wondering what those points of light actually were, and knew that science was her calling.

“Our parents always encouraged our imagination and dreaming big. I remember the moon landing. I was still in Argentina, a very young kid, July 20th, 1969, and here were humans walking in another world. I was completely fascinated by that, and NASA was the agency that enabled that. I thought: That’s where I can make my dreams come true! I would steal pots and pans from my mother’s kitchen, and my father was an electronics technician. I would make my own space models and draw lunar colonies. I even wrote to NASA, in Spanish. And somehow that letter got to somebody’s desk and they responded. That meant so much to me, that somebody actually took the time.”

When she emigrated to the United States with her family, as soon as she got off the plane in Los Angeles her first question was “Donde esta NASA? (which translates to where is NASA?”, since she did not know any English yet). And at her high school she joined the Space Exploration Post #509 who were sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s centre of excellence for exploration of the Solar System.

“As soon as I learned they were looking for volunteers, I immediately stood up and in my broken English said I wanted to do this. To me this was like Disneyland. Here where these people, engineers and scientists, that donated their time to provide guidance and to educate us about space exploration. At the JPL auditorium we worked with mentors who gave lectures, and eventually started doing hands-on projects. We constructed a telecommunication station to communicate with weather satellites. For the first time I experienced what it’s like to work together, and to lead a team. We had to do all these reports, and present them to the Director of JPL ,who was Dr W. Pickering at that time. It was a big responsibility. None of us had even graduated from high school yet!”

She stresses the huge importance of having mentors, such as the very bright JPL engineer Michael Kaiserman, who was the Lead Advisor for the Space Explorer Post. He gave generously his time to provide kids those opportunities and inspire them. Adriana fondly remembers the volunteer engineer and scientists who opened the doors of NASA space exploration to her.

“Thanks to the JPL mentors the Space Exploration Post was able to go on space science trips. We went to see the last Apollo launch, Apollo 17, together. We collected money by washing cars, selling cookies, etc. Those are the memories that mark you for life and I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have being given the opportunity to grow up in such an environment. I started working at JPL from the lowest possible position, as a kid in a summer program, and someone took me on and paid me to be his assistant after I graduated from high school. And when I started going to college JPL provided me with the opportunity to continue working part-time, which facilitated for me to pay for my own education.” 

But was it difficult to make it through the ranks as a woman, and did she ever feel out of place?

“Obviously there were not many girls, and on top of being a girl I spoke English with a “funny” accent, so I was kind of a double minority. But they were really open and gave me a chance. Through my experience at NASA, I’ve seen how they truly look for talent. If you bring a good idea to the table, they listen to it, and if it’s a good idea it moves forward. One of the good things I learned here is that mistakes are part of the process to mission success. When we have problems with a mission, it’s part of learning how to do it better. Blame is not part of NASA vocabulary, nor is problem, we use instead the word “challenge”. It’s about: “How can we learn to do it better next time?” That’s something that really helps build confidence, trust, and a team spirit.”

These days she spends as much time as possible helping to create the next generation of scientists and explorers, trying give young girls some of that same inspiration and support.

“It is truly important, having somebody who is a mentor, developing that relationship and seeing that a young women could see herself working in this team, having someone who believes in her. Just responding to those dreams, sometimes a thing as simple as taking the time to respond to a message, as someone once did for me, can make a tremendous difference.”

For example, she participated in a Shadow Program organised by the Society of Women Engineers, where young girls come and spend a day with people such as Adriana, to get a flavour of what life at NASA is like, and develop a relationship and dialogue which helps to guide and support them in their STEM career path. It is a well-acknowledged problem that a high number of women are lost as they make their way up the career ladder in those fields, something that Professor Athene Donald from the University of Cambridge defined as the “leaky pipeline”

“Right now we’re facing a generation of people who are retiring. We need more talent in science and engineering, so that’s one of our challenges. But for every space mission that NASA launches, one percentile of their budget is allocated to education and public outreach. Those programs help kids get involved, but they also help teachers. We need to inspire not only the students, but the teachers and the parents. Less than 1% of science teachers actually have a science degree, even at Bachelor’s level. So you need to incentivize, and educate them, so they can build that sense of “wonder” in students.”

This is not easy though, specially with women, and those, like her, who come from minority backgrounds. “I remember a case where we had a very talented young woman who had a full scholarship to Stanford, to become an engineer. Her parents wouldn’t let her go, because San Francisco was too far away. Many parents of girls from minority families don’t see becoming an astronomer, mathematician, or physicist as a career path. They think they won’t be able to support themselves.

“We need to change that paradox in society, science can be fun and is necessary for the future of the species.I strongly believe that everyone is a scientist. Anybody who is a good observer and uses her or his imagination is a scientist. We need to develop that excitement about science and space exploration into the parents, the family and society. During the International Year of Astronomy  I organized an event for 24,000 students and the whole theme was ‘space adventures’ and making science hands on and fun. At the end, we gave each student an oath, the essence of which was that science is to be used for the good of humanity. We all share the responsibility for science and technology to be use to benefit society.”

At Mendeley we’re very keen to support female researchers (nothing against the male ones of course!) in their pursuit of STEM careers, and are proud to have a number of fantastic women in our team. In fact, you can hear a few of their stories about how they got into technology on our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in the subject, or are working to help young girls get inspired to follow those careers, you might like to check out the Every Girl Digital community on Facebook and join our dedicated Mendeley Women in STEM group!

 

Congratulations and thank you to Polly Compston!

mendeley advisors community relations advisor of the month  Congrats July Advisor of the Month    Polly Compston!We first met Polly in January when she was working to get her organization started on Mendeley. We loved her enthusiasm and encouraged her to apply to be a Mendeley Advisor.
Since then, Polly has embraced literally every aspect of the Advisor Program — writing guest blog posts, participating in beta testing, presenting Mendeley to her colleagues, and meeting with us for User Testing.

Polly is a research advisor for the Brooke, which is an NGO that aims to improve the lives of working donkeys, horses, and mules in developing countries. Suitable for a researcher who did her studies in veterinary school and spent a period of time volunteering overseas while doing a three-year residency in clinical research, earning her MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health.

Polly says working at the Brooke is a “dream job – my interest in international animal health began during my period of veterinary work abroad and this is the perfect fit of this interest and my skills as a researcher. I work alongside the vets in our country programmes to increase their research capacity and provide support throughout any research activities that they are working on.”

 

How long have you been on Mendeley?

About 6 months – just a newbie!
What were you using prior to Mendeley?

Windows

How does Mendeley influence your research?

It makes it much easier to share information with our overseas colleagues – we can discuss research papers over time zones and if internet connections are unreliable. It allows us to be much more collaborative as an organisation

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

It seemed the logical decision – a central part of my role is to coordinate research resources throughout the organisation, and as Mendeley is relatively new within the Brooke we needed to develop a strategy to train everyone up.

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?

I am just off to Ethiopia to start the role out to our international colleagues – we are holding a workshop for the senior veterinary staff. 22 vets from 8 countries will be in attendance and I will be running an introductory session to Mendeley and we’ll discuss the best ways to use it.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

mendeley advisors community relations advisor of the month  Congrats July Advisor of the Month    Polly Compston!In Ethiopia with a Mule” by Dervla Murphy – because of my upcoming work trip to Ethiopia and the fact that it will be followed by some personal R&R that includes trekking in the mountains with a mule!

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

- I have a three-legged cat

- I wore a builder’s hard hat as a teenager

- There are no high heels too high for me

What is the best part about being a researcher?

It’s exciting generating new information and seeing it being put into practice. One of the favourite things about my job is see other people develop their research skills – one of my favourite metaphors is that each piece of research is a brick in the wall and the researchers are the mortar that hold it together – the more people the bigger the wall can be and the better the researchers the stronger that mortar is.

And the worst?

Sometimes things take a long time. The difference in timescales between being a vet in practice, where the daily to do list is completed every day and research, which occurs over much longer periods makes it hard sometimes to feel as though you are being productive

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

Honestly – how nice the people who work there are! I think lots of people know what a useful tool it is for researchers but I have been so impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff in the London office. (Editor’s note: we’re blushing, Polly!)

We often have users writing to us describing Mendeley as a sort of religious experience — we see a lot of exclamation points here at Mendeley. So it may sound a bit clinical to describe Mendeley as a “product,” but everything the Product Team does here at Mendeley leads to creating the tool you know and love (exclamation points!!).

Product deals with all aspects of how you, as users, interact with Mendeley from your computer or tablet or phone. They work collaboratively with each other and with the other teams at Mendeley to create the features you love (or, perhaps, need), and ensure that they are usable.

Our Product Team is always interested to learn more about how you use Mendeley and other websites and tools. If you are in the London area at any time, email us and arrange a User Testing session — there is a pack of goodies and a gift certificate in it for you!

Matt Coulson

Senior Product Manager

Follow me on Twitter @mattcoulson72 mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

I’ve worked in Product Management for around 12 years, including working for Messagelabs (now Symantec), Virgin Media and, for the last 6 years, at the BBC. At the BBC I led a team of 5 product managers and worked on a number of their products and services including News, Sport, Radio and Music and BBC Red Button!

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? My role is to bring a portfolio level view and agile product ownership expertise to the product team. In other words, help the product machine run that bit better and slicker. Here at Mendeley we’re entering a ‘hyper growth’ phase which means we have the amazing opportunity to build lots of cool new features that will delight our users and support our strategy. To do this we’ll need to do a number of things, but perhaps most importantly we need to invest wisely, make the right choices and trade-offs and ultimately deliver products that knock the socks off our users. My aim is to make this process better, clearer and more transparent.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? I think I’d have to say the people. They are one smart and savvy bunch. Good to see so much passion for delivering top quality experiences to users as well.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to travel, cook, walk, exercise (lightly!), game, films, gigs and reading. Sadly I can’t profess to be a part-time acrobat or other exotic pass-times but I’m open to ideas!

See Wah Cheng

Product Manager

Follow me on Twitter @seewahcheng mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

I joined Mendeley as a web developer four years ago. Over my career in Mendeley, I have seen the release of many products. Gradually I picked up more insights into user experience and user needs, so I decided to take on the challenge of product management! I feel passionate about improving people’s lives through technology.

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? To transform visions into tangible features. I have mostly worked with web products. I love my role in Mendeley because it is so multi-faceted. I am involved in literally every stage of a project, from defining goals, interviewing users, through to organising and prioritizing sprint tasks. I work with data, design, technology and people! The sense of achievement when you see ideas and wireframes turning into actual products that people actually use is incredible.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? Everyone here is so passionate about what we do. And more importantly, we are making the world a better place by giving researchers a helping hand!

What do you like to do in your free time? I do quite a bit of cycling and rock climbing. I am also very much into architecture and architectural history. Check it out.

Steve Dennis

Product Designer

Follow me on Twitter @subcide mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

Steve grew up in New Zealand, and moved to London in 2010 ‘for a bit of a change’. He’s been designing for the web for over 12 years, and has involved himself in many areas including interaction and visual design, user experience, front-end web development, and product management.

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? I am currently a Product Designer for the iOS and upcoming Android apps, though I dabble in many areas across the company.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? Interacting with our users, and delivering things that solve real-world problems or pain points for them. The free food is also pretty great.

What do you like to do in your free time? Design, rock climbing, and disruptive technologies (specifically Virtual Reality and Bitcoin).

Matthew Green

Product Manager

mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!International Politics degree at the University of Birmingham, which led me into a career in online gaming (obviously) with Betfair. I was with Betfair for 5 years until I decided I needed a change…went off to Central & South America for a few months, came back and worked on a startup with a friend before doing some work with onefinestay.com and then finally finding my calling at mendeley.com for the last (almost) 2 years. The product was awesome, the industry was interesting and the people are great, so it’s been a good few years. In other, less interesting news, i’ve been in London since 2006 – resident solely in Northeast London until recently when i’ve taken the drastic decision to move to the up & coming Southeast.

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? I look after the institutional product offering at Mendeley (MIE) – which involves speaking to librarians, research managers & the odd researcher to find what what they want & need to support an institutional implementation of Mendeley. User adoption is key for us, and the more Institutions that adopt Mendeley the better as all their researchers get to use a premium version of our great product!

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? Doing something useful – it makes a big difference compared to my previous roles. I also don’t think I could ever not work next to a food market anymore…

What do you like to do in your free time? I play football for Priory Park Rangers (named after the first road I lived on when I moved to London), and cycle & run a lot…I also like to go on holiday…as much as I can…to as many places as possible mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

Greg Homola

UX Designer

mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!How would you describe your role at Mendeley? My favourite part is I do not have to choose between visual and UX design. That means my role is pretty varied and I really enjoy it.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? I work with amazing people both personally and professionally, and I mean it.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love spending my time with my family, travelling. Also I am a keen amateur photographer, so I can combine all these things on some lucky days. I like reading and learning and also like sports like basketball, snowboarding and others.

Andrew Officer

UX/Product Designer

Follow me on Twitter @andrewofficer mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

Digital product designer with a background in interaction design. Previous to Mendeley, I co-founded a web-design startup in the West Midlands, where I worked as design lead, producing the creative and front-end code for public, private and e-commerce websites. My specialities live in end-to-end product development, user-centered research, interaction design and user interface design for online digital products.

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? UX/Product hybrid. I work closely with business stakeholders, product managers, designers, developers and end-users to understand needs and influence product strategy, ensuring that the best products and features make it to the marketplace and with an optimal user experience. I’m involved in all user facing aspects of product delivery, from speaking with researchers, requirements gathering, scoping out interaction design, designing interfaces with abit of marketing thrown in.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? The diversity of the role and being involved in all aspects of the business. Having the scope to work with various skillsets in areas that wouldn’t typically be under my remit. Solving difficult problems from a hugely smart and diverse audience group with differing careers levels, from a range of disciplines that have complex use cases and needs to work with. Being part of something than can ultimately change the world for the better makes the job hugely satisfying compared to other industries.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my spare time I can be found collecting and mixing records, snowboarding, DIY and enjoying the unhealthy culinary delights the world has to offer such as hamburgers, hipster beer, curried goat and ramen.

Joe Shell

Senior Product Manager — Data

Follow me on Twitter @JosephShell mendelife community relations  Meet the Product Team!

I like persistent, discoverable, reusable, sciency, webby things. Formerly of Nature.

How would you describe your role at Mendeley? I own the Mendeley Data program of projects.

What is your favourite part about working at Mendeley? It’s growing.

What do you like to do in your free time? Tarot card reading.

Where does the money in a £20 note actually exist? It’s the sort of thing you don’t often think about. Unless, of course you’re an expert like David Birch, whose day job is heading a consultancy specializing in secure electronic transactions, and who’s also just published a book called “Identity is the New Money.”

He used that question during his Talk@Mendeley to get the audience thinking about what we understand money to be, and put forward the idea that:

“Technologically, money is a primitive form of memory”

talks at mendeley  “Back to the Future of Money” David Birch Talks@Mendeley

As the title of the talk suggests, David actually goes back to the past in order to understand the future of money, and what it holds in store for all of us as transactions technology advances.

Paradoxically, he says, we can best understand the Bitcoin phenomenon by studying the stone currency system in the Pacific Island of Yap, where ownership of the valuable, but extremely large and cumbersome carved stones is transferred without the need to physically move them. The entire system is based on accepting the value of the stones and remembering who they belong to at any given time, even if the stone in question happens to be at the bottom of the sea.

The way money works these days is actually quite recent, David explained.

“The birth of modern money dates back only to around August 1971, when Richard Nixon ended the convertibity of the US Dollar, so actually, money as we know it right now is only about 40 years old. It’s not a law of nature.”

Social Anthropologists such as Jack Weatherford agree that the electronic money world looks much more like the Neolithic economy before the invention of money than the market as we have known it for the past few hundred years.

“In a world where everybody is connected to everybody else, what do you actually need the money for? If this was a Neolithic clan, you’d have sets of obligations to each other that you would remember. Money is a marker that allows you to scale that process. But. If you can remember everything, then you might not actually need money at all.”

And that is where technology comes in, making that memory-based system scalable: Old universal currency systems are broken, Birch argues, and they reduce people to having to engage in what he calls “security theatre”.

He illustrated this by recounting a recent experience of trying to buy a cup of coffee using his credit card at a Las Vegas branch of Starbucks, and being asked to present some form of picture ID. In the end he produced an expired security pass which the person serving him accepted in spite of having no real way of knowing whether it was, in fact, genuine.

“There’s no actual security taking place here, but as long as I know my lines and she knows her lines, then everyone is happy. That’s where we are with transactions in general right now. But if I had had my Starbucks app, I could have paid for my coffee using that without any trouble.”

talks at mendeley  “Back to the Future of Money” David Birch Talks@Mendeley

The idea is that in an age dominated by mobile phones and apps, we don’t need one universal sort of currency that works everywhere. We can instead more easily and securely use “Starbucks Money” or any other kind of situation-specific money, with the same sort of convenience, as technology mediates your transactions for you in increasingly efficient ways.

In this brave new world, crowdsourced resources and systems based on your reputation – such as a LinkedIn profile – are much more appropriate forms of verifying identity than top-down imposed mechanisms:

“I wager money that it’s harder for any of you to forge a LinkedIn profile than it would be to forge a Western Australian Driving License that would get past someone”

disclaimer: Neither David Birch nor Mendeley is advising or in any way encouraging people to try either of these options at home.

Bitcoin does not, therefore, represent the actual future of transactions and money, but this cusp we’ve arrived at where it is not only possible, but safer and more convenient to create lots of different types of money that work within different communities. In this scenario, Bitcoin is the piece of technology that will enable this and allow that to happen. The Flux Capacitor of money if you will.

talks at mendeley  “Back to the Future of Money” David Birch Talks@Mendeley

You can watch all the talks and Q&As on the Mendeley YouTube Channel Playlist, and to keep in the loop about the next Talks@Mendeley be sure to follow us on Twitter

 

 

guest blog  Crowdfunding to develop healthcare matching technology

A technology platform is helping to match paraplegic patients and those with neurological disabilities with the best healthcare providers available. They now want to use crowdfunding to develop this service even further, and their Indiegogo campaign has already reached over half of their initial $60,000 goal. Here’s their story, which began over 10 years ago…

By Jessica Harthcock, Founder and CEO of Utilize Health

I was 17 when I was paralyzed practicing gymnastics with the goal of bettering my skills for the springboard diving team. From the beginning, my prognosis was very grim; doctors said I would never regain function. This was certainly not what I thought my life would look like at age 17. My family and I wanted options – we wanted a treatment or therapy we could TRY. So for the next several years, my family and I traveled in search of highly specialized rehabilitation treatments. We went everywhere – Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt, facilities in Chicago, Miami and Louisville. I tried anything and everything I could get my hands (or legs) on. I tried Lokomat therapy, e-stem, underwater treadmill training, vestibular therapy, hippo therapy (and the list goes on). After several years of hard work, I learned to walk again. Today, I still don’t have sensation below T3, but I walk by sight (and with the help of my service dog, Ozzie). It’s been a journey, one that’s never really over.

guest blog  Crowdfunding to develop healthcare matching technology

This experience has taught me a lot about myself, but also about the gaps in the healthcare system. It was extremely difficult to learn about all of the existing and new treatments. Googling only gets one so far. Once I found a treatment or therapy I wanted to try, no one could tell me where to go to get it. Locating a facility with a particular therapy sometimes took months. After experiencing difficulties in finding resources and therapies, I knew there had to be an easier way, so I vowed to create a tool that could help other patients find the resources they needed without wasting time, energy and financial resources. Thus, Utilize Health was born.

Utilize Health is a platform that matches patients with neurological disabilities to the therapies and facilities they need to maximize their potential for recovery. Think OpenTable or Hotels.com, but for patients and facilities/therapies.

My husband and I started the company in May 2013. We were accepted into a top-ranked business accelerator program called Jumpstart Foundry. Through the program, we developed the idea into a sustainable business.

guest blog  Crowdfunding to develop healthcare matching technology

In December of 2013, Utilize Health was very fortunate to unexpectedly receive national press from USA Today. Patients, families, facilities and equipment manufacturers all started reaching out to see if they could use our service. But there was a BIG problem… the website didn’t exist yet. We were in the process of raising funds to build the web application.

I lost sleep… a lot of sleep. What do we do? People need this and they need it NOW. Patients don’t want to wait. Every email, phone call, and social media request seemed more urgent than the next.

The Utilize Health team rallied. We created a plan. We started to manually match patients to therapies and facilities across the country. Manual matching is completed by essentially looking at spreadsheets and other paper databases. Manual matching is time consuming. It takes anywhere from 7-10 days, sometimes longer.

In April, the Utilize Health team had successfully matched more than 100 patients to therapies and facilities across the country. Patients and their loved ones were thrilled with the resources Utilize Health was able to provide them.

Unfortunately, there are still patients and their families on the waitlist waiting to be matched. More patients sign up daily. With a wait list a mile long, we need to automate the matching process. This is when we decided to ask the public for help through crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding has given us an opportunity to gain support within the community. In less than 48 hours, we raised more than $20,000. We were completely blown away by people’s generosity.

All the funds pledged will do directly towards the development and creation of the web application to automate the matching process. Perks and prizes are offered such as Utilize Health swag and patient advocate subscriptions. Our campaign is live until August 22nd. Click on the link below to check out the campaign.

We are so thankful to everyone who has contributed thus far. We truly hope to make an impact for those individuals who have neurological conditions. As we say at Utilize Health, No One Walks Alone.

If you’re interested in the subject, why not join the Mendeley Crowdfunding group, or let us know in the comments below if you have any experiences to share with the community!