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Congratulations January Advisor of the Month!

Gratulacje to Peter Sobolewski, our January Advisor of the Month! Peter, an Assistant Professor in Biomaterials and Microbiological Technologies at West Pomeranian University of Technology in Poland, is a regular contributor to our Advisor forum, helping other Advisors guide themselves and users they support. Peter comes from a lineage of scientists and thinks Mendeley is like a second brain!

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How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to work in research, since both of my parents were scientists. However, I was always interested in biology, so when it was time for college I chose Biomedical Engineering, which was a hot field at the time. As an undergrad at Duke University, I had a chance to work with Prof. Laura Niklason, a pioneer in vascular tissue engineering. This was extremely exciting and not only confirmed my passion for research, but also ignited a keen interest in the vascular system. Finally, this experience led me to pursue my PhD in bioengineering, at UCSD. I’ve been working in the field of vascular bioengineering ever since.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
This is a hard question, as it really depends. When I’m working in the lab, I find I make most of my progress or breakthroughs after hours, when I’m alone and have the ability to completely focus on the problem at hand. However, I find that a collaborative environment is very important and I very much enjoy brainstorming with colleagues at a white board and, of course, get much help in the lab from students and colleagues as well.
In terms of writing, I like having some music on and big blocks of time, such that I can stream as much text out as possible. Then, I work on editing and adjusting it to a more final form. At this stage, I find it extremely valuable to have colleague in the office to bounce ideas/phrases, etc.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I’ve been using Mendeley since December 2010. I previously used EndNote, Reference Manager, and briefly Zotero. I’ve been using reference management software since 1997 or so, thanks to the influence of my parents. Initially, my main goal was managing citations while writing. Mendeley has brought a true paradigm shift for me, thanks to the full text searching of stored documents/abstracts/etc. It’s like a second brain. I conscientiously use the web importer to throw any and all interesting papers or book chapters into my database, knowing I can always find them. Further, the iOS app is also fantastic when on the go, in the lab, or at a conference.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I’ve been an unofficial advisor or advocate or whatnot since 2011, because my experience with Mendeley has been so fantastic. It’s easy to get excited about it and want to share, and I’m a naturally chatty person. When I became a faculty member last year, I decided I may as well see about becoming an Advisor. As a teacher, I have access to the “soap box,” so to speak, allowing me to directly expose my students to Mendeley, which I think is invaluable to students working on papers, thesis projects, etc.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
This is an impossible question for me as I have a great interest in the history of science and scientific discoveries. I can not choose one person, so I will cheat and offer 2, a preeminent biologist and a preeminent engineer: Charles Darwin, preferably during his voyage, and Nikola Tesla.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I’m presently about half-way through The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. This is a long overdue reading of a classic. Next on tap is Steven Pinker’s book Sense of Style. I am also always hunting for inspiration by (re)reading chapters from Alan Lightman’s book The Discoveries, a wonderful collection of anecdotes, history, and original scientific works of some of the most important discoveries of the 20th century.

What is the best part about working in research?
Trying something truly new and the sense of excitement that goes with it. Closely followed by the sense of accomplishment when something really works and you can explain why.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
I think it’s the trend to marginalize methods and techniques in research publications. It makes it harder and harder to repeat things and also harder to use recent papers for teaching students.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It’s not just a reference manager, it’s a full text document searcher–a second brain!

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Academic services made easy – Mendeley integrates with Peerwith

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The very nature of research means academics become experts in their fields. But what happens when they need services outside of their field of research, such as translations or artwork for their paper or book? They rely on author services, which are often delivered by other academics; For example, by PhD students that edit papers as a freelance job. Performing these services can not only be an way to earn some extra money, it also allows people to gain experience and grow skills in effective scholarly communication.

But academics and service providers often have difficulties finding each other directly and often depend on middlemen to get the work done. This means that services are more expensive than needed, and that people most of the time have no idea who actually performs the work.

p-eerwithPeerwith wants to change this. Launched in beta in October 2015, the platform brings academics directly in contact with experts to take their academic work to the next level, increasing transparency and making these services more affordable.

Academics don’t like creating another profile on yet another platform, so Peerwith wanted to integrate with a social network that is popular with clients as well as experts. Going for Mendeley integration was the obvious choice. What we have done so far is Mendeley authentication, which means that Mendeley users can sign-in using their Mendeley username and password. In the next few weeks, we hope to allow Mendeley users to import their full Mendeley profile, allowing users to showcase their full profile on Peerwith.

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On Peerwith, clients can directly select the freelancer or supplier, assuring that the work will be done by the right expert with the right background and expertise. On Peerwith you can find experts in many areas, such as for editing and translations, artwork, statistics, to printing theses. Together clients and supplier determine the rates and terms of the project, and payment transactions are secure.

Based in Amsterdam, Peerwith was founded by Joris van Rossum, PhD and Ivo Verbeek, MSc, both with many years of experience in academic publishing, IT and product development.

We are excited with the integration with Mendeley, and warmly invite users to sign up when they need an expert to get their work to the next level, or if they want to offer their services as an expert. Simply sign-in with your Mendeley account!

 

 

 

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Mendeley Data API launched!

Just over a month ago at the Mendeley Open Day, we launched Mendeley Data, and the number one requested feature has been to allow people to create and retrieve datasets via an API.

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In the spirit of this festive season, we’re offering the community a gift – now you can use a REST API to create, manage, publish and find datasets. This means anyone can integrate it with their Apps and tools. In fact the Mendeley Data website is entirely powered by the API, which means that you have access to the same API capabilities that we use to develop our web app.

If you’re interested in working with datasets via our API, you can read our documentation here. If you’re new to the Mendeley API, you can get started by visiting our developer website, where you will find information about the API including authentication, documentation and examples.

But wait, we’ve got one more festive present for you! An early adopter of the Mendeley Data API is Hivebench. Hivebench is a digital lab notebook (DLN), which helps to plan and run experiments. Thanks to the Mendeley Data API, any data or observations can easily be shared to Mendeley Data from the Mac, iPhone and iPad apps.

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This post can also be found on our Mendeley API blog feed – so head over there for more API news and updates

We’re excited to see what you will make with our API. If you have any questions, or have created something cool, let us know at api-support@mendeley.com or on Twitter.

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"Changing the way we do research, Thirty-five at a time!" – Olayinka Fatoki on sharing Mendeley in Nigeria

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Mendeley has a vision: to change the the way we do research, for all researchers!

Today’s guest blog post comes from Olayinka Fatoki, who works in Information Science at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Olayinka tells us how she is sharing Mendeley with researchers and shares some of the feedback she’s received after her workshops.

In March 2014, I was in a training room during the TEEAL/AGORA workshop at the Kenneth Dike Library of the University of Ibadan, when I first heard of Mendeley. The facilitator took a group of researchers and librarians through a session on using the reference manager to organize citations and manage their references. I was fascinated by the power of this tool and the electrifying applause from the participants at the end of the session.

Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) through partnerships with institutions in Nigeria organizes 3-day workshops which highlights Research4Life programmes, The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL) and Reference Management software, Mendeley. As the Training and Outreach Officer for ITOCA in Nigeria, the responsibility of delivering training sessions on Mendeley soon fell on me and so I had to learn expressly and became conversant with the application. Mendeley is easy to learn and use especially with the different user guides available. At each of the TEEAL/AGORA workshops, with at least thirty-five participants, I have discovered more about Mendeley features and the saving grace it brings to researchers.

As a researcher myself, I use Mendeley for my work and have also organized training for PHD students, and lecturers in my faculty. Fifteen workshops and several training sessions down the line, I am always very happy to see the relief, excitement and brightened up faces after each Mendeley session.

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TEEAL/AGORA Training-of-Trainers Workshop at the BABCOCK University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria which took place between 27-29 October, 2015

Some of the testimonies shared by participants at the end of different Mendeley training sessions are as follows:

I think Mendeley is great. The fact that a search and reference tool like this exists beats my imagination. It’s great for research.

I have had Mendeley for six years but I have just discovered it is a unique program, that I am able to download and keep my download in it as a backup for my work is unique. It is an essential tool for me as a researcher.

Mendeley experience has opened a novel pathway for literature search, archiving and retrieval. Thus making research reporting easy and fun. Thanks to the MENDELEY TEAM!

Excellent tool for management of references. How I wish I could have been introduced to this immediately I enrolled for my postgraduate study. It will definitely help and boost my writing.

Mendeley is the best thing that happened to me in the world of referencing. I simply love it!

It gets better when participants from these workshops send in exciting stories about how they have been sharing the knowledge about Mendeley with friends and colleagues. Gradually and steadily, as more and more researchers and librarians learn about Mendeley, the way we do research indeed is changing – Thanks to Mendeley!

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How a PhD prize is supporting chemistry’s bright young stars

By David Evans, Scientific Affairs Director at Reed Elsevier Properties SA

The fuel efficiency of our cars depends on the relative reactivity of the hydrocarbons in the fuel; in 2013 a PhD student published a paper describing a new material that can filter out the molecules that make our cars less efficient. A year later, a different PhD student published work that makes it possible to watch the tiny structures inside cells moving around in real-time, using a microscope.

Rising chemistry stars like these will be tomorrow’s leading scientists, developing solutions to many of the problems we face today. Recognizing their work and supporting their careers is vital, and that’s exactly what the Reaxys PhD Prize is for. The best known and respected of its kind, the Prize has attracted almost 2500 submissions from more than 400 universities in its six-year history.

Every year, 45 finalists are selected out of hundreds of submissions from chemistry PhD candidates and researchers who have recently been awarded their PhD, in a process managed by a review committee of renowned chemists. The finalists represent the world’s best young chemists, and their work is showcased at an annual Symposium.

Submissions are now open for the 2016 PhD Prize, and we’re preparing to see even more outstanding and impactful research this year.

Celebrating success
Imagine you’re just finishing your chemistry PhD and you’re standing at the foot of your career, wondering how you’ll be able to scale the mountain. You’ve done some really cutting-edge work already, but you have even bigger ideas. Now you need people to bounce them around with and a mentor to guide you.

The Reaxys PhD Prize gives exceptional young researchers a leg-up, helping them scale the difficult first part of their career and supporting them with lifetime benefits.

The two PhD students mentioned at the start of this article are previous PhD Prize winners and are now two of almost 300 members of an elite group – the Reaxys Prize Club. Each year the 45 new finalists are welcomed into the Prize Club, giving them the chance to network with some of the world’s best chemists.

The PhD Prize has been running since 2010, hence, Club members now hold a variety of positions in academia and industry, giving incoming members a great opportunity to find mentors and collaborators. Over 50 members are now in their first independent academic positions.

How it works
The 2016 PhD Prize is open to those who are in a chemistry PhD program or have completed their PhD after 1 January 2015, and who have published a peer-reviewed paper during their PhD. They apply online with their peer-reviewed paper, along with a CV (resume) and a letter of recommendation from their PhD supervisor.

Submissions are open until 8 February 2016, after this the review process will start, and once completed the review committee will select the 45 finalists. All 45 finalists automatically become members of the Reaxys Prize Club and a host of other benefits, including unlimited personal access to Reaxys and Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry and discounts on Elsevier Chemistry books and scientific conferences.

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All the finalists are invited to attend the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium. Before the symposium, the review committee will publish a shortlist of applicants. At the Symposium, all the finalists will present their research at a poster session, and the shortlisted candidates will give oral presentations. The three winners will be chosen after the oral presentations and will each be awarded a cheque for $2000.

Are you up for the challenge? We are looking forward to seeing the exciting new research being done by today’s rising stars and to welcoming a new wave of members to the Reaxys Prize Club.

To stay updated on the finalists, shortlisted candidates and the winners, visit the PhD Prize website.

Why Campaign for Women in STEM?

In June 2015, Sir Tim Hunt was reviled for being perceived to be in favour of gender-segregated labs on the grounds that ‘girls’ cause men to fall in love with them, and cry when criticized. His comment, whether or not it reflected his actual opinion, cost the Nobel Prize winner his honorary professorship at UCL, and his position on the Royal Society’s Biological Sciences Awards Committee. More recently online, The Review argued that campaigning for women in STEM was unnecessary. Gender gaps in different professions, the editorial contends, can often be a matter of biology. Gender is a factor in determining why we study what we study, and blindly incentivizing students to pursue STEM subjects may distort the job market in the longer term.

But what we’re increasingly seeing is that failing to encourage women to pursue these careers can be equally damaging to the job market. In the short term the UK could find itself in the position of Australia, struggling to address the 600,000 strong STEM skills shortage. On a broader scale, a report released by the European Commission in 2013 estimated that if as many women as men worked in ICT, European GDP would be boosted annually by around €9 billion – therefore showing that failing to attract, and retain, women in this sector has negative consequences for the entire economy. In terms of the advancement of science, the research community could have missed out on the talents of Dr Sarah Noble, featured last week on the blog, Christina Richey, Planetary Science Division Program Officer at NASA, Liu Yang, pilot and astronaut who became the first Chinese woman in space, Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, selected as the next director general of CERN, Maryam Mirzakhani, who won the Fields medal in 2014, and so many more.  

The science community might also have missed out on the work of Professor Lucy Carpenter, this year’s winner of the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, which was celebrated yesterday as part of the Royal Society’s Anniversary Day. Professor Carpenter specializes in atmospheric chemistry, studying the controls and mechanisms responsible for the release of a wide range of oceanic gases, many at concentrations around a trillionth of nitrogen and oxygen (hence named ‘trace gases’). This type of research is vital to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, how it affects our health and climate, and how our atmosphere responds to natural and human activities. Above all, Professor Lucy Carpenter was chosen for this award not only for the outstanding quality of her work, but also for her suitability as a role model and her project proposal to promote women in STEM.

The award is named after Rosalind Elsie Franklin, the English chemist who immensely contributed to our current understanding of the structure of DNA. The controversy surrounding the amount of credit due to Franklin continues and was brought to light most recently in Nicole Kidman’s depiction of her in a West End production.

What is certain, however, is that her meaningful work in learning about the structure of DNA was never publicly rewarded: she was beaten to the publication of her X-Ray photographs of DNA and work on the DNA structure in part because of her frictions with Maurice Wilkins. Later, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962 was awarded jointly to Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.

Photo 51: X-ray diffraction image of DNA obtained by Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling in 1952. The pattern triggered the idea that two strands of DNA ran in opposite directions, forming a helix.

Without doubt, this helps to highlight the importance of awards and schemes, such as those championed by the Royal Society, in supporting the development of female scientists, recognising their achievements and instilling them with the confidence to pursue lines of research that could lead to the next major scientific breakthrough.

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Mendeley and Beyond – Here's what happened at #MDOD15

After an amazing Mendeley and Beyond, Open Day 2015, we’ve just about managed to re-collect our thoughts and tell you how it went… It was wonderful! We really enjoyed meeting so many of our Advisors, Users, Librarians, Usability Testers, Partners and colleagues. A big thank you to everyone who joined us in our new home in AlphaBeta – we look forward to seeing you again next year!

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Top Features announced at #MDOD15

Mendeley Data
22670784627_51ff24ff4b_kThe new Mendeley Data repository is designed to help you do more with the data that comes out of your research, allowing you to publish your data, share it, and make it available for other researchers. This data platform allows researchers to upload the raw data from their research, where it is give it a unique identifier that makes that data citable. The aim is to move beyond the tradition research article and enable researchers to show their workings, and most importantly get credit for that.

Heliyon Submission Channel
Mendeley is launching the first journal on it’s new submission channel. “Heliyon is the perfect journal to introduce this new pillar of Mendeley. It’s innovative in every sense, cross-discipline and, most importantly, open access” says Paul Foeckler, Co-founder and Integration Director of Mendeley. Our aim is to help people publish in a seamless way connecting relevant stages of their workflow and accelerate the process of making and disseminating new discoveries.

Mendeley Goes Social
22696870339_1a52e5375b_kThere have been several development in Mendeley recently. You may have noticed that your profile now features enhanced statistics information to provides any published author with an aggregated view on the performance of their articles. Additionally, you’ll be able to import your publications from Scopus, which has the highest-quality source of data on published articles, and for articles published on ScienceDirect we additionally provide information on views, search terms used to get to your article, map of where your readership comes from, and provides links to various source data providers.

Not only that (why stop there?!), you’ll be getting improved article suggestions, which will provide four different recommendation algorithms to support different scientific needs, which will be regularly recalculated and tailored, ensuring that there is always something new for you to discover.

 

But that’s not all that happened!

Breakout sessions
In the afternoon, we held some smaller group breakout session where attendees had the opportunity to find out more and give there feedback about Mendeley data, BibTeX/LaTex, Data Science, the Mendeley API and   – all the while being guided by some New Orleans-inspired Second liners.

Eye Art
Our visitors also had the chance to have images their eyes turned in to some wonderful abstract art with some close up Eye Photography

Legendary Mendeley Open Day After-Party
The amazing Jerome introduced us to his world of swing, right in the heart of Mendeley HQ – we danced, we sang, and we’re mesmerized as Jerome showed of his Charleston grooves.

You can catch up on Tweets through our Storify or see highlights on our Flickr