Introducing the Mendeley catalog search engine

Last Fall, we wrote about finding what is relevant to your research. We have a long way to go until we reach even half of our goals in helping you discover great content, but we are one tiny step closer as of today.

Today we launched a catalog search engine on the Mendeley Website. Moreover, we already have an advanced search that will be released in two weeks building on top of what you can use starting today. You can start using the basic search by going to the Research papers page.

What is different about Mendeley search compared to other literature search engines?
Two things standout: 1) Diversity of the literature and 2) ReaderRank

Diversity of the literature
Because Mendeley encompasses a broad range of academic disciplines, we have enormous diversity in our data set to draw results from. This is great, but also a challenge. The challenge comes from delivering results that are relevant to you and avoiding ambiguity with other disciplines. This WILL improve as we make tweaks and personalize the search experience. What’s great about this diversity though, is that inter-disciplinary content will surface if it is relevant.

Relevant content is the strongest factor in the results you receive, but we wanted to take advantage of the knowledge of the crowds as well. With that in mind, we have developed an algorithm called ‘ReaderRank’ that will adjust results based on the level of readership for an article. This doesn’t mean the most read articles will always appear at the top, only that it is an additional measure in ranking your results. We have also taken care to prevent artificial enhancement of the results, i.e. gaming the readership. Over time, we hope to refine this algorithm by taking into account other measures of quality such as the reputation of who you trust and follow on Mendeley.

Once again, we will release an advanced search in two weeks that will let you refine search queries. We also want to encourage feedback. So, if you have any thoughts about the quality of results or what you might like to see in terms of search features, please let us know by going to our feedback forum.

Jason Hoyt, PhD | Research Director

Follow Jason and Mendeley on twitter for more announcements

Announcing the Mendeley Open API – Call for proposals

It’s almost here, the Mendeley Open API that third-party developers can use to create their own mashups. The API won’t be immediately available to everyone quite yet, but we would like to invite any developers interested in early access to submit a proposal of what you envision building.

The call for proposals is open until Friday, May 14th. Selected developers will be notified between now and May 21st.

For more information on how to submit your proposal please see the Open API page.

For more information about the API methods please see the API methods page.

If you take a look at our feedback page you will quickly see how many feature requests we are getting on a daily basis. We would love to implement all of them, but unfortunately that isn’t possible. Additionally, many researchers require niche-specific tools that are not suitable for inclusion in a general purpose tool such as Mendeley. The obvious solution to both of these problems is to open up the data and let creative developers and inspired academics create what they need on top of that data.

With the Open API, you will have access to both aggregated statistics and your own library. Developers can create applications to improve your research experience (for privacy reasons, you will need to authenticate yourself before third-party applications can access your data). Libraries and publishers can build simple Web apps to pull in article-level metrics to enhance what you see when visiting their websites.

We are extremely excited to see what the community and developers, who for years have not had access to this type of data, can create with the API tools. For far too long, this type of data has been siloed away from the general developer community; even worse, the end-user researchers. The richness of academic knowledge is finally in an accessible and open form, so that “Silicon Valley” and other creative developers around the world have a practical means to participate in scientific research. The world is now connected to academia.

Jason Hoyt, PhD | Research Director

Follow Jason and Mendeley on twitter for more announcements

Mendeley Desktop Released

Already live via auto-update since last week but we just wanted to let everyone know about this minor update which amongst other things improves the look and feel of the toolbar on Mac. It also addresses several problems with annotation syncing, problems installing the Word plugin on some systems and general stability.

Further user interface improvements are planned for the next release so rest assured that this is just the beginning. Here is the complete list of changes for this release:

New Features and Improvements
  • (Mac) Improved the look and feel of the toolbar on Mac.
Bug Fixes
  • (Windows) Fixed ‘Invalid procedure call’ error when working with some Word documents which contain Mendeley-generated citations.
  • Fixed several sporadic crashes related to the search and de-duplication features.
  • Fixed several sync errors which could occur when syncing annotations.
  • Fixed several crashes related to the Word/OpenOffice/Mac Word plugins.
  • Fixed several crashes related to the notification bar.
  • Fixed several crashes related to importing PDFs which are already in your library.
  • Fixed annotation creation times being displayed incorrectly in timezones outside of GMT.
  • Fixed sticky notes not being exported correctly via File -> Export with annotations.
  • Added a limit to the number of citations that are extracted from a single PDF and reduce the number of citations extracted with poor-quality metadata.
  • Reduced memory usage when handling large file attachments.
  • Fixed ‘LinkToMendeleyVba2.dll not found’ message on some Windows PCs.
  • Made database updates safer when installing new versions of Mendeley Desktop.
  • Fixed the problem where Document Details hide/show toggle in menu did not always work correctly.
  • Fixed sticky notes not being restored when restoring backups.
  • Fixed annotation syncing problems when file organizer is enabled
  • Fix a freeze during the ‘Downloading files’ syncing step.
  • Preserve author ordering correctly when importing from Zotero.
  • (Mac) Fixed crash when entering accented characters (eg. umlauts) in authors field in Document Details tab.
  • (Mac) Included more detailed information in crash reports sent from Mendeley Desktop.
  • (Mac) Fixed crash when importing some corrupted PDFs.
  • (Mac) Experimental support for international versions of Microsoft Word for Mac.
  • (Linux) Fixed README file being installed to /usr in Ubuntu version.

If you have suggestions for improvements please let us know by visiting the feedback forum at If you encounter any problems using Mendeley or have questions to ask please e-mail support.

Reminder – Springtime Open Office this Friday!

This is just a quick reminder that our office will be open this Friday – the 23rd of April – from 6pm onwards. In case you haven’t seen our previous blog post, we’d like to invite users to come in, chat to us, share their feedback and suggest ways to make Mendeley better. We’ll also lay on some food and drinks to say thanks.

Mendeley office location

If you’re interested in coming along, send an email to:

Look forward to seeing you then!

Mendeley invites you to springtime ‘Open Office Friday’

Last September we hosted a very successful open office feedback session:

And we are happy to once again invite interested Mendeley users to join us for an ‘open office feedback session’ on Friday 23rd April at 6pm GMT in our London office. Come and drop by to have an informal chat with the Mendeley team and tell us – face-to-face – which features you’d like to see improved or added

We are on the Ground Floor, White Bear Yard, 144a Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5DF: Mendeley office location

The nearest tube/rail station is Farringdon and the 55 and 243 buses stop at Hatton Garden.

If you’re interested, please reply to us at:

As a thank you, we’ll be happy to provide some drinks and pizza!

We look forward to meeting you then!

Meet Tim Keitt – Integrative Biologist and Mendeley Power User

Tim Keitt is a researcher at the University of Texas at AustinDuring a recent trip to Texas for the Non-hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells meeting, I took a little side trip to the University of Texas at Austin to meet one of Mendeley’s power users. We talked about his research, new projects he is working on and how Mendeley helps him collaborate with his colleagues in South America.

How Dr. Keitt is using Mendeley in his research

Dr. Keitt finds a great deal of value in the collaborative aspects of Mendeley, allowing him to share papers with colleagues distributed around the globe, no matter what OS they use, but he also sees a lot of value in the development of a new citation infrastructure. One application he mentioned here was correction for “citation mutation”, the process wherein a citation gets repeated in successive papers slowly accumulating transcriptional errors until it no longer can be traced back to the original work.

Insights from Integrative Biology

It was really fascinating for me to hear him talk about ecosystem patterns because one of my earliest scientific fascinations was with fractals, a type of pattern found throughout nature. While much of his earlier research involved fieldwork, he’s started doing more molecular work with the advent of better molecular tools for studying and identifying species similarity.

In this respect, large scale biological datasets have become very important to him. One project, which may lead to the creation of a HapMap-style database for non-human species, has made him particularly aware of how idiosyncratic the metadata associated with database entries can be. While having access to larger-scale data has made some scientific questions more tractable, it has also raised its own set of challenges. He gave an example here which I think is instructive for many of the issues scientists are now facing as we put more and more data online and seek effective tools for facilitating collaborations.

In the early days of sequencing, each research group would have their own database with its own structure and that worked just fine, until confusion arose regarding how to refer to a specific sequence and people started to try to merge databases to prevent duplication. We now have the GenBank as a centralized repository for sequence information and sequences can be unambiguously identified by referring to their accession number, but we didn’t get there until editors started requiring that manuscripts reporting sequences contain the Genbank accession number.

Editors forced the issue in this case, but any effort to systematize the reporting of sequences initially would have faced challenges such as who controls the repository and why should a busy researcher bother submitting to it. Repeat that last sentence again, and if you’ve followed any of the discussion about online engagement of scientists with literature, it should sound very familiar.

From Molecules to Ecosystems

Dr. Keitt got his start working in the rainforests of the Amazon where he studied species variance in one of the most diverse ecosystems on planet. Later, he came to the University of Texas where he continues to work on the effect of ecosystem patterning on species diversity. While he no longer does a great deal of fieldwork, he still collaborates with colleagues in South America for ongoing projects. He’s done some work on the Bachman Sparrow in Texas and is really excited about a upcoming project studying coral in Micronesia.