From Climax Control Gel to German Shepherd Dogs: The Top 5 Misspellings of Mendeley

Literacula Nosferatu readingBack during the conceptual phase of the service, Jan, Paul, and Victor were thinking about what to call their product. The working name at the time was “Literacula”, because it sucked the metadata right out of PDFs.

While this was a descriptive name, it was eventually decided that it was far too silly. No one would take them seriously with a silly name like that. What they needed was a distinguished name, a dignified one, steeped in the long history of science. Considering famous scientists through history and the work they’ve done, two names in particular came to mind.

Dmitri MendeleyevThe first person, Mendeleev, was well known for being the one who started a systematization and organization of the elemental forms of matter, eventually coming up with the scaffold of the periodic table, which through its structure allowed patterns to be found and gaps in knowledge to be inferred. This sounded like just the sort of images they wanted to evoke.

Gregor Mendel

The next name was similar – Gregor Mendel, who, despite being a lone monk far from the official walls and financial support of of the academy, was able through careful and diligent study of the humble pea plant to uncover the rules of heredity, the foundation of genetics and one of the most important discoveries science has made to this day. This helped convey their strong support for open access and making the world’s knowledge available outside of institutional walls.

Now, even though Mendeley seems like a distinguished and memorable name, some users – when they hear about “Mendeley” – accidentally misspell it slightly, which can lead to interesting results.

So having had a look at our logs, and speaking from our own experience, here are the 5 most popular misspellings of Mendeley.

5. Mandalay Bay, the famous Las Vegas casino, appeared, as did the Burmese city on which it’s based. Not likely someone would mistake one for the other, so ok, that’s fine. Still having some people writing “Mandalay” instead of “Mendeley”…

Mandalay Bay by pchin on Flickr

Photo by Paul Chin

4. There’s also Mandeley, a stateful guest house in Cornwall. OK, no worries there either. Looks pretty!

Mandeley Guest House

3. The Mandaley stud, a horsebreeding farm in Australia, had a nice masculine sound to it.

At least, until we found out they’re just “riding ponies”.


But wait, what’s this?

2. Mandelay, a product which one only hopes “does what it says on the tin” was also a popular source of traffic, as well as Mendelay, which one assumes is the plural form of Mandelay:

A “climax control gel”. You can get it for $5-6 per tube.


1. And the number 1 misspelling of Mendeley is… Mendely:

Mendely is a German shepherd dog breeder. Hopefully, you’ll find that Mendeley is more than just a pretty face too.


So that’s what people mistake us for sometimes: German shepherd dogs and genital desensitizer. Maybe Literacula wasn’t such a bad choice?

6 thoughts on “From Climax Control Gel to German Shepherd Dogs: The Top 5 Misspellings of Mendeley

  1. Speaking of “climax control gel”, the Germans among you should at least remember “Der Song Von Mandelay” by Brecht/Weill (with the choir shouting at poor Johnny to hurry up).

    Mutter Goddams Puff in Mandelay,
    Sieben Bretter an der grunen See.
    Goddam, was ist das fur’n Etablissement!


  2. “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again…” – one of the great opening lines in all Eng Lit: ‘Rebecca’ , by Daphne du Maurier

  3. I am new to Mendeley. It definitely is great. However, I don’t like much the name. And, as you mention it, I do have a problem with the misspellings it generates.
    I am obviously speaking about the name mentioned in the friendfeed comments above. Btw, I am glad not to be only one thinking about this.

    Would be a good idea to tackle this problem before it is too late (before you go out of beta)…

  4. Thanks Harry… to be honest, we quite like the name for its association with Mendeleev and Mendel, as William wrote above – despite the occasional misspelling. I think we’ll stick with it 🙂

  5. Your choice, but it will stick with you 😉
    This name is far worse than the ones William had talked about. Moreover, it is associated with science and research, but science and research at their worst.

  6. I kept on reading Medley, Medeley or something like that. It’s alright having a slightly tricky spelling, academic prestige is essentially based on going through that extra hurdle, it won’t be attractive if its too easy (like!). Besides, I like the Logo and the title font.

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