Mendeley has two million users! To celebrate, we're releasing the Global Research Report

As of today, Mendeley has two million users! To mark the occasion, we have published the Global Research Report a unique analysis of two million scholars’ research activity in relation to economic indicators and research productivity. The Global Research Report draws on the unique usage statistics of Mendeley’s desktop- and cloud-based research collaboration platform, which is used by academics in the sciences and humanities in over 180 countries to manage their research workflows.

The report reveals the extent to which a country’s GDP per capita and R&D expenditure per capita influence its researchers’ access to academic papers. Developing countries are facing considerable challenges: To afford each of their researchers access to an additional 50 research papers, developing countries require a ten-fold increase in R&D expenditure per capita. This highlights the importance of the recent trend towards Open Access publishing for making researchers in developing countries more competitive.

The data also demonstrates that having less access to research papers restricts daily studying time, which in turn is linked to a country’s research productivity: The higher the daily studying time, the more citable publications and Nobel Laureates a country produces.

Finally, the Global Research Report provides rankings on which countries, world regions, and universities are reading the most academic papers and spending the most time per day studying the literature (only countries with at least 1,000 Mendeley users were included).

Commenting on the release of the report, Dr. Victor Henning, CEO & Co-Founder of Mendeley, said: “I hope that the global research community is as fascinated by this data as we are. Looking at the rankings, maybe tomorrow professors worldwide will put up notices in their labs: ‘Less cat pictures, more studying!’”

You can find the report embedded as a .png graphic below, or on

Mendeley Global Research Report 2012

9 thoughts on “Mendeley has two million users! To celebrate, we're releasing the Global Research Report

  1. how do you track the countries. I don’t remember any country form field when I signed up? or am I just forgetting it.

  2. Found the location field in the Contacts profile. I had never updated my profile. You should proactively incourage your users to atleast complete their location section

  3. Nice graphic. What does time spent studying and organising research papers mean? I often have mendeley desktop open in the background all day, but I’m not using it all day.

    Side note – it appears that at least 60% of your users (biological sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering) are in fields where use of journal abbreviations are the norm (I’m not familiar with the other fields). And yet you still don’t properly support journal abbreviations!

  4. You should more explicitly mention that all the numbers in the ‘report’ are based on Mendeley’s unique data pool–and that any conclusions made on these numbers should take into account the number of people not using Mendeley for various reasons. That’s just proper research methods (since you are calling it a research report).

    Be careful when you make conclusions such as, “…The higher the daily studying time, the more citable publications and Nobel Laureates a country produces.” There is no way to establish a causal connection within these complex subjects–not even using your unique data pool.

    Mendeley is a great tool, but still needs much growth. Keep up the great work!

  5. This data is very interesting, but some of your conclusions are just silly. How could you possibly measure that amount of time that researchers study? And why would you expect the country with the highest number of papers per Mendeley user to be the country whose researchers “read the most papers”? I suspect that you’re really measuring which country has the fewest people who “signed up for Mendeley but then never really used it.”

  6. osm/David: Mendeley Desktop tracks actual reading time, i.e. how long PDFs are open, are being scrolled through (=read), annotated, highlighted etc. – we filter out the times that Mendeley Desktop is just running in the background.

  7. Your graphic is nice but it will be great if you publish the data underlying it. I’m proud to know that I’m working for the university who has the best average of numbers of papers by user library (University of Lausanne).

    Before to start relaying this information to our staff I need to anticipate some elementary questions: how do you assign the users to institutions? by their e-mail or by the data the user puts in the “Institution / Organization” field of their profile?

    If this is the field “Institution / Organization” which is taken into account, how do you assign to each university all the variants used by people?

    Given that I can’t search users by e-mail, I’ve made a quick search of users with the word “lausanne” and that gives me 231 results including 18 users that have an organization corresponding more or less with the University of Lausanne (including HEC faculty and university hospital CHUV). There are also 66 users with an institution related to the EPFL (Lausanne’s Institute of technology) and 147 without a specified institution. The EPFL is another institution so I hope that you didn’t include their users on your counts for the University of Lausanne.
    18 users are not really representative for the whole university but perhaps you know more of our users by their e-mail…

  8. Victor: Thanks for explaining what the data actually are; that’s a first step to making this report intelligible. But why would you assume I only read papers in Mendeley? I suspect that a huge number of your users don’t use Mendeley for reading at all, either because they like print or because there are many better apps for viewing and annotating PDFs.

    What if I’m reading a math paper and I stop on one page for a few hours to figure out what some equations mean?

    The report should just state what it is actually measuring; e.g. “Average amount of time that a PDF is open and being scrolled in Mendeley” (though that’s still not completely clear; you would probably need to open-source your code for it to be really clear what you’re doing)

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