Today we are excited to announce that Mendeley is joining Elsevier!
You might already have heard some rumors and speculation about this in the past few weeks. We hope you’ll understand that we couldn’t address the rumors head-on until there was some actual news to share with you. Now that the union is official, we would like to take some time to explain how it will benefit Mendeley’s and Elsevier’s users, the research community in general, as well as address some of the questions you may have.
The most important things first: very little will change for you as a Mendeley user. In fact, Mendeley is only going to get better for you. For starters, we are doubling everyone’s storage space at no cost. Your free Mendeley account now comes with 2GB, Mendeley Plus and MIE accounts get upgraded to 5GB, and Mendeley Pro accounts to 10GB. There will always be a free version of Mendeley, and our functionality will continue to improve, now even faster than before. We will focus on what has made Mendeley a success in the first place: ensuring that everything we do makes our users’ lives easier and listening closely to your needs. Your data will still be owned by you, we will continue to support standard and open data formats for import and export to ensure that data portability, and – as explained recently – we will invest heavily in our Open API, which will further evolve as a treasure trove of openly licensed research data. Our vision continues to be to make science more collaborative and open, and now we will work towards this vision with the support of the world’s largest science publisher.
Elsevier’s resources, partnerships, and reach in the academic, library, and professional community will enable us to accelerate our progress towards our vision. Our team will expand significantly over the next few years. Elsevier’s Scopus and ScienceDirect platforms will become seamlessly interoperable with Mendeley, creating a central discovery, workflow, and collaboration network for the global research community. Here’s Elsevier’s comments about what they expect from the partnership.
On a more personal note, let me also explain why we chose to team up with Elsevier at this point. Mendeley had just raised a significant round of funding from existing and new investors, with more investors wanting to join. Also, Mendeley’s revenues from our individual and team premium accounts, as well as our new Mendeley Institutional Edition, had tripled over the past year. We could have continued on our path independently, yet we felt that the opportunity to give our users access to better content, more data, and faster development was just too exciting to pass up.
Of course, we are aware that – especially in the past year – the academic community has criticized Elsevier for some of its policies and positions. Our own relationship with Elsevier has been conflicted at times. Elsevier is a multi-faceted company with over 7000 employees, so it is impossible to put them into a single box. We were being challenged by some parts of the organization over whether we intended to undermine journal publishers (which was never the case), while other parts of the organization were building successful working relationships with us and even helped to promote Mendeley.
For example, when Elsevier decided to shut down its social bookmarking service, the 2collab team collaborated with us to build a data import tool, then recommended their users to migrate to us, the upstart competitor. When we co-hosted (together with Nature Publishing Group and the British Library) the Science Online London Conference to talk about Open Science, Elsevier was one of our first sponsors. And when we launched our Open API, Elsevier was the first major publisher to embrace our data and build a Mendeley Readership App for their application platform.
Time and time again, Elsevier struck us as one of the most innovative and tech-savvy publishers out there. They have launched challenges to make research papers more interactive and useful, improve the process and incentives of peer review, and build knowledge discovery and visualization tools for the life sciences. They provide tools for exploring and unearthing connections between researchers and contribute to the ORCID author profile initiative. Like us, the Elsevier Labs team is researching semantics, taxonomies, natural language processing, data visualization, and big data analytics. Lastly, Elsevier’s applications platform mirrors our own ambition of enabling developers to create unique new research tools.
Elsevier is a large, complex organization – to say the least! While not all of its moves or business models have been universally embraced, it is also a hugely relevant, dynamic force in global publishing and research. More importantly, we have found that the individual team members – the employees, editors, innovators, and tool developers we’ve worked with – all share our genuine desire to advance science. This is why we’re thrilled to join Elsevier and help shape its future.
In sum, the overlap between Elsevier’s and our vision has always been remarkable. Combining Elsevier’s content, analytics tools, and long-standing publisher/society relationships with Mendeley’s collaboration platform and social data will enable both of us to develop amazing new services that will make your research life easier.
I know you’ll have a lot of questions, so please find some additional information here. If you’re still skeptical about whether this will be a good thing for you as a user, we hope to convince you by our actions over the next few weeks and months. Good things are about to happen!
Thank you for all of your support, and thanks especially to our incredible team of Mendeley Advisors!
Jan, Paul, Victor, and Team Mendeley