Congratulations and thank you to Prof. Dr. Javier Alba-Tercedor!
Javier only recently became a Mendeley Advisor, but has been incredibly helpful leading seminars at the University of Granada, where he is a Professor of a Zoology, to helping with Alpha and Beta testing of our forthcoming Android app.
We also believe he is the first Professor to earn the distinction of Advisor of the Month! Prof. Dr. Alba-Tercedor’s career spans over 40 years, from when he started studying biology at the University of Granada in 1972, and from where he also earned his Master’s degree and presented his PhD, with research stops in Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Australia, and the USA.
You can learn more about his research in this short, easy-to-understand video:
Where do you do your research/work the best?
As a zoologist who has worked most of my life on bioassesment of water course by using the macroinvertebrates, I have been forced to work a lot in the field during sampling campaigns. However, every day in the field needs many days to study under the microscope to identify the caught material. So our work is a mixture, with but with many hours of lab. To work in nature, and be in a river in the field, may sound great for everyone. However, during a sampling campaign, we are forced to do many sampling sites a day as possible, so we don’t have much time to enjoy the beautiful places we visit. Moreover, in autumn and winter cold days, working all day in the cold water means it is not as nice as people imagine our work.
However, the best place to work is the place where nice people are. So, having a friendly collaborative environment researchers, we can feel happiest doing our hard daily job.
What is the best part about working in research?
You always maintain interest, as much as you know, as much you need to know. To be a good researcher, the most important quality is to never allows the disappearance of child-like expression that all we have inside. So maintain the joy for life, and the typical child-like curiosity — and the most important will have fun while working.
The best part is the possibility to travel and contact people around the world that no matter the language, religion, race, etc., to share passion and enthusiasm!
And the worst/most challenging?
The worst probably is the unfair competition every researcher has to fight along his/her life. This unfortunately and more commonly arises from the most closely-related colleagues!
What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
If a time machine existed, I would be curious to visit Charles Darwin at the latest stage of his life and stay talking with him all the evening. Just listening…
What book are you reading at the moment and why?
An interesting book entitled “Caddisflies: The Underwater Architects.” Because I’m now writing a paper on how these aquatic insects build their cases in special way as a survival strategy. But, in the bed before sleeping, I’m reading a thriller novel by Åsa Larsson!
How does Mendeley influence your research?
What happens to me with Mendeley it is exactly “a love history” — I fell in love with it in the “first sight!” I was using a software I computed long ago by using DBASE (II, later III) where I was manually adding bibliographical references — I had code tags, and numbers corresponding with the paper copies or reprints I have in my “physical files.”
In November 2014, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar where a nice short introduction to Mendeley was distributed beforehand. After reading it, I was motivated enough to spend four hours working with it, even before the seminar. So the day of the seminar, I was so excited and enthusiastic — I was totally engaged with Mendeley! Because I was clearly older than the others attendees, most of them started to think I was part of the panel of Mendeley’s presenters!
Since them I have been doing bibliographic fast search and maintaining new topics of collaborative research thanks to the possibilities that the shared groups have. And the possibility to have it in all my devices, including my tablet and smartphone, which helps me to read everywhere. And I have no worries in case I lose or anyone steals my computer or laptop; I’m sure I will continue having all my work.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
Normally I’m extremely enthusiastic with anything I consider worthwhile, as is the case of Mendeley. I was convinced of the possibilities that this as a tool for research, so I thought I had the moral obligation to spread out its knowledge not only to my colleagues, but specially to our students, our future researchers. And I started to do proselytism with so much energy and enthusiasm that some people are wondering I’m paid for it. But believe me, I do it happily because I’m totally convinced of the goodness and possibilities.
In fact, I love your phrase “It’s time to change the way we do research.” Moreover, I have a lot of experience (and I like it) as beta tester of different scientific software and web applications, so why not to collaborate with you, and at the same time being one of the first to test new versions.
What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
Mendeley is the key permitting to open the door to discover the existing research world, no matter the topic you are interested in.
Answers have been edited for clarity and length