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Beginners guide to writing a manuscript in LaTeX

Interactive course available now.

LaTeX is a document preparation system for the communication and publication of scientific documents that include complex math expressions or non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Sanskrit and Chinese. It is widely used in many fields in academia, including mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, economics and political science. In LaTeX the writer uses plain text and uses mark-up tagging conventions to define the general structure of a document (such as article, book, and letter), to stylise text throughout a document (such as bold and italic), and to add citations and cross-references.

After having followed this interactive course you will be able to work with LaTeX for your manuscripts. Topics addressed are:

* Downloading the software;

* Using the software for scientific manuscripts;

* Adding equations, figures and tables;

* Output of data and documents;

* Rules, common mistakes and troubleshooting.

Understanding of all topics is checked during the course.

Mendeley Brainstorm: Brexit & Science

Road signs EU and BREXIT

 

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on June 23rd has set off a political and economic earthquake. As the country struggles to discern its eventual relationship with its neighbours, so too has the scientific and research establishment been left reeling.

British universities have benefitted significantly from EU funding; according to the BBC, they receive in excess of £1 billion per year. Furthermore, thanks to the freedom of movement, EU researchers have found it easy to work in Britain and vice versa. Some scientists believe that the funding shortfall and restrictions on personnel will cripple British research; others believe that it need not hinder British science. Early indications suggest that there will be a negative effect; according to an article published in the Guardian newspaper on July 12, British researchers are already being excluded from projects: “an EU project officer recommended that a lead investigator drop all UK partners from a consortium because Britain’s share of funding could not be guaranteed. The note implied that if UK organisations remained on the project, which is due to start in January 2017, the contract signing would be delayed until Britain had agreed a fresh deal with Europe.”

There are broader implications: research in advance of the referendum indicated that its effects could reach as far as sustainable forest management policy, suggesting that without the UK, the “EU will lose impact in international negotiations on forest governance” (Winkel and Derks, 2016)

This week’s Brainstorm is asking a very straightforward question: how will Brexit affect science, not just in Britain but across the European Union? We are looking for the most cogent, thorough answer to this question. The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items.

 

Mendeley Brainstorm: Our Brainstorms are fortnightly challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research. We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

 

References

GHOSH, P. (2016) “What future for post-Brexit UK science?” BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36685379 [Accessed July 12, 2016]

SAMPLE, I. (2016) “UK scientists dropped from EU projects because of post-Brexit funding fear” The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jul/12/uk-scientists-dropped-from-eu-projects-because-of-post-brexit-funding-fears [Accessed July 12, 2016]

WINKEL, G. and DERKS, J. (2016). The nature of Brexit. How the UK exiting the European Union could affect European forest and (forest related) environmental policy. Forest Policy and Economics, 70, pp.124-127.

RDM_webinar

Webinar Thursday 23 June – Creating a good research data management plan

Thursday 23 June, 2016 – 15.00 CET, 14.00 BST, 09.00 EDT
Duration: 45 min

Increasingly, funders require researchers to submit a data management plan – a document describing how data will be acquired, treated and preserved during and after a research project – when they apply for a grant.

Beyond funding, good research data management helps researchers save time and efforts whilst running experiments. It is also of value to the wider scientific community, as well-organised data can be further analysed by other researchers.

This online lecture, produced in collaboration with the Dutch TechCentre for Life Sciences will address the following topics:

What is a data management plan?
When do you need a data management plan?
Why is research data management important?
What are the FAIR principles?
Attending this lecture will equip you with the knowledge to start your own research data management plan and get the most out of your data. The presentation will be followed by a Questions & Answers session.

Sign up here!

Putting data in the hands of researchers with Hivebench

Lab notebook tool Hivebench will be integrated with Mendeley to help researchers enrich and manage their data

Hivebench

Research data is the foundation on which scientific, technical, social and medical knowledge is built. That’s why enabling access to, sharing and reuse of data is tremendously valuable to everyone involved in advancing science.

Of course, making research data manageable for researchers and their colleagues is not always easy. Proper data management requires solutions that help researchers not just store, but also share, discover and re-use their data. That way, authors receive credit for their work while the wider research community benefits from discovering and using research data.

Using research data to its full potential requires consistency in the way it is collected and stored. Hivebench provides an essential first step in this process. It is a digital laboratory notebook that helps researchers prepare, conduct and analyze experiments, methods, and protocols in one place, saving them valuable time. Hivebench has thousands of registered users who position it in the center of their research process. Importantly, Hivebench allows researchers to link data and metadata without requiring them to change the way they work. This avoids making data collection feel like an administrative overhead.

On Wednesday 1 June, Elsevier acquired Hivebench to help further streamline the workflow of researchers – putting research data management at their fingertips. The added value of the integration lies in linking Hivebench with Elsevier’s existing Research Data Management portfolio for products and services. The research data that researchers have stored in the Hivebench notebook are linked to the Mendeley Data repository, which will be linked to Pure. This way, the research data is linked with metadata such as the DOI, the published article, controlled data versioning, and the methodology, which adds instant value to the datasets because they become far more suitable for reuse.

Researchers will benefit in a number of ways. Many funders these days require insight into the research design, process, and data sets. This becomes easier with the help of an electronic lab notebook. Research also shows that articles that are linked with their underlying data get cited more. In addition, well-described data sets can sometimes be more useful than an article itself. Sometimes when doing research, the number of articles to read and digest can be overwhelming – it can be hard to determine what to read and what not to read. Data can provide more information, provided of course that the right metadata are linked to it so the data sets are adequately described. And that’s exactly what we’re doing by linking Hivebench to Mendeley Data.

“Saving researchers time by providing them with a user-friendly way to store and manage their data has been our focus until now,” said Dr. Julien Thérier, CEO and founder of Shazino, the Lyon, France-based company that launched Hivebench. “But we knew that if we wanted to scale up our activities and create additional added value, our product would need to be integrated with a chain of tools that catered to the need of researchers to share and reuse data sets as well. We’ve been collaborating with Elsevier’s Mendeley for the past two years and already enable Hivebench users to export their results to Mendeley Data.”

The integration with Elsevier will enable Hivebench to make its services available to many more researchers, making sharing and reuse possible on an unprecedented scale – and unlocking the full potential of research data.

Congratulations April Advisor of the Month!

Sofia BlazevicCongratulations and thank you to Advisor Sofia Blazevik! Sofia is a PhD at the Department of Animal Physiology in Zagreb, Croatia. Sofia joined the Mendeley Advisors exactly two years ago and since then has hosted a “Blaze” of seminars and workshops on Mendeley (forgive the pun!)

Sophia works on animal models of neurobiological disorders and also on bioethics.  “I enjoy this field of research and most of all I enjoy sharing this with my students,” she said. “I love transferring knowledge, empowering people with it.”

What is the one thing she’d like people to know about Mendeley?

“Mendeley lets you concentrate on what research really is about: discovering more new phenomena while wasting the least time writing about it.”

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
I do my best research working with a group of people, interchanging ideas, big open spaces suit me best. When I have to write a paper I have to isolate completely, but the rest of the time I work best with a team.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I have been on Mendeley for 7 years already! I had tested Endnote and Zotero prior to Mendeley but for a very short time. I was at the beginning of my research career and wanted to make things easier. Why would I do the work a program on my computer could do for me, and do it better?! I was decided to find the appropriate program that would take the hours out of reference writing. After trying other programs, I loved the way Mendeley was so user friendly and easy to use, and at the same time adaptable and flexible (go ahead write your own .csl file!).Kulturni centar Harmica

As time goes by I like it more and more, because it keeps getting better and better. The students at my last workshop smiled at my enthusiasm at the begging: “you are in love with Mendeley” they said, and I answered “I am and at the end of the workshop you will be too”, when they started inserting the inline citations and creating the reference lists they sighed “Now, I am in love too!”

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I really enjoy teaching, and I find it very fulfilling giving people the tools to make their work easier. I always say that if there were a working position called “the problem solver,” I would love to have it. Mendeley is a research problem solver. Being an Advisor allowed me to spread the word, get it to as many people as I can, make people’s research life easier, more enjoyable.

To date I have mostly given workshops to small groups (I prefer smaller groups). I do an introduction in which I give an overview of the whole program and then we get to work step by step, we literally go through every option on the program. I ask everyone to bring their own devices, the ones they will be using later. We go from zero to master, so that the participant goes home with his/her own Mendeley library started. This way I know that they will use it and I often get emails soon after with questions on troubleshooting.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?IMG_5394
I would love to meet two dead researchers: Jérôme Lejeune, because he was an honest researcher putting people first; and Santiago Ramón y Cajal, his histological work was amazing! I would love to learn from him how to approach a scientific problem. And two that are alive: Michael Gazzaniga and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran both are neuroscientist that have fun learning about the processes of the brain, just watching them work would be a great school for me.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I am reading two books right now, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” by Oliver Sacks, an interesting account on several psychiatric disorders described in a way everyone can understand. I am reading it because it gives me new insights into how the brain works, and it’s a classic for neuroscience researchers. And “Amoris Laetitia” by Pope Francis because it gives practical lessons on how to love everyone around us and live a more fulfilling life.

What is the best part about working in research?
Workshop_Zagreb_20160419_2The best part of working in research is the never ending ability to wonder. Discovering the beauty of things and the logical answer to why a phenomenon occurs, which was not known before and makes complete sense, that “aha” moment is incredible!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
I would say that the most challenging part of working in research today is getting the whole picture. At least in the field of biology, we go very deep on a specific receptor or molecule but we sometimes forget that it is only one bit of an enormous picture. It takes a lot of effort to see the whole picture, it is easier to focus just on a picometer of it but then it does not reflect the whole reality. I must admit it is sometimes easy to feel demoralized when there are so many articles on the same field of research and each only adds just a little of knowledge…

 

 

*Answers edited for length and clarity

churchill

Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?

aKdV8MM-Pint Of Science 2016 begins tonight (23/05)! To get you excited Andreas Georgakarakos (@andrewGRK) kindly previewed his forthcoming talk “Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?” at The Doctor’s Orders, Sheffield on the 24/05. Check out our other preview pieces too!

Andreas is a Mechanical & Environmental Engineer, PhD Researcher at Energy Storage CDT, University of Sheffield.

The Energy Trilemma (security of supply, low-carbon production and affordability) is driving a trend toward electrification of the UK energy market. The increasing proportion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) will result in stochastic supply whilst electrification of demand requires a more certain supply. Hence supply is less assured but growth of demand requires a greater level of assurance. The role of the Smart Grid is therefore to balance these competing requirements. Systems theory suggests that by aligning all sub-systems to common goals the overall system gains.

Therefore, Smart Grids need to interact with edge systems such as buildings. Non-domestic buildings have great potential to be utilised by the Smart Grid in managing energy demand. The functional characteristics of a building designed to work as a sub-system within a wider smart grid to achieve the overall goal of addressing the energy trilemma are:

  • The extent that the building can change its energy demand following a request;
  • How the extent varies as a function of the notification period;
  • How this varies with the external climate and internal loads.

There are expected to be financial incentives for buildings to respond to Smart Grid events over different time periods. This will necessitate the design of buildings that are financially optimised to work cooperatively within a Smart Grid ecosystem. Buildings will benefit from the ability to modify their energy use in response to Smart Grid events. It is anticipated that a Smart Grid Optimised Building (SGOB) will have particular characteristics relating to its energy storage (electrical and thermal) differs significantly from low carbon or low energy buildings.

RESThe definitions of the capability of buildings to alter their demand in line with the wider Smart Grid goals would allow Buildings to enter the energy market as a storage vector. Furthermore, the approach to quantifying SGOB in light of dynamic pricing should increase the clarity surrounding the role of energy storage technologies through development of the understanding of their economic value in relation to the temporal aspect of energy storage to the function and goals of Smart Grids.

This project will explore the hypothesis that the storage characteristics of buildings will play a crucial role in ensuring that they function as an effective sub-system a Smart Grid environment. It will seek to define at what scale, using what technology and distributed in what manner should storage be located in buildings and how is this influenced by the evolutionary state of the wider smart grid.

Currently, there are no universally accepted definitions for the different classifications of buildings. For example, while there is an increasing literature concerning smart buildings, there is no justified definition of what a smart building. Most approaches support that smart buildings integrate intelligence, enterprise, control and materials & construction as an entire building system, with adaptability, not reactivity, in order to meet the drivers for building progression: energy and efficiency, longevity and comfort”. Similarly, a proper definition for SGOBs has yet to be established.

Tickets for Pint Of Science talks are selling fast, so get over to through their official website to grab some.

Mendeley is extremely excited to be partnering with Pint of Science for the second year running! This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK, and Mendeley API & Mendeley Data are co-sponsoring “Tech Me Out” events. Last year was a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. We hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond.