We want to make it as easy as possible to get your documents into Mendeley so you can get on with your work. To that end, we have developed a number of ways to add documents to Mendeley. You can now add documents via Desktop and Web in 7 different ways. With so many options, there’s a method to suit any workflow. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘web importer’
As a PhD student I find myself roaming the Internet quite a bit in search of literature for my research project which can be really time consuming. Looking for the right keywords, opening each relevant result into a new tab, downloading each paper of interest, finding the cryptically named PDF file and then adding it to your library in an organized fashion (phew). So anything that can cut back this strain of accessing and organizing research papers is most welcome.
In previous posts I’ve mentioned Mendeley’s web importer, which helps retrieve papers directly to your Mendeley Web account. That’s all good, but what about papers that you already have on your computer spread about in different folders or hard drives?
There are multiple ways to import files from your hard drive directly into Mendeley Desktop. You can add one file at a time, a full folder in one go or even make a specific “Watched” folder.
A “Watched” folder is basically a folder that Mendeley keeps an eye on for any new files and automatically imports new documents with minimal interaction on your behalf. Just drop or download your PDF documents into your watched folder and Mendeley will do it’s thing (I mean auto-extract it’s metadata and add it to your library!).
So we now have a web importer for online retrieval and an automated watch folder. Looks like we are set!
My references and documents are all nice and organized within Mendeley Desktop and accessible online but when I look at the files on my computer, I notice something. In fact, I notice the lack of something: meaningful file names.
As you can see in the image above, the file names are not very explanatory and whenever I have to pick a file to send to a colleague or open it directly for some reason, it becomes a guess-the-mystery-file name game. Not to mention that every time I add a file to that folder with a similar name, I get this fantastic message:
The file you are trying to copy “sdarticle.pdf” already exists. Cancel or overwrite?
Good question, do I want to overwrite sdarticle.pdf? Do I have any idea what is in that file? The most probable answer to both these questions is no. Once again, Mendeley has considered this situation and provides an effortless way to organize your files with a built-in feature called: ‘File Organizer’.
As the name suggests, this feature can organize your files for you in a few different ways. You can store your files in a centralized folder with all the files renamed to a specific format. The format is easy to customize by simply dragging the naming categories from one input box to the other.
As you can see in the image above, I chose to rename my files and keep them in one folder with the file name following the format Author – Year – Title. I did not add the journal to the file name, but could have easily done so by just dragging it down into the file name.
There’s an option to organize the files into sub-folders, however I chose not to do so. That’s just my personal choice even though I know colleagues of mine prefer to separate things into sub-folders by year.
Once I’ve picked how I want my files to be sorted and renamed, I go ahead and click apply. Folders get created, files get renamed and I’m done:
These file names are much easier to understand and are categorised how I want them. This feature has not only organized my files into a folder with proper file names, but it will keep any new documents I add in the same orderly fashion. Neat huh?
I recently wrote a blog post about one of Mendeley’s great features, the web importer. Promising an update at the end of the last post, I can now say that the newest cool thing that the importer can do is save webpage snapshots.
What this means is that not only can you import references from an ever growing list of supported sites but you can now save a snapshot of an actual webpage in your library.
The web importer saves a static HTML file with an exact snapshot of the webpage you are visiting and, if available within the webpage’s HTML, extract any relevant metadata.
Given the growing need to cite from websites, the ability to store a snapshot of a webpage is definitely a great new addition to the web importer’s features.
I know I’ll be using it, how about you?
To get the web importer, visit: http://www.mendeley.com/import
As a long-time Mendeley user, I can say that one of the features that I happen to really enjoy using is the one-click web importer. It was not available when I started using Mendeley to organize my references but when it was implemented, it made my work so much easier.
When starting work on a new project, there is normally an initial phase of your work-flow that consists of performing searches on websites for available literature on the desired topic.
You query the search sites with keywords, open each link that seems of interest, read the abstract and when available download the paper (PDF document). If you happen to be searching on many sites and downloading many papers, this can be a bit repetitive.
Repetitive work is normally tedious and time is usually short. So, what if you could easily download references and their respective PDF documents (when accessible) with a simple click of the mouse?
Mendeley’s one-click web importer enables you to add references (and their PDF documents) to your Mendeley reference library from within your favorite browser. All you need to do is add the web bookmarklet to your browser bar and you will be able to easily add documents to your library from a growing selection of websites like PubMed, IEEE Xplore, Google Scholar, CAT.INIST or PLoS, just to name a few.
So I know what you are thinking: “Great, there’s a simple way to add documents to my Mendeley library while searching in my favorite browser. Show me how!”
OK, here is how…
First, you need to add the bookmarklet to your browser bookmark bar. Do this by either dragging the link directly to the bookmark bar from the Mendeley web importer page or by going to Mendeley Desktop menu Tools > Install Web Importer. Once that’s done, you should be good to go.
Let’s give it a try by opening up Google Scholar and performing a search for your favorite keyword(s). Let’s say your keywords of interest are “Synthetic Biology”, the Google Scholar results should be something like so:
Let us assume there are a few papers that you’d like to add to your library, so you click on the Mendeley web importer bookmarklet and a pop-up window opens. You are presented with a very similar list of references as those presented by Google Scholar with some extra options. Let me point a couple of these extras out (see image highlight):
Once you’re done importing the documents into your Mendeley library, they are stored in your Mendeley Web account. To be clear, the references are always stored in your library but the actual PDF files may not be imported if they are not openly accessible to Mendeley’s servers.
Side note: If the PDF documents you want to import to Mendeley are not openly accessible but you have access to them via your institutional network/proxy, there is a simple way of adding the document directly to Mendeley Desktop. Simply drag & drop the link to the PDF file and Mendeley Desktop will automatically download the file and auto-extract the document details. Let’s just call this our little secret work-around while it’s not yet fully possible via the web importer, OK?
Getting back to where we were, to have the newly imported documents made available on your computer, simply open Mendeley Desktop and click “Sync Library”.
There you go, without having to download papers one by one or opening multiple web pages, you can easily import documents into your Mendeley library using the one-click web importer.
As mentioned above, the list of supported sites keeps growing and if you would like to see another site added to the list, please feel free to contact us. The web importer also supports any sites using COinS.
Like I said before, the web importer is one of Mendeley’s features that I really enjoy using. How has your experience been using it?
Quick update: The Mendeley team is hard at work finishing up an upcoming feature for the Web Importer that will allow users to store local copies of webpages!
As one of the many requested features from our feedback page, Mendeley Web now supports COinS (ContextObjects in Spans). COinS is an open and easy to use specification for publishing OpenURL bibliographic metadata in HTML. On web pages, embedded COinS can be read and processed by applications.
Also Mendeley’s Web Importer can now identify COinS embedded on other websites. This information can then be easily imported into your Mendeley research library. In addition, a COinS section is embedded in each of our article pages. This means that other bookmarklets can extract and process the information from Mendeley’s article pages.
Roughly three and a half months after our announcement that we would plan to collaborate with CiteULike it’s even better news to announce that the first step is live – Mendeley users can now access their CiteULike data from within Mendeley. As we said in our previous blog post,
Your CiteULike account will show up as a “Document Group” in our Mendeley Desktop software, thus making your CiteULike metadata available to you in a desktop interface – from where you can manage them offline or insert citations and bibliographies into Microsoft Word, for example.
Follow these steps to activate the integration of CiteULike with Mendeley:
- On your settings page, scroll to the bottom and enter your CiteULike username. Then click OK, and allow any pop-up blocking messages displayed by your browser — if any.
- You will be taken to an activation message on CiteULike’s site — confirm this action.
- This will take you to your Edit Profile page with a check-box displayed next to Enable Mendeley. You will find this at the bottom of the form, highlighted. Click Update Profile to save this.
- You will now see your CiteULike profile page. Don’t worry if you don’t see any confirmation — this is normal. The synchronization is now set up successfully.
You can enable, or disable, Mendeley synchronization by going to your Edit Profile page on CiteULike, and checking, or unchecking, the check-box labelled Enable Mendeley. If you don’t login to Mendeley once every 30 days, this sync will be disabled. You can re-enable it by re-checking this box.
This is obviously just a first step – together with the guys at CiteULike we are now working on a two-way synchronization. Our reference manager Mendeley Desktop now already offers a wide selection of import/export options (plus a Web Importer to grab citations off the web), and if you have any additional suggestions or comments, have your say on our feedback page.
It’s here! The Mendeley browser “bookmarklet” allows you to import documents from websites and academic databases into your Mendeley library with a single click. At the moment, the following sites are supported: ACM Portal, Amazon.com, arXiv.org, CiteSeer, IEEE Xplore, IngentaConnect, Google Book Search, Google Scholar, PubMed, NASA Astrophysics Data System, and ScienceDirect. We’ll be adding support for further sites continuously.
This is how it works: Say you’re on PubMed and you’ve just discovered an interesting paper. Now, all you need to do is click the “Import to Mendeley” bookmark in your browser – Mendeley does the rest: The paper is automatically added to your Mendeley Web library with metadata, abstract and (if available) the PDF. All of this happens in the background, so you don’t have to leave the PubMed page you’re on.
It also works on search results pages, so you can import multiple documents at the same time – a small pop-up allows you to choose which ones.
And since your Mendeley Web library and Mendeley Desktop library are sync’ed, you’ll have the imported metadata and papers on your computer, too.
To get the bookmarklet, log in to Mendeley Web and go to http://www.mendeley.com/import. Install the bookmarklet by dragging & dropping it to your browser toolbar, or by adding it your bookmarks.
Now, surf to one of the supported websites and import happily!