Recently I was sitting at café Tryst in Washington D.C. along with Mendeley’s co-founders and a coffee house full of hipsters, Georgetown students, tourists, and a few politicos. In retrospect, perhaps this was the only setting possible to be discussing the future of research and our small part in it. We were surrounded by the common citizens who depend on the outputs of science, but had little to no power in changing its course for their benefit. More pointedly, they had no clue that science is being held back by the very people who are supposed to be advancing it.
We came to the conclusion that technology is finally at a point that if we don’t use it now, then we are holding back the progress of science. And what exactly are we to use technology on? Open science/data/access.
By our own hands
To understand how we (“we” meaning the research community) got here, we have to first briefly remember how the dissemination of science came to be the way it is. Read More »
Today we announce that the API is now open to anyone wishing to create fantastic tools with data that can change the world.
This past April we released a beta version of the Mendeley API and invited a few developers to start building applications on top of all of the rich data found here. (See NYTimes). Since then, we’ve been bulking up our data center, extending the API methods, and listening to the great feedback from the early developers.
We have also been working on a way to make working with such data more enticing, i.e. make it sexy enough for developers who have never ventured into building applications with science data.
With that in mind, the new developer portal was born out of lots of blood, sweat, and tears. Actually, we all loved working on this, because science has never been so cool and arguably never this accessible to the masses. It would have been impossible without the incredible work of Rosario García de Zúñiga, Steve Dennis and many others.
At Mendeley, we’re continually impressed by the uses people find for our service, so we occasionally showcase some of these stories that demonstrate why Mendeley is such a powerful tool.
In this post, meet Professor Griffin along with Ashlinn Quinn and a team from Columbia University who are involved with the Global Honors College and learn how Mendeley works for them.
The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) focuses on enhancing education with the purposeful use of new media and technology. The Center provides support for a number of Columbia University online platforms, such as its wikis, blogging, and course management systems and also develops custom educational projects including online simulations, case studies, training sites, and more. During the past year, a team at CCNMTL researched and curated a suite of tools to be used in the Global Honors Seminar, an annual, summer-long intensive course hosted by Waseda University in Tokyo in which faculty and students across nine universities spend three months researching, debating, and documenting a specific area of research. The first part of the course, which began in June, is conducted entirely online, and then students meet for a final on-site phase where they continue their work in person.
CCNMTL set out to find a way for over 50 students and faculty to track and share their research. They were specifically seeking a tool that would allow students to seamlessly build a shared bibliography of annotated references on a range of topics covered throughout the seminar, and they found Mendeley’s social bibliography tool to be a great fit. Read More »
We are honoured to announce that our Keynote Speakers for Science Online London 2010 are Lord Martin Rees, Evan Harris and Aleks Krotoski.
Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s preeminent cosmologists, Lord Martin Rees is Astronomer Royal, President of the Royal Society and Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at Trinity College, Cambridge – in addition to being a prolific author and speaker. He has received countless awards for his varied contributions to his field, and was this year elected to deliver the Reith Lectures for the BBC. Billed by TED as ‘one of our key thinkers on the future of humanity within the cosmos’, Lord Rees has also served on many bodies here in the UK and abroad, dealing with education and international collaboration in science.
Evan Harris was a doctor before entering politics, eventually becoming the Liberal Democrats’ Shadow Minister in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and Shadow Minister for Science until May this year. He remains a strong voice for science within Parliament.
Aleks Krotoski is an academic and journalist who writes about and studies technology and interactivity. For her PhD in Social Psychology, she examined how information spreads around the social networks of the World Wide Web. She writes regularly for the Guardian and the Observer, and hosts a technology podcast called Tech Weekly. Just this February, she presented The Virtual Revolution for BBC Two – a documentary about the social history of the Web.
This will again be an amazing conference, aimed at changing the face of science. We are still a month away from the conference and have few tickets left, so you need to move fast if you want to join us.
You can follow the conference on Twitter @soloconf (comment with hashtag #solo10).
Stepping up to the plate one rank at a time… Go Team!
And you, Mendeley users and followers of our blog, Go You Too! Pressure us and keep us on our toes. Use Mendeley until you are no longer satisfied. Let us know what excites or frustrates you – and give us a shout at Mendeley Feedback Forum.
I am very excited to be joining the Mendeley Community Liaison team alongside William Gunn and Ricardo Vidal. I wanted to introduce myself in a bit more detail so you can get to know me and feel free to approach me about all things Mendeley.
I suppose it is a matter of geography, satisfaction, and a little bit of coincidence that I ended up joining Mendeley, so let’s start there. I have been in graduate school at Columbia University in New York for the past five years. In 2009, I completed my masters (Ed.M) in the Science Education program at Teachers College of Columbia and am currently a full time Ph.D student and researcher at Columbia. My research interests lie at the intersection of design, technology, and science. My thesis work will involve science teachers using game design to inform their inquiry pedagogys and exploring the relationships between play and learning science. My experiences with game design have been the inspiration for much of my work, but beyond this, they have led to my involvement in a research project funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation exploring the use of a mobile game as an alternative health strategy for those wishing to reduce smoking behaviors. It is through this project that I discovered Mendeley and our team has successfully been using it ever since.
As a student researcher, managing research papers and writing research documents can often be an all too tedious process. I always thought that there had to be something out there that could help. I had dabbled in other tools but was left unsatisfied until the day our research team was recommended Mendeley by a colleague. After exploring its capabilities and liking what we saw, we got on board and began using it not only as our reference management tool but also as a tool for collaboration and discovery of new sources. We used the shared collections features within our team to easily collaborate on research papers and we were also able to use it to find out what others in our field were reading by subscribing to their reading lists. I have been so happy to find Mendeley; it has helped me become more organized, find others who share similar interests, and above all its simple functionality has allowed it to seamlessly integrate into my academic life.
My story with Mendeley does not end there, however. As I was discovering Mendeley as a researcher, the tool was also brought up in my part time job at an educational innovation research group called EdLab. At EdLab, our goal was exploring new technologies in the education and research sectors. In this interest, we invited Victor Henning to our lab to give a presentation and I felt compelled to follow up. The relationship continued and I guess the rest is history!
So I am joining the Mendeley team not only because I believe in the mission that transparency and collaboration can move science and scholarship forward, but also because I have seen firsthand how valuable this tool can be. I am very excited to be a part of this innovative effort and, as a Community Liaison, I look forward to meeting many of you in our pursuit to change how research is done!
If you don’t remember what this is – it’s when we open up our office to friends and users of Mendeley and have a bit of a party. Please drop by as we’d love to meet you! What you think shapes what we are, so we’re especially eager to hear what you think of Mendeley and the direction in which we’re headed. If you have a pet peeve, here’s your chance to air it! Mainly though, we’re here to have a fun time.
The Mendeley-ers have a rare vibe that mixes the sharp thinking of a leading tech start-up with “young researcher out to change the world” enthusiasm. There was no shortage of beverages, pizza and friendly faces keen to talk about the trials and tribulations of research. It was also great as place to bounce around ideas with lots of cross-discipline discussion that is hard to find elsewhere.
I would heartily recommend the experience to anyone who needs to kick open their PhD bubble a bit or who wants to meet the folks who making world-leading steps into cracking Vannevar Bush’s half-century-old challenge [of making more accessible our bewildering store of knowledge].
— Nathan Eng, Engineering Design PhD student, University of Cambridge
So come for pizza, drinks, foosball.. or just to hang out and chat about your research! To RSVP, simply comment on this post or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 20, 2010, 6 – 9pm
144a Clerkenwell Road, Ground Floor
London EC1R 5DF
With best wishes, and great anticipation,
The Mendeley Team