11 free tools for discovering research

Frustration sets inFinding research is often frustrating. You’re always running into paywalls and the interfaces to most library databases look like they were designed sometime back in 1980. To make it just a bit easier, we’ve assembled a collection of free tools to help you in your research. We discuss both databases and newer social tools for discovery.

6/7/2012 Updated to include Microsoft Academic Search
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Support free access to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. #OAMonday

At Mendeley, we believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. We have worked with colleagues in the library, publishing, research, student, university, epatient, and advocacy communities to develop tools and promote policies that will make research more efficient so that we can address the great challenges of our time.

Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.

We have a brief, critical window of opportunity to underscore our community’s strong commitment to expanding the NIH Public Access Policy across all U.S. Federal Science Agencies. The administration is currently considering which policy actions are priorities that will they will act on before the 2012 Presidential Election season swings into high gear later this summer. We need to ensure that Public Access is one of those priorities.

The highly successful Public Access Policy of the US National Institutes of Health proves that opening access can be done without disrupting the research process. Here’s an opportunity to get guaranteed legislative action on open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research. Access is a global issue, so you don’t have to be a US resident to sign, you just need an email address:

Sign the petition here and please share with your colleagues.

Four perspectives on communicating your research, and then one more. #EB2012

I recently had an opportunity to attend the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego. The Experimental Biology comprises 7 scientific societies who come together to have one (HUGE!) meeting once a year. There was tons of interesting science reported, from the science of Yogic breathing to the effects of fructose on the body, but most relevant to the Mendeley community as a whole was the panel discussion on communicating your science. The panel included a Nobel Laureate, Paul Berg, Joe Palca from NPR’s Science Friday, Megan Palmer from SynBERC, and Cara Santa Maria from the Huffington Post. This was a diverse panel and got quite exciting towards the end.Read More »