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!
Jessica Mezei | Community Liaison| New York