Meet the Mendeley Community Team

We thought it was high time we put a face to the name by introducing you to the Mendeley Team one team at a time. First up: The Community Team.

The Mendeley Community team is here to support, connect, and engage with our users. Our goal is to make the Mendeley user experience as useful and valuable as possible through tools and resources and real human interactions.  We also strive to develop meaningful relationships with our 1900+ Advisors as they are the heartbeat of our user community.

We are always eager to meet our users to better understand your researcher journey and how Mendeley can better serve you, so if you are ever in the London area, the team would love to meet you! Email shruti.desai@mendeley.com for more details.

 

Jessica Reeves, Head of User Engagement

Jessica Reeves - Head of User EngagementJessica joined Mendeley in 2012. She holds a MSc in Organisational Analysis from King’s College in London, but her previous degrees are a bit more varied: Her B.A. from Communications and Business is from Tulane University, followed by a MPS Preservation of Historic Architecture.

You can follow her on Twitter @jessreeves1.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

To start, it’s my dream job! I have the opportunity to work with almost every team within Mendeley for the sole benefit of providing a valuable tool for our users so you can change the world of science. Whether we are focusing on enhancing the product workflow, discussing how best to communicate with our users or creating resources to use Mendeley, the users are always at the heart of the matter. In addition to working with brilliant colleagues, the Community team has the good fortune of working with our 1900+ global Advisors. The Advisors are the heartbeat of the user community, the Mendeley enthusiasts. As the leader of the Community team it is my mission to ensure our user community is engaged, educated and excited about what Mendeley is doing to change the way we do research.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

The people and the opportunity to make a true difference in the outcome of and collaborations within scientific research. The street food market outside our office is not too bad either 🙂

What do you do in your free time?

I realise that two of my hobbies, surfing and sailing, are inspired by my love of the sea. I have been lucky enough to see many  countries of the world from the seashore. Brazil still tops my list for best surf spots and the Croatian coast is by far my favourite sailing spot. Because I spend so much time on or in the sea I have a huge respect for our oceans and the creatures who allow us to be part of their world which led to my thrid passion, conservation.  Specifically shark conservation is a special interest because of the key role they play in this delicate ecosystem.

 

João Bernardino, Insights Marketing Manager

Joao Bernardino - Insights Marketing Manager

Joao joined Mendeley in 2013, after studying Management in Lisbon and Paris. He started his working life working for an insurance company, but after diving deep into financial products and insurance policies, he discovered it wasn’t for him. So he headed to London, where he discovered Mendeley during his Master’s thesis in Marketing, which he did in London and Germany. He previously worked at Adidas doing product marketing (and collecting shoes).

You can follow him on twitter @joaorbernardino

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

My role on the Community Team is a series of fun and challenging tasks that makes me understand our Mendeley community and how we can better support them. It is an exciting role that keeps me in contact with our enthusiastic Advisors and all of our Mendeley internal teams. It is a pleasure to work surrounded by such smart and interesting people.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

My favourite part about working at Mendeley is the fact that we can actually change the way research is done and improve researchers’ lives, contributing to bigger discoveries.

When I saw the opportunity to join the Mendeley team, I didn’t think twice. This was a company that I wanted to work for. It breathes innovation and success, and as I once noticed quoted on the website, “It’s the most fun you can have with your pants on.”

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I like cycling, playing volleyball and surfing when I’m back home or whenever I get the chance to meet the sea. I also enjoy to learn new skills such as tech (new software, new products, etc) or artistic (photography, drawing, music, etc).

Claire van den Broek, Education Program Manager

claire2Meet our newest team member! Claire joined our team February 2014, moving from the United States where she completed a dual degree PhD in comparative literature and German Studies. She was born and raised in the Netherlands, and worked as a researcher, university lecturer and academic translator before joining Mendeley.

You can follow her on Twitter @CYvdB

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

As Education Program Manager, I am responsible for Mendeley’s online resources, including video tutorials and guides. I also create and manage educational materials that help others spread the word about Mendeley.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

Mendeley’s London office is a great place to work; my colleagues are young, enthusiastic, exceptionally talented and you can tell how much they enjoy working here. I only recently joined Mendeley and I am really impressed with the positive office atmosphere created by the founders. The endless free fruit, breakfasts, pizza, cake, snacks and foosball table help of course 😉

What do you do in your free time?

In my spare time I love traveling to unusual places and geocaching. I also look forward to visiting my parents in The Netherlands on weekends again, after many years of living far away in America.

 

Shruti M. Desai, Community Relations Executive

Shruti M. Desai - Community Relations Executive

Shruti joined Mendeley in late 2013. She worked for nearly a decade as a journalist, at various U.S. newspapers and magazines as a reporter in: local government, food and fashion, and education, to name a few.

She transitioned into science outreach at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, in Dresden, Germany, where she was the Science and Society Program Coordinator.

 

You can follow her on Twitter @inothernews

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

My role is to help develop community outreach programs. Part of that role is to share stories of user experiences with the Mendeley team, while raising awareness of Mendeley incentives amongst our users and Advisors.

I work closely with the Advisor community, looking to build relationships and collaborations with researchers, and plan events, training sessions, and other outreach initiatives to raise awareness of Mendeley in research communities.

Spud

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I really love working with the Advisor Community. It sounds cheesy and overly-earnest, but they honestly blow me away with their enthusiasm, skills, and support. I hope I can support them equally. Also the Mendeley London offices are really fun, filled with talented people who also know how to have a good time. (It doesn’t hurt that occasional office dog Spud is currently snoozing on my lap.)

What do you do in your free time?

I love Roller Derby and used to play for the Dresden Pioneers, but am now am “just” a  fan. I enjoy sharing food with friends, reading YA Literature, and exploring new cultures through travel. I am also happy to be married to science researcher, though sometimes I wish the lab gave him more free time.

 

Ricardo Vidal, Outreach Liaison

Ricardo Vidal - Outreach Liaison

Ricardo attended the University of Algarve (UALG) in Southern Portugal where he received his academic training in the field of biological engineering. Ricardo holds a Masters of Engineering diploma which he obtained at UALG, and as a visiting graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His Masters thesis was focused on the subject of Synthetic Biology and assisted simulation of biobrick construction via bioinformatic tools.

With a strong interest in studying biological systems from a standardized and analytical perspective, Ricardo jumped into his PhD work at Queen’s University (Canada) in the field of bioinformatics and health data analytics in cancer research.

You can follow him on Twitter @rvidal.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

I’ve has been using Mendeley since the summer of 2008 (early beta-tester) and have been a part of the team ever since. My role as part of the Mendeley team has been quite diverse. Always within the scope of our community team efforts, I’ve played a role of outreach and education about Mendeley. My network and communication skills have allowed me to establish strong and long-lasting connections with a large number of users. My technical skills have enabled me to help produce and project materials and programs that further enabled our educational efforts.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I’d say my favorite part is working and interacting with so many great people. Both internally at Mendeley and externally via the community at large. I’ve made some long-lasting connections that have turned into great friendships. As a research scientists and engineer that continuously uses Mendeley Desktop, I get to speak to, and participate with, the users and developers on a pretty close level.

What do you do in your free time?

Uhm, free time? What’s that? Haha! All spare time from work and research is spent playing with my kids.

 

William Gunn, Head of Academic Outreach

William Gunn - Head of Academic Outreach

Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D in Biomedical Science from the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing mesenchymal stem cells, the body’s own reparative forces. Frustrated with the inefficiencies of the modern research process, he left academia and established the biology program at Genalyte, a novel diagnostics startup. At Mendeley, he works to make research more impactful and reproducible and is an expert on altmetrics, reproducibility, and open access.

You can follow him on Twitter @mrgunn.

How do you describe your role on the Community team?

As Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, I blend deep technical knowledge and industry insight with clear and effective communication skills. I spend a good deal of time writing blog posts, essays, technical papers, presentations,and in general contributing to interesting conversations happening across academia and the tech community, but I also do things that don’t fall under the traditional communication categories.

I also co-direct the Reproducibility Initiative with Elizabeth Iorns and co-organizes Science Online Bay Area with colleagues from other tech companies in the area to bring together people who are doing interesting things that influence how science is carried out and communicated online.

What is your favorite part about working for Mendeley?

I’ve been with Mendeley since 2009, and since the very beginning the thing that has really made it a great place to work has been the freedom to contribute broadly across the organization. If you are interested in taking something on and show the capacity to handle it, you can own your own destiny here. The support and individual care the founders have for each person really helps me feel like my unique skills are appreciated.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy cooking and making things with my hands, especially with the assistance of my daughter Charlotte.

Meet our February Advisor of the Month!

Congratulations and thank you to Jacques Raubenheimer

Jacques RaubenheimerJacques is a statistician at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, but he got his research start in psychology with a PhD in Research Psychology and doing Masters studies in Theology.

Before his current position, he did some other consultation work, and started working at the department of Biostatistics of the UFS in 2008—”a strange jump from research psychology, but statistics is statistics,” he said.

Jacques is also a published author…and what is the subject of one of his books? Mendeley!

We are honored Jacques has chosen to write about us, so we wanted to honor him with Advisor of the Month! Look to the Mendeley Blog for more on Jacques’ book sometime this month.

A bit about his research History

In many ways, I am just a run-of-the-mill academic. My whole academic career has been pursued at chiefly one University, and I hold degrees from only two universities, both South African. So I would not be what you might call an academic rock star (whatever that might be).

The nature of my job means that I don’t get to specialise, so my research role is supportive (statistics) in a wide variety of medical and allied disciplines.

How long have you been on Mendeley?

Just more than a year.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

ProCite. I also toyed with EndNote.

How does Mendeley influence your research?

I can’t imagine anyone seriously considering doing research and not using software for their referencing. But what I love about Mendeley is that I now have an integrated electronic work environment where I can store my annotations (I still did my PhD in the previous millennium off of entirely paper-based reading), organise my sources, and also a means of finding literature relevant to my needs.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I needed a new RMS package (see above) and so I started looking at alternatives, and pretty much settled on Mendeley. At the same time, because I am something of a resident IT specialist, people around here asked me if I would do training for them in Mendeley, and I saw that the Advisor programme would give me the support I needed to do that—and it has!

How have you been spreading the word about Mendeley?

My book!  =)

I also am using opportunities to present Mendeley training here on my local campus, because if people can see what the program can do, they will be more likely to start using it and will also start telling other people about it.

I also enjoy helping other advisors on the Advisors forum, so I have that bookmarked as a start page on my browser.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Apart from always having to look up things in statistical reference works, I just finished Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business (you’ll be amazed at how many books there are with “The Power of Habit” in their titles). It was fascinating, and I am trying to focus on eliminating bad habits that are messing with my productivity.

Any fun fact people might be surprised to learn about you?

Researchers have non-academic lives too! I enjoy rock climbing, although at a mediocre level—I don’t get as much time to go out climbing now as when I was a student, and I have just (barely) survived my first marathon.

What is the best part about being a researcher?

I love the discovery and the variation. Each study is something new, something stimulating. Every job has its mundane tasks, but research gives me the chance to escape the drudgery.

And the worst?

I must mention two things. First, not getting enough time for my research! Second, when a submitted article is rejected. But both of those are part and parcel of the job, so one has to learn how to deal with them, instead of trying to wish them away. At least the time Mendeley saves helps with point number one!

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

It’s more than just a piece of Reference Management Software! I went to great pains in my book to show that even though Mendeley is currently not (in my opinion, sorry to have to say this), the best RMS program out there (although it is very good), there are more compelling reasons to use Mendeley that more than compensate for its small deficiencies in that area. Mendeley is really living up to its motto of changing the way we do research, by using researchers’ libraries to crowd-source research data. Mendeley provides a new (and I think better) way to discover and evaluate sources. And Mendeley really gets the socially-connected, multi-device milieu of the 21st Century researcher.

Mendeley Supports ZappyLab Kickstarter Campaign

Mendeley is all about changing the way we do research and so is ZappyLab. We are so impressed with their suite of life science tools for laboratory researchers that we’ve teamed up with the ZappyLab team on their recently launched Kickstarter campaign:

ZappyLab app

By Lenny Teytelman, ZappyLab co-founder

ZappyLab has just launched a Kickstarter campaign (link) for the creation of a free, up-to-date, crowdsourced protocol repository for the life sciences. And we are excited to have the support of Mendeley in this effort. The Mendeley team is graciously providing their Premium membership plan for 2 years, to a hundred of our backers.

A month and a half ago we announced a beginning of a collaboration with Mendeley where we enabled synchronization between our PubChase website and mobile apps and the libraries of Mendeley’s biomedical users. As we wrote then, this is just a first step of a deeper integration of our tools.

What Mendeley’s commitment to our Kickstarter campaign shows is that our partnership is much deeper than just utilitarian tool integration. Over the past six months, we have had a tremendous degree of advice and help from William Gunn, Victor Henning, Joyce Stack, Rosario García De Zúñiga, and Jessica Reeves.

Why has Mendeley been so supportive? Probably because our companies are closely aligned in the approach to science innovation. We are building productivity tools to make scientists’ lives easier, with the ultimate goal of increasing communication, sharing, and collaboration between researchers.

 

Have you tried to raise money for your research project through crowdfunding? Did you know we have a Mendeley Crowdfunding group to discuss these issues? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Yale iGem Team Update!

 

iGem

 

You might remember that a while ago we told you about a great project called Yale iGEM that was using Mendeley to make it easier for the research team to collaborate on their synthetic biology project. 6 months later, they sent us an update on how things are going:

By Edward Kong

Yale iGEM is a team of undergraduates who research synthetic biology and participate in the annual iGEM (international genetically engineered machines) competition.

Synthetic biology is an emerging field that focuses on not only the study of natural biological systems, but the design of new systems. From glow-in-the-dark bacteria to fuel-producing cyanobacteria, synthetic biology has a wide range of applications that can be used to better our world.

This year, our team engineered a common bacteria to produce polylactic acid (PLA), a biopolymer that is cheaper, cleaner to make, and biodegradable. Our project won a silver medal at the iGEM North American Regional Jamboree and advanced to the World Competition at MIT. Although our team did not place in any of the prize categories, we had a fantastic year, and hope to use the judging feedback to develop an even stronger project in 2014.

Our team found Mendeley’s combination of e-mail, cloud drive, and reference management to be highly useful. In addition, because some members of our team pursue summer opportunities around the world, Mendeley’s collaborative workspace was critical in enabling our teammates to connect and move the project forward.

We have recently added a talented cohort of new members for 2014, and hope to continue using Mendeley as we formulate a new project. We are grateful for the support and look forward to posting the outcomes of our new research!

 

Crowdfunding Healthcare Logistics

 

Plushcare

 

UC Berkeley and health entrepreneurs use crowdfunding and technology to bring innovative solutions to healthcare, and do some good in the process:

By Ryan McQuaid, Founder of PlushCare

I’ve observed over the past 3-4 years that technologists want doctors to do more for less or they want to throw an app or device at patients to make them healthy – neither of which are sustainable in the long term. I believe that both the doctor and the patient need to be engaged and rewarded to have a successful partnership in a patient’s care plan.

That’s why I started PlushCare in a lean startup curriculum sponsored by Professor Kurt Beyer at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The final assignment was to market-test PlushCare on Indiegogo, which is an incredible tool to quickly and cheaply validate an idea and understand your customers (who they are, willingness to pay, why they want your service, do they want a variation, etc). This project is a perfect example of how our educational system has evolved from classroom learning to experiential learning.

With PlushCare, our Stanford-trained physicians maintain a relationship with their patients via email, phone or video chat for a very low fee (currently offered at $80 per year on Indiegogo). Through mobile technology, we estimate that we can diagnose and treat (prescribing medication when necessary) 70% of the reasons patients go into the physician office. For the remaining 30%, we will consult with the patient’s primary care provider directly prior to the patient’s arrival. In addition, we can provide referrals to laboratories and specialists, and play a more pro-active role in our patients’ health. For example, the average person looks at his or her phone 150 times per day; I believe we can help send the right message at the right time to keep our patients on-track with their wellness goals.

In the long-term, we envision ourselves as the logistics provider for healthcare. Come to us and we will guide you seamlessly through the health system and efficiently manage healthcare resources. For example, our analytics may be certain that you have a sinus infection and we will send an antibiotic to you at your office without the intervention of a human resource, or we may send you to a nearby mid level practitioner at a Walgreens or CVS healthcare clinic. Another example is utilizing temporary or permanent slacks in supply to fulfil excess demand in other geographic locations. In San Francisco, there is deficit in paediatricians, but with PlushCare we can help bring the supply and demand curves to equilibrium by utilizing paediatricians in the suburbs.

Furthermore, we want to make a positive impact on a global scale. Today, a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable disease because he or she lacks the access to life saving immunizations that keep children healthy. That’s why for every PlushCare sign-up, we are providing one child a lifetime of immunity. Join our movement to increase access, convenience and affordability. #gethealthgivehealth

Stuck on a Protocol? A Simple Click Will Do the Trick

Ask-JoVE-Button-Image-300x286

 

Video demonstrations for online scientific articles are now just one click away.

By Phil Meagher at JoVE (the Journal of Visualized Experiments) 

Communicating scientific protocols is difficult. Word count limitations result in ambiguous protocols and techniques are becoming increasingly cross-disciplinary and complicated. As a result, reproducing experiments is frustrating. But there is a solution. What if instead of having to read protocols you could watch them first?

On January 17, the team at the Journal of Visualized Experiments, JoVE, released an application to help scientists at the bench do just that. The idea was simple: allow scientists to “visualize” all of the scientific articles available online by leveraging JoVE’s rapidly growing scientific methods video collection. (To date, JoVE’s published 2,966 methods-videos since the company launched in 2006.)

The application is called the AskJoVE button, and offers a novel opportunity for scientists looking to learn procedures from scientific articles. Functioning from within your internet browser’s bookmarks bar, this application, or “bookmarklet,” produces a collection of video-demonstrations of techniques mentioned in any given scientific articles—even for those published in the traditional, text-based format.

“We created this new feature because we want to visualize all the science literature in the world,” says Dr. Moshe Pritsker, JoVE’s CEO and co-founder, “For every science article you read, click on the Ask JoVE button and immediately see videos of experiments related to this article, filmed at the best university labs.”

With this in mind, try to now imagine yourself at the lab, reading through an article you’ll need to learn to replicate as part of your research. If a small, important part of the protocol suddenly becomes vague, getting help no longer must involve scheduling training with other scientists half way across the globe. Instead, simply click the AskJoVE button, and watch as the methods in that article are demonstrated on your screen.

Jove action

The AskJoVE button is free to download, and it is easily set up via drag-and-drop installation.

Each technique featured by the button is demonstrated by its own original authors (filmed by JoVE) and accompanied by scientific animations produced by the JoVE video team.  Once clicked, the AskJoVE button provides scientists with a concise and powerful tool that saves time and money.

Interested in introducing your lab’s technique to the world? Submit your abstract to JoVE via our publishing information page. For subscription information you may reach out via our website, or you can take a moment to recommend JoVE to your institution’s librarian.

Read journal articles for free at your local library with Access to Research

 

Library

 

A new service has been launched in the UK to give the public access to academic content through their local libraries, free of charge. Access to Research is a search interface available at participating public libraries which retrieves relevant results from across the platforms of many different publishers, thousands of journals, and millions of articles. Once you identify a relevant article, the user can then click through to the relevant publisher’s platform, where they can read it at no cost to them or to their library.

This is a joint effort by the Publishers Licensing Society, the Publishers Association and the Society of Chief Librarians, supported by 17 publishers, including Elsevier, who have helped develop the program and are contributing their content free of charge for the initiative. Elsevier is contributing access to more than 1,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell Press titles.

From an initial low-key technical trial with 250 public libraries, the service has now been rolled out across the UK for an extended two-year pilot, during which the Publisher Licencing Society will look to gather information about data usage and demand to help assess how best to meet the access gaps. To mark the start of this two-year pilot, an event was held in Lewisham, one of the local authorities participating in the pilot. Publishers, librarians and the many stakeholders who contributed their time and expertise to building Access to Research got together at the beautiful Library at Deptford Lounge to talk about their journey and what the next steps in developing the program will look like.

David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, called it a “great, exciting role for our public libraries” and said at the event that this was all about publishers and public libraries coming together to provide access to research content.

“In future you’ll just be able to walk down to your local public library and access whatever it is that you want to find, any research.”

 

Sarah Faulder, CEO of the Publishers Licencing Society, said that the scheme currently provided access to over 8,400 journal titles, which meant more than 1.5 million articles available to the public. Since there is no remote access to the service, it is hoped that this will encourage more people to make use of their local library facilities to discover and research that content. The scheme is open to all local authorities throughout the UK.

“This is just the start. There will be more published content made available and more local authorities signing up. “We’re also looking at what more might need to be done to train librarians and to support them in guiding users to find what they’re looking for and managing issues in information literacy that the service will raise with those less experienced in using academic publications.”

Janene Cox of the Society of Chief Librarians explained that Access to Research was setup in response to the recommendations made by the Finch Group, which explored how access to publicly funded research could be expanded, and would now form a key part of libraries’ information and digital offers.

“Public libraries have always been about learning. Charles Dickens called it “betterment” and it remains a vital part of the library’s function. I do believe that public libraries have never faced such challenging times, but we do provide access to, and the curation of, a huge amount of resources, and a digital age means that people can move seamlessly through websites and content, which support their personal learning journey. The public library, whether that be a physical or virtual space, is trusted, it’s safe, engaging and creative.”

There was then a live demo of the Access to Research search mechanism, which is powered by Summon, a software platform widely used in universities. The aim was to simplify the mechanism so that it resembled a common search engine interface such as Google.

“What we’re doing is giving a very fast service, for users to be able to search for something they’re interested in and deliver results.” Explained Phill Hall “What we want to do is to deliver a single search box. Inside that search box is all the content that publishers will have provided. The results come directly from articles on individual publishers’ websites, and when you click on it, it goes to those individual articles on the websites. The search box doesn’t differentiate where the content comes from. If the search term fits within the content that’s there, we deliver it.”

Will this help to disseminate academic knowledge to people who would not normally have access to it? Would you find it useful to have access to journals at your local library? Let us know your thoughts, get in touch by leaving a comment below!