Translation support in 0.6.3

In Mendeley Desktop 0.6.3, we’re planning on adding support for community translations – this means that you can make it so that Mendeley Desktop uses your favourite language!

To do this:

  1. Install Qt Linguist – this is included with Qt, or available standalone for Windows and OSX.
  2. Download the translatable text in Mendeley Desktop.
  3. Open the file with Qt Translator, and translate the text.
  4. Email us the .ts file, and we’ll look at how to distribute it to other Mendeley users.

Mendeley raises $2 million, TechCrunch reports, we're happy as clams

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just closed a $2 million funding round, led by Stefan Gl√§nzer (former chairman of Last.fm, now in the same role at Mendeley), Alex Zubillaga (former Executive VP of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Warner Music Group) and ASI (the fund of Skype’s former founding engineers)!

Further investors are former Last.fm COO Spencer Hyman and academics from leading US and UK universities. The news also made its way onto TechCrunch – click the image below to read the article:

mendeley-on-techcrunch

Of course, this means that our work is only starting!

We have a new release scheduled for next week, and we won’t rest before we’ve turned Mendeley into hands down the best software and website for managing, sharing and discovering research papers. Just so you know!

A human-scored research paper recommendation engine?

A few days ago, William Gunn blogged about a fascinating idea for a paper recommendation engine and also described Mendeley’s role in it. His post then generated a lively discussion on FriendFeed.

Perhaps due to our relatively well-known affiliation with Last.fm, our idea for a research paper recommendation engine had always involved tags and collaborative filtering. But William brings up Pandora, another type of recommendation engine which doesn’t rely on critical mass, but on scoring music based on a certain set of dimensions.

So I was wondering, how feasible would such a human-scored recommendation engine be for research papers, and how could one do it? If one were to transplant the Pandora approach 1:1, one would have to find suitable dimensions on which to score papers – but what could those be? Epistemological position (e.g. positivist vs. constructivist), academic discipline, methods used? Or would you have to define a slightly different set of dimensions for each academic discipline? As opposed to music, where you can score tracks based on instrumentation, mood, tempo etc., I feel that it would be rather difficult to use this level of abstraction for research paper recommendations, but maybe I’m wrong.

Of course, you could think of tagging as a form of (binary) scoring, too, but without pre-defined dimensions. I thus remain convinced that tagging and collaborative filtering will be very good starting point for our recommendation engine. However, William’s suggestion made me think of an additional possibility.

Here’s what we might do: We have been planning to gradually add “Paper Pages” to the Mendeley site over the next few weeks. There will be one page for every paper in our database, containing the metadata, the abstract (if possible/available), some usage statistics about the paper, links to the publisher’s page (if available), and (later on) commenting functionality. We were also thinking about crowdsourcing approaches to enable users to correct mistakes in the metadata or merge duplicates.

Incorporating William’s suggestion, we could also give users the option to explicitly link paper pages to each other, and then say “this paper is related to this other paper because ___”. Two papers sharing the same tag may implicitly suggest a relation, but it might also be a case of a homonym – the same tag meaning two completely different things in different disciplines. An explicit link would solve this problem.

I didn’t have much time to fully think this through, and any further ideas would be appreciated!

CiteULike and Mendeley collaborate

citeulike-and-mendeleyGreat news, everyone: Today we’d like to announce a collaboration between CiteULike and Mendeley!

How will this collaboration look, you ask? Let’s see where we’re starting from:

CiteULike is a browser-based tool which lets you bookmark research papers online and import the corresponding metadata into your public CiteULike account. Mendeley, on the other hand, develops desktop software which creates your personal library database by automatically extracting metadata and cited references from the research papers on your hard drive. You can then manage and full-text search your papers, back them up online, share them with colleagues, and create bibliographies.

What we will do is make our systems interoperable: If you have an account both on CiteULike and on Mendeley, you will be able to synchronize data between your two accounts. 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. Likewise, by dragging & dropping metadata from your Mendeley Library into the CiteULike “Document Group”, the metadata will be uploaded to your web-based CiteULike account.

CiteULike and us had started to talk about such an integration late last year, and now we’ve begun the necessary back-end work, too. Unfortunately we can’t give you a due date yet, but we’ll keep you posted as things progress! Did I say that we’re very excited about this? ‘Cause we are!

Mendeley Web just reached the next level

Today we released a big update of Mendeley Web. Highlights are a new search which indexes all main profile information and sorts the results in a sensible way.

Search

A highly improved online library. Users are now able to manage their private groups, filter their documents, add documents to groups, and edit their notes.

Library

There have been a couple of bug-fixes and various other changes. It would be great if you let us know what you think!

Profile

Websense is blocking access to Mendeley… dictators around the globe rejoice

Today a user told us that Websense, the internet censorship “content-control” software, websensehas marked the Mendeley website as “Illegal or Questionable” and blocked access to it. I wonder how that happened?

At least we’re in good company. Websense is blocking access to Amnesty International in many parts of the world (wait… now it makes sense! I’m a member of Amnesty!), and has also been blocking GMail and the MIT website just because they can.

Also, I think their logo exhibits a slightly flawed sense of humour. Yes?