How-to series: How to copy & paste formatted citations anywhere (LaTeX too!) [part 5 of 12]

Have you ever had to quickly send a reference to someone by email or instant message (IM)? How about send a list of references at once? This can be quite a task if you have to open each PDF, copy the title, author, journal, year, etc. And format them in an email or IM reply.
For these cases, and anywhere you’d like to rapidly copy and paste one or multiple references, Mendeley Desktop has got you covered.
Here’s how:

  1. Open Mendeley Desktop.
  2. Find the folder or group of references you are interested.
  3. Select one or more entries using your mouse (you might need to use CTRL, SHIFT and/or CMD to select multiple entries)
  4. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C (CMD+C for Mac) to copy. Alternatively you can use the menu “Edit > Copy”.
  5. In your email, IM, Google Docs or any other text editing field, paste the content you just copied. Do so by pressing CTRL+V (CMD+V for Mac) or the menu “Edit > Paste”.
  6. There you have it! Formatted references in a few quick steps. Select references, copy, and paste.

Quick note for those paying closer attention: you can also copy the references as LaTeX so the crafty LaTeX users can also enjoy the fun (CTRL+K or CMD+K for Mac)!
Another quick note: You can change the default formatting used in Mendeley Desktop by going to the menu “View > Citation Style”. There are quite a few styles to select from, so enjoy.

Stay tuned for the next entry in this twelve-part series of how-to posts. We’ll be going over supplementary data.

Previous How-to series entries:

How-to series: Generate BibTeX files for your collections for use in LaTeX [part 3 of 12]

Keeping up with our twelve-part how-to series, this entry will provide you with a simple walk through of how to get Mendeley Desktop generating BibTeX files of your library or folders for use in your LaTeX documents.

The majority of us use word processors to write our essays, manuscripts and thesis. However, there are a crafty group of folks that like to use LaTeX, a document markup language and document preparation system. What most of us already know is that Mendeley comes with a built-in word plugin that works on most major word processors. What some might not know is that Mendeley can also generate BibTeX files for your reference collections/folders. Thus, making citing references a breeze. If you happen to use LaTeX to prepare your documents, here’s where you’ll find the options to create your BibTeX files on the fly:

  1. Go to the Mendeley Preferences menu
  2. Click on the BibTeX tab
  3. Select the options that fit your needs. One big BibTeX file, one per collection, etc.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. That’s it, your BibTeX files should be ready for you to reference in your LaTeX documentos.

BibTeX preferences in Mendeley Desktop
The next entry in our quick-read how-to series will show you a thing or two about keeping your library neatly organized without duplicate entries.

Previous How-to series entries:

How-to series: Drag and drop PDF links into Mendeley for direct download [part 2 of 12]

Here’s our second instalment of our twelve part series of short how-to blog posts. We previously looked at how to merge author names in Mendeley Desktop. This time, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to download a file directly into Mendeley by simply dragging and dropping a PDF link into the desktop application.

One of the easiest actions you can perform on any computer is the drag & drop. Select a file, drag it over a folder and that’s it. No copy, no paste, no command line, no nada. Drag and drop, virtual physical file manipulating joy.

To make things even easier to import files into Mendeley, you can simply drag and drop a (directly accessible) link for a PDF document in your browser directly into Mendeley Desktop and it will be downloaded and incorporated into your library. That’s right. Take a look at the following short video:


Although this is a great trick, it doesn’t necessarily work well with all browsers. However, I’ve tried it with Firefox and it’s worked quite well.

In our next quick how-to entry we’ll be looking at BibTeX in Mendeley Desktop.

Previous How-to series entries:

How-to series: How to merge author names [part 1 of 12]

Features, many and useful features. That is what this blog post series is going to be about. If you’ve used Mendeley for a while, you’ll probably already have picked up on some of the following features and tips we’ll be showcasing over the next few weeks. However, I’m sure even some of these will be new to most of our readers, Mendeley veterans or newcomers.

Today’s how-to is a really nice and simple one: how to merge author names.

As you accumulate research papers and references in your library, you’ll find that sometimes the same author may be published with variations of the same name. P. Harvey, Pete Harvey, P. S. Harvey, etc. If this is in fact the same person, it becomes a bit of a mess if you want to filter your references by Author Name. In this case, you can use a simple technique to merge author names together to a single name of your choosing.
Here’s a quick step by step look at how this is accomplished:

  1. In the top left panel, select “All Documents”.
  2. Now, in the bottom left panel, scroll to the author name(s) you’d like to merge.
  3. Select the author name that you want to change and drag it onto the name that you want to keep.
  4. Click OK to accept the merge if that’s what you want.

Here’s a nice short video showing how this is done:

Our next entry in this twelve-part how-to series will show you how to easily drag and drop a PDF or PDF link into Mendeley Desktop for easy import. Stay tuned.

Papers aren't just for people




Image via klausonline

There should be copyright exemptions for text mining in research.

There is a fundamental shift happening now in how research is conducted and it is affecting all fields of academic endeavor. Some fields have already shifted and some are just beginning to, but the shift has a common cause, and that cause is the growing amount of research output. At a certain point, the amount of research output exceeds the ability for researchers to consume it all as it is published. In biological sciences, the shift has already begun, but the difficulties reach all the way to the (digital) humanities.

At Mendeley, we’re building tools to address this problem. Mendeley Suggest is designed to suggest relevant research to you, in effect showing you the results of searches you haven’t run yet. Searching the Mendeley catalog allows you to find papers in smarter ways than just keywords, by ranking the results according to how widely read the paper is and by showing you groups and other concepts related to the paper. At the end, though, there has to be a researcher reading the paper and using the knowledge to inform their research, and this just doesn’t scale. We need to be smarter about this. However useful these tools are, they only stem the flood, when what we should be doing is building boats. Read More »