Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Amy Neeser

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Amy NeeserName: Amy Neeser

Job Title: Consulting and Outreach Lead at University California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

Bio: Amy is a data librarian working in Research IT. She coordinates the consulting efforts across the Data Management and Research Computing programs to offer a holistic approach to data and computation. She also facilitates their community, partnership, and outreach programs. She previously worked as the Research Data Management Program Manager at UC Berkeley, as Data Curation Librarian at the University of Michigan, and as a science librarian at the University of Minnesota.

What motivates you each morning?

I am passionate about research. I love that I get to help enable world changing research by helping Berkeley faculty, students, and staff address the challenges and opportunities associated with research data and computing.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main things really. In terms of practicality, I would love to see RDM really focus on sensitive data needs. Currently this is often managed at an institutional level, but it would make a huge impact if there was a nationwide, or product-based solution that could address this. That would be huge.

Secondly, I think RDM is vital for reproducibility. Technologies like containers and Jupyter Notebooks enable users to share not only their data but also the software, versions, and specs to analyze it. As these types of technologies data management practices become more commonly used, it will be much easier to share and reproduce results!

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

I like how the different modules and features available can easily interact with each other. And it’s practical, supporting the data management process.

I feel that Mendeley Data Repository can help institutions address the reproducibility crisis, and it can save the need for institutions to create a repository at a local level.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I don’t think RDM can or should be “owned” by one unit or department, such as the library. It’s too big an area to be managed alone, and different players bring difference expertise and experience. It calls for a combined effort.

A lot of the questions that I get are in the active phase of the research lifecycle and often include sensitive data. IT can help with these issues, but also needs the library’s expertise around the beginning (planning, finding) and end (publishing, sharing, preserving) of the research lifecycle to provide researchers with a holistic approach to their scholarship.

More researchers from across domains use data and computational resources, and I think IT must be closely aligned with the library and other important players on campus such as the office of research.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: David Groenewegen

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

David GroenewegenName: David Groenewegen

Job Title: Director, Research, Monash University Library

Bio: David Groenewegen is the Director, Research. He is responsible for Library client services to the science, technology, engineering and medicine disciplines at Monash University, as well as the contribution the Library makes to the University’s research activity.

David has wide-ranging experience working in the areas of electronic information provision and related technology. Before returning to Monash University Library in 2013 he spent four years as a Director of the Australian National Data Service, where he was involved with the development and implementation of data management solutions across the Australian university sector.

What motivates you each morning?

The thing I most love doing is trying to find ways to help our researchers do their job better, which in the library means giving them the tools, training and resources they need, at the time they need it, and in ways that simplifies their life, not complicates it. I’ve been lucky to have the chance to try lots of new and cool things in my career, and I’m always looking for the next one.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

I want things to become frictionless. I’d like to see software that’s smart enough to understand the subtleties of where data is stored and create that connect with other software and processes throughout the researcher lifecycle. This would really help to overcome the messiness caused by having information all over the place.

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

One valuable thing that Mendeley Data is trying to address is how to bring data together, and manage it in a consistent end-to-end way. But for me, the modular aspect of Mendeley Data is the most exciting part. You’re not locked into one solution, instead you’re able to plug in different Mendeley Data modules into your own workflows – it’s the way universities like ours want to work

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

The need for RDM is well known, but there are still a lot of people struggling with finding the most frictionless way of doing things. Bespoke software might appear to be the best solution, but often this won’t work fantastically well, as integrating new processes into existing workflows isn’t easy. RDM isn’t as simple as storing data in a repository. I’m seeing growing recognition of the need to curate data and package it up for later use, so that others can get a decent answer out of it. Most of the tools currently available don’t support this very well.

Following on from this, long-term curation and management of shared data is also a key area I’d like to see develop. What was considered a lot of data 10 years ago isn’t now, but it’s not feasible to continue buying more storage so that we can keep everything just in case. Improving metadata goes a long way towards addressing this as it enables you to make quick decisions later on, but I’d like to see new processes developed that help us to identify if we no longer require to hold certain data.

 
Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Rebecca Koskela

Sharing research data has the potential to make research more reproducible and efficient. When developing Mendeley Data – an ecosystem that enables data to be stored, shared and re-used – we worked with a board of librarians and research leaders from across the research data management community.

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Rebecca KoskelaName: Rebecca Koskela

Job Title: Executive Director of DataONE at University of New Mexico

Bio: Rebecca Koskela is responsible for the day-to-day operation of DataONE—coordinating all technical, management, reporting, and budget issues.

Prior to her current position, Rebecca was the Life Sciences Informatics Manager for Alaska INBRE, and the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core Manager for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition to her bioinformatics experience, Rebecca has over 25 years’ of experience in high performance computing, including positions at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cray Research and Intel.

What motivates you each morning?

In addition to duties at DataONE, I’m a volunteer for other projects, such as EarthCube and Research Data Alliance, which are also concerned with research data management. The collaboration with these other projects moves them all forward.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main challenges that I’d like to see addressed more quickly.
It’s great that more and more funding agencies are requiring data management plans, but I think we’re lagging in the development of tools to help people do the actual planning.

I also still see problems today around data discovery and the need for adequate documentations to re-use data. In 2010, we carried out a survey at DataONE which found that researchers had limited understandings of metadata standard. Unfortunately, even with the emphasis on FAIR data, we still have a long way to go to highlight the significance of metadata.

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

The thing that stands out to me the most about Mendeley Data is that, contrary to what people may think, Elsevier doesn’t own the data – it remains in the control of the researcher. I love that.

Mendeley Data 5 factsI also really like the fact that users can pick and choose which modules they’d like to use. This means that you can get started somewhere, and have the option to expand into other RDM tools when it suits you, instead of having to start using everything from the offset.

What value does Mendeley Data bring to the space?

Mendeley Data is all about education – it helps people learn what is meant by RDM, and then provides the tools to do it.

I also like the fact that you can manage different metadata standards with Mendeley Data. It’s a good quality product built on strong coding.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I hope that people will pay attention to the need for quality metadata. I’d like to see better tools being developed that will speed up change here.
I also think that education needs to play at important part in RDM – it should go hand-in-hand with tool creation. I also want to see some success stories that show how added effort can really pay off.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

 

Advisor of the month: Serge Kameni Leugoue

Editor’s note:  Serge helped welcome our 10,000th Advisor-generated user of 2019 in early June.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I am involved in animal sciences, particularly animal reproduction research. I came across this research field because of my will to improve livestock practice in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in Cameroon. As a matter of fact, livestock remains labour intensive, leading to poor yield and subsequent insufficiency in protein availability on market regardless of the hard work of farmers. Furthermore, they solely rely on natural mating which limits their profits. Despite being on increasing pressure to farm as cost effective as possible, and taking into account the rapid increasing of population, producers are facing a critical challenge which on my view can be tackled using assisted reproductive techniques. My background is biology, indeed I obtained my bachelor with a major in animal physiology at the University of Dschang, Cameroon. I started a master’s in plant pharmacology, but I rapidly switched to animal sciences and I moved to South Africa, to the University of Stellenbosch where I have refined my knowledge and lab practice in animal sciences close to Dr. Helet Lambretchs who gave me, in collaboration with Dr. Gilbert Ateufack from the University of Dschang, the opportunity to be part of the amazing voyage to the unknown reality that science allows to illuminate. I am a PhD student in animal sciences at the University of Dschang, Cameroon and my research project focuses on small ruminant’s assisted reproduction. Currently, I am on a research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, where we are working on the development of biodegradable food packaging.

Where do you do your research?

The research I am involved in requires me to be outside for sample collection and to be in the lab for analysis. I am at my ease in both sites, but I generally prefer to be outside because I can browse and appreciate the beautiful landscapes of Africa in miniature – Cameroon and breathe some fresh air.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I have been on Mendeley since 2015. Indeed, I was introduced to the software at the beginning of my master studies in South Africa by the librarian in charge of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch and have used it ever since. I want to say thanks again to Yusuf, the librarian, it has been of great help and it’s still the case.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

Before Mendeley, I was using the MS Word reference. Of course, it wasn’t that efficient. I remembered one day that my system crashed, I lost all my resources and I had to rebuild it from the beginning.

Mendeley has drastically changed my research, now I am safe from losing my resources, I can access them anytime and anywhere, and I receive consistent suggestions of research papers – no need to browse the whole internet to stay updated. In addition, I can connect with others, find careers and funding opportunities.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I am part of those who believe that right tools should be shared with others. For me, Mendeley is one of these excellent tools, that is the reason why I decided to become an Advisor and assist others to be more efficient by optimizing their research work with Mendeley.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

Tu Youyou. She is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel Prize in 2015 for her work in creating an anti-malaria drug that saved millions of lives in Asia and Africa. She relied on traditional Chinese medicine in her discovery of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, which have helped significantly improve the health of people living in tropical climates. She made me think of the year I worked in plant pharmacology.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Recently, I attended a training course in France where we discussed cell culture and of course Hela cells. I then dug a bit about the origin of those cells and I found that they were derived from the cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks. The title of this book is just fascinating “immortal life” it effectively highlights how we have been moved forward with research – opening novel perspectives.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Life is really an adventure and should not be taken as a long and calm stream. Whatever the challenge you meet, keep going, you won’t win anytime but do your best.

What is the best part about working in research?

Without hesitation, being at the forefront of pushing the world forward by trying to improve living conditions, bringing your own stone to the big building.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Patience, nowadays being patient is not that a shared value, especially when working in a team, yet research that produce actionable results requires time, thus patience.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have? 

Being able to import the resources straight to the appropriate folder of the library using the web plugin. It’s really time saving as you can import and tidy up everything at once. I think also being able to share your unpublished data is an important point as generally most of the research is not published, but at least you can share it with others.

Serge’s Biography :

I obtained my High School certificate with a major in mathematics and physics and I then jumped in to university where I received my Bachelor Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of Dschang, Cameroon in 2011. I received my Postgraduate Diploma in 2012 and I moved to the University of Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa for a one-year research stay. Back in Cameroon, I completed my MSc in 2015 in the same field as my bachelor. While being a full-time PhD student at the University Dschang in Cameroon, I am currently on a 6-month research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.

I am a member of the Cameroon Forum for Biological Sciences (CAFOBIOS).

I am a Mendeley Advisor!!!

I share a special interest for environment protection, so I am involved in several NGOs as United voices to Serve Forests and Environment (USFE) International, which is an organization that design and implement actions towards environment preservation.

I am an amateur chess player.

 

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here

Meet the Team: Maggie Brade, Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Name: Maggie Brademaggie

Job title: Executive Assistant/Office Manager

In this Meet the Team, we introduce you to Mendeley’s Office Manager, Maggie. Maggie is pivotal in making sure the Mendeley office runs smoothly, and that members of Team Mendeley have a happy and productive environment to work in (as well as keeping everyone well in check!) She also assists Mendeley’s Managing Director, Gaby Appleton and Elsevier’s SVP of Research Applications, Elisabeth Ling.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a single parent to a wonderful 15-year old son. I have been in administration for the past 7 years, previously I was a chef for 12 years working up to the rank of Sous chef. I am amazingly funny and I am great person to get to know. (Editor’s note:  WE ALL AGREE. Maggie is great)

When did you join Mendeley?

6th November 2018.

What do you love most about your job?

The variety of it all – no two days are the same!

What’s the last book you read? 

How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley has a diverse and eclectic team which I find works really well in this office environment, and shows what a down to earth a company it is.

Gaby Appleton is an amazing person to work for and her passion for Mendeley is inspiring. (She didn’t pay me to say that). Whilst we’re in different offices, working with Elisabeth is also great – she is just as amazing as Gaby when it comes to understanding her team, and us working together.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

Why would I be explaining my job to a stranger? I support two managing directors with their diary commitments and other responsibilities which helps them manage the work day. I also manage the London Mendeley office, AlphaBeta.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Helping and liaising with my executive assistant colleagues and getting to know all staff here at AlphaBeta.

What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing, my conscience is clear LOL.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

How amazingly good I am at my job. 😊

 

Find out more about all things Mendeley at mendeley.com

 

Supporting the movement toward gender equity in STEM

Diverse faculties are vital. In research, they bring different perspectives to bear on projects, supporting innovation and discovery. In education, they foster a greater range of young minds thanks to their broader understanding of marginalization and privilege. While some advances toward gender equity in STEM faculties have been made, women remain greatly under-represented, particularly women of color.

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) recognizes the serious long-term impact of this lack of diverse perspectives in research and education. They’re working toward equity in STEM, and this year, they’ve launched an exciting initiative to further that crucial goal: the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Community. It is intended to bring together diverse audiences, including scholars, educators, practitioners and researchers, to collaborate on, discuss and implement change.

At Mendeley, we firmly believe in the goals of the AWIS and are proud to be supporting them. We have created a new dedicated online group for the ARC Network to help members from across the globe connect. They can share both ideas and resources, including reports, articles, datasets and videos, as well as organizing online events and learning opportunities.

In addition, Elsevier’s preprint service SSRN will host a dedicated STEM First Look series to support the initiative. This will be a quarterly digest of STEM equity content and early-stage research, including presentations, white papers, videos, podcasts and webinars.

Mendeley and SSRN are designed for connection, sharing and collaboration, and that’s exactly what the ARC Network needed when they approached us. As Dr. Heather Metcalf, AWIS Chief Research Officer and ARC Network Principal Investigator explains, “with the online research collaboration tools generously provided by Elsevier, the ARC Network will facilitate the early adoption and implementation of promising practices and sharing of new research findings. Providing these opportunities broadens our collective impact on STEM equity in unprecedented ways.”

Gaby Appleton, Managing Director of Mendeley and Researcher Products said of the collaboration “Supporting researchers and educators is the core vision for Mendeley. We’re delighted to be part of the ARC Network initiative because it means supporting a healthy future for scholarship and innovation in STEM.”

Find out more about AWIS here and their ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Community here

Find out more about SSRN here

Mendeley Advisors Recruit 10,000 New Users in 2019 (Wow!)

(Right photo: Yahaya Gavamukulya, Left photo: Serge Kameni Leugoue)

As of early June, Mendeley Advisors introduced a whopping 10,000 people to the power of good reference management and research workflow this year! The ever-growing Advisor Community runs around 40 events per month, averaging a combined 2,500 attendees. We’d like to give a special thanks to super star Advisors Serge Kameni Leugoue (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and University of Dschang – Cameroon.) and Yahaya Gavamukulya (Busitema University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kenya) for welcoming user 10,000 during one of their events!

Congratulations and a big thanks to all of our Advisors for your help and hard work on this journey.  Mendeley is so much more than a reference manager – it is a strong community of academics from all disciplines and career stages, committed to improving the way we do research, from end-to-end.

Why and How to be a Mendeley Advisor   

Mendeley Advisors are network of over 5,000 passionate Mendeley experts across the world. They are our hands on the ground, helping potential users connect with the platform. We also consult with Advisors to understand the needs of users and to beta test new features.  You’re the first group we consult when we are considering adding a new functionality to the product. But the Mendeley Advisor program isn’t just about making Mendeley famous—there are also some nice perks for you:

  • Be the Mendeley representative on your campus (a nice thing to add to your CV)
  • Get a special Mendeley Advisor account with more groups and increased storage
  • Connect with the team behind Mendeley
  • Be the first to know what we are working on and get early access to new features
  • Get access to the exclusive Mendeley Advisor forum
  • Receive free Mendeley giveaways for events
  • And most importantly: get a flashy Advisor badge for your Mendeley profile so the whole world can see you’re a Mendeley guru!

Want to learn more about Advisors?  Read our Advisor of the Month column or apply on our Mendeley Advisor webpage. Have questions?  Reach out to the Community Team at community@mendeley.com.