Explore mindfulness to improve your research–life balance

The human mind can be trained to cope with and relieve stress. This training is called mindfulness. By increasing awareness of thoughts and emotions in a given moment, it helps to avoid getting carried away. Mindfulness is proven to improve mental and even physical health – and now Elsevier’s Researcher Academy is bringing mindfulness to researchers in a brand-new module.

See the new Mindfulness module

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Why is mindfulness important to researchers? The work of a researcher can feel overwhelming. The pressures associated with funding, competition and deadlines can affect a researcher’s wellbeing and peace of mind. In turn, this can mean a poorer work–life balance, reduced work efficiency and burnout. Mindfulness can help researchers take charge over their own lives.

The new Researcher Academy module will explore the practice of mindfulness in coping with stress as well as improving mental health and overall wellbeing. It will include an exploration of the scientific background of the practice and step-by-step guide to mindfulness in daily research routines.

The Mindfulness module will go live on 14 November at 11:00 a.m. (UTC). Register today!

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Get more career guidance from Elsevier’s Research Academy here

Find out how to unlock your research potential with Elsevier’s Researcher Academy here

Advisor of the month: Merceline Obwaya

 

Merceline is a Library Assistant at the Kenyatta University Post Modern Library. Merceline grew up in a small village called Nyansara in Kisii County, Kenya. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Kenyatta University in December, 2014. She is passionate about providing timely and quality services to the community she serves.

 

How did you get into your field?
I love reading, but that’s not the reason I became a librarian. I love connecting people with the information they need to change their lives for the better. I love the hunt and the power of having the right information at the right time and teaching others to gain the skills too. I chose to pursue a degree in Library and information Science to accomplish all these through serving library/ information centres’ clients. I joined Kenyatta University Post Modern Library a few months after graduating and it has been exciting serving the University Community. It is amazing to work in a library!

Where do you do work the best?
In a relaxed and clean environment with people who are committed to their work and are self-driven.

How long have you used Mendeley?
I was first introduced to Mendeley in 2015 by my supervisor, who is currently the Deputy University librarian at Kenyatta University. Thanks Mr. Thuku!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
Microsoft Word citations & bibliography. Mendeley is a one-stop solution when it comes to research. It makes referencing and citation so easier, allows one to read the saved PDF documents, make notes and add comments and even search the web catalog for more related reference documents and suggests more articles for further reading. It is an amazing tool.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor, and how are you involved with the program?
When I joined Kenyatta University, I realized most of the users I served had issues with citation and referencing. I took the challenge to learn more about Mendeley, so that I can help them rather than giving them several referrals to the reference experts. I joined the Librarian certification program in 2017 and I learnt and sharpened my skills in using Mendeley. I am involved in the library Information Literacy training sessions and one of the key issues addressed in the trainings is use of the reference management tools. I am the Mendeley expert in my library! I train the students and staff how Mendeley can make their research more enjoyable and easier.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
No one in particular, but I wish to meet the Mendeley team. They have done so much to make referencing such an easier task, providing all the support and resources needed by the users to learn more about Mendeley. The people behind this magic.

What book are you reading at the moment?
In addition to the many articles I read while working, I am currently reading “Doors of opportunity: issues in personal development and achievement” by Sebuye Livingstone.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
Learning is a continuous process. There is always something new to learn each day.

What is the best part about working in research?
Always learning to solve problems scholars face to make their research life better and interesting.

And the most challenging part about working in research?
When people assume that as an information professional you know everything, and that you can solve all the challenges they face in the research world.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?
All the Mendeley features are just where I exactly need them. The new Mendeley web importer is an amazing development! I can now save the subscribed articles without going through the long process of downloading them to my desktop folders first.

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

Advisor of the month: Virginia Ballance

Virginia BallanceVirginia Ballance is the Nursing and Health Sciences Librarian at the University of The Bahamas. She works in the Hilda Bowen Library at the nursing school campus in downtown Nassau Bahamas.

How did you get into your field?
I loved studying and working in the library while I was at university and after graduate school studies sort of moved seamlessly into librarianship.

Where do you do work best?
In the library.

How long have you been using Mendeley?
I set up an account several years ago mostly to try it out. Last year the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research suggested I offer a workshop on reference management – we selected Mendeley because of the great features.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?
Years ago I used EndNote but in recent years, embarrassed to say, I wasn’t using anything…

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
The Mendeley Advisor programme encouraged me to really learn to use the product and exploit all its features as well as providing me with the training materials (presentations that could be customized, posters and certificates) needed to run a workshop. Being an Advisor puts you in contact with a fabulous group of Mendeley users all over the world to share experiences using Mendeley. There are other great benefits such as having a larger account size and greater number of Mendeley groups.

Which researcher would you most like to work with, dead or alive?
Hard question – to be honest, I really enjoy working with the students and faculty here at the University of The Bahamas.

What book are you reading at the moment?
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and about 10 other books…

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
I discovered Google Crisis Maps. This is a special project which gives access to satellite images and maps specifically for emergency situations. I was amazed to see details of the extent of the devastation on the two islands in the Bahamas that were hit by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019. https://www.google.org/crisismap/weather_and_events

What’s the best part about working in research?
Seeing your name in print! Getting cited!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
Procrastination. Making time in the day or the week to work on writing especially when there are so many distractions.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It can make your scholarly writing so much easier…

Do you have any advice for young researchers?
Absolutely – be brave, go to conferences, present your ideas, network, work with your colleagues, and let the librarians in your institution know what you are working on.

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Watch Virginia give advice on the best methods and tools to effectively collect, organize and retrieve a personal knowledge base as part of Elsevier’s recent Build My Knowledge webinar

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

October 2019 Advisor Briefing Webinar

Showcasing, Mendeley Reference Manager and new teaching materials!

We had another successful Advisor Briefing, but just in case you missed it the recording is available.   Listen to learn what we have been building over the last 3 months.

Listen here

This quarter we covered:

  • Showcasing: We’ve been hard at work updating Mendeley profile features so that you can better demonstrate your research output to the world
  • Mendeley Reference Manager New Features:  Meet some more of the team behind Reference Manager and learn about the new features they are building
  • New Material Updates: Find out what new teaching materials are available

As always, you can register an event or access teaching materials here.

Love and References,

The Mendeley Community Team

 

Would you like to become a certified peer reviewer?

 

The process of peer reviewing is associated with certain challenges. Editors often struggle with finding reviewers for their next articles. Reviewers want to demonstrate their expertise but have no way of getting noticed. It happens that reviewers decline requests due to lack of familiarity with the subject matter, or because they think they are not competent and experienced enough to review someone else’s work. In the mission of overcoming these challenges, potential reviewers can gain ground skills on peer reviewing by participating in The Certified Peer Review course developed by Elsevier Researcher Academy. Becoming a certified peer reviewer will allow potential reviewers to publicly demonstrate their expertise as referees and contribute to the integrity of academic.

What is happening?

For the past few months, the Elsevier Researcher Academy team was working on a new crash course. The course has been specifically designed to give those who have not yet reviewed – or who feel they would like additional training in this area – the skills and confidence to accept a request to review. The course content is delivered via directed self-learning in the form of webinars, podcasts and questionnaires and can be tackled at the desired pace of the participant. Completion is recognised by a certificate. We hope that the course will help to tackle the reviewer shortage issue that so many of you and your peers face.

Why is this important?

The integrity of scholarly communications depends heavily on the peer reviewing process. 82% academics agreed “without peer review there is no control in scientific communication” and 74% agreed that reviewing significantly raises the quality of published papers (full report here). Therefore, it is crucial for science to expand the reviewer pool and to ensure that proper training is received for producing trustworthy and high-quality peer reviews.

Researchers agree that there is a general ”lack of guidance about how to perform a good review, and reviewers are expected to ‘learn on the job’” (read more here).  Therefore, 77% of reviewers would be interested in receiving specific peer reviewing training. Those who are interested are early researchers (with experience of 5 years and less) but also established career researchers.

What to expect?

The course is divided into 4 major sections.  Each section features complex subthemes to assure that every aspect of the procedure is covered, establishing skills and confidence in the process.

When is it happening?

The course will launch during Peer Review Week on 17th September. Register for free via this link: https://researcheracademy.elsevier.com/navigating-peer-review/certified-peer-reviewer-course/introduction-certified-peer-reviewer-course

Peer review week is a global event, organized to emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication. On 16-20 September 2019, individuals, institutions and organizations devoted to the mission of maintaining a high quality of science participate in this event to share research, highlight the latest innovation and advance best practices.

Advisor of the Month: Payam Sepahvand

 

Intro:

I’m Payam Sepahvand, an undergraduate student at Lorestan University of Medical Sciences and a researcher at Razi Herbal Medicines Research Centre in Iran.

How did you get into your field?

I am at the beginning of my research journey. My story began when my mother became sick and was treated with herbal medicines. After that, I became very interested in research on herbal medicines and traditional medicine.

Where do you do work the best? 

I like an environment for conducting research, where people work and study with love, interest and help other humans and other creatures on the planet, away from material purposes.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I’m have been using Mendeley for almost two years.

What were you using prior to Mendeley 

Before Mendeley I used the EndNote application. Mendeley software has a much better and faster user interface, as well as being free and always available.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor ?

Always when I find something good and functional, I love to share it. That’s why I decided to introduce this useful and functional tool to others, as far as I can, and improve the work speed of others.

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

I would like to work with Professor Thomas Efferth, the chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. I’m trying to be like him in my job.

What book are you reading at the moment ?

I’ve read the book “One Minute for yourself” of Spencer Johnson, because by improving and upgrading my skills, I can be more useful to the world.

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

The new matter that I learned was about implementing a new irrigation system for agriculture. Along with studying, I am engaged in agriculture to cover my expenses.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part of being a research fellow is to step in and enter the world of unknown and new things.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

For me at the moment, provision of the costs and expenses of conducting research projects has become the hardest part of the work, but in general, if there is love and interest in the work, certainly, any difficulty is tolerable.

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

If I just want to talk about a feature, I’d like others to know more about the great user interface of this software.

 

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

Do you have enough chairs?

  We noticed an interesting trend in the Mendeley workshops you are running.  Not only are you running more events, but they also seem to be getting bigger!  (We wanted to start sending out chairs as merchandise to help you accommodate all those extra attendees, but the mailroom guys said “Nooooo.” Apparently, the mailroom isn’t big enough!)

We think this growth is brilliant and we wanted to share the numbers with you:

As of September 10, 2019, you have run 275 events with more than 17,000 attendees this year.  Sessions have an average of 63 attendees.  In all of 2018, we had 125 events with close to 7000 attendees.  The average was number of attendees 55.

Breaking it down by month, we see that there is a steady growth in the number of attendees per event.  In January 2019, the average event had 50 attendees and by September 2019, events had an average of 78 attendees.

What’s driving the growth? Librarians!  (We always knew we loved them.)  We had virtual coffees with a few librarian Advisors to find out how you run events.  While some of you are getting 200 people in a room for a class, most of you are doing a lot of one-on-one support through the reference desk but we are counting all the drop-in sessions as one event.

Lessons we learned:  Not all events look the same! Some are a traditional class, but some are more individual coaching sessions spread out over the entire semester. We love them all, so keep at it and let us know if you need a merchandise to support your drop-in sessions.

Regardless of the form your event takes, we are happy to support it.  To get merchandise and other support, register your event on the Mendeley Advisor Community page.

So it looks like maybe we don’t need more chairs yet, just bigger boxes to mail off all the merchandise!