Congratulations and thank you to Ethan Pullman, our February Advisor of the Month! Ethan, a librarian at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, is involved with the Mendeley team on the behind-the-scenes aspect of the Advisor Program, helping with beta testing and giving valuable feedback on new and proposed features.
When he is not being a librarian, Ethan is also a PhD student, pursuing his doctoral research in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon. “My interest in libraries stemmed from an a desire to teach,” said Ethan. “Eventually my interest in language and culture surfaced and helped inform my research, be it in the library profession, teaching Arabic, or as I pursue my PhD.”
Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
My theoretical research addresses interactional aspects of teaching, language, culture, and technology. I am comfortable in various environments, but I feel that the availability of technological tools from searching to citing have really opened up the possibilities and provided me with great flexibility in the way I do research as well as my research interests.
How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley? How does Mendeley influence your research?
Prior to Mendeley, I have dabbled in tools, including EndNote, Academia, Evernote, etc. But I primarily worked with Zotero as it seemed to combine more futures that complement the way I research. I still use Zotero, however, Mendeley’ s social networking and interactive properties (such as the ability to create groups) made it an indispensable aspect of my research work and interactions. I find myself using it more often, if not primarily, not only in my research writing, but as a networking tool, something I greatly appreciate.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
To be truthful, my decision to become an Advisor stemmed from my desire to know as much as I can about Mendeley and the advisors support and network has been a great way to accomplish that. Another important reason had to do with my role as a library instructor; I felt I needed a way to gain expertise (and fast) as I address the needs of our university community.
What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
That’s a hard question; there are a few. I suppose I wouldn’t be a librarian if I didn’t want to meet Melvil Dewey. But I think what I’d love most is to meet with a panel (or a séance – since two of my panelists are dead) consisting of Dewey, Gabriel Naudé, a French librarian – considered the father of the library sciences, and Paul Zurkowski, who is responsible for the concept of “information literacy”. Together, they pioneered what we know today as library and information science.
What book are you reading at the moment and why?
lol….My reading lately – as any PhD student can attest – is primarily in journal article format and relates to my professional interest. However, I recently guest lectured on Huda Barakat’s “The Stone of Laughter,” so I had to re-read it in order to lead discussion.
What is the best part about working in research?
The best part is that I can truly say I am never bored. There’s so much to learn and so many ways to connect the dots, it keeps my mind young!
And the worst?
Good follow up question 🙂 The worst part is that there never seems enough time to read all there is on a topic. Oh, and the nagging feeling that what I think as innovative or important is old news to someone out there.
What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
Everything! It’s a toolbox and it gets bigger — and it makes the research process so easy.