Congratulations May Advisor of the Month – Othman Talib


Tahniah to the Mendeley May Advisor of the Month – Dr Othman Talib of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Othman (or OT as most people call him), teaches students useful techniques for surviving their studies and especiallywriting their theses. He created, what he calls, the Zero draft of Thesis (ZDOT) program, which uses Mendeley to accelerate the thesis writing process. OT has also adopted many other acronyms for the techniques he promotes in his training sessions:

OFOT – one file one thesis
FBOT – filter based on themedd
ROT – research operational template
SROT – speed reading on target
KOT – keep on track
SOT – submitted on time
GOT – graduated on time

Apart from saving many students a lot of time during the writing of their theses, OT has been working hard to spread the news of Mendeley in Malaysia by writing two book about Mendeley in Malay and giving presentations or training sessions on an almost weekly basis!

A brief biography–where did you go to University/Phd/etc? 
I am a senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). I obtained the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from the University of Adelaide, Australia. I have multidisciplinary expertise in areas such as Pedagogy, Development of Multimedia Content in Science Education and Research Methodology.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
I was a chemistry teacher before I pursued my study at master and doctorate degrees. I love teaching chemistry but I found it hard to teach abstract and dynamic nature of chemistry concepts. Therefore, the need to make chemistry appealing to students is one of the challenges for chemistry educators. Then I started to use animation as an effective strategy to teach chemistry.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
Most of the time, I use my own office to do my research. I use computer and Mendeley to explore the current issues in science education. However, I love to work on line where I have a friendly networking collaborative environment, especially with my cliques from other universities.


How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley?
I am the one who first introduced Mendeley in Malaysia, since 2010, after having problems to teach my student using other licensed reference manager. Starting from 2010, I never look back and to my surprise, Elsevier bought Mendeley! This give me confident to conduct more workshop on Mendeley. At least, 2 libraries in Malaysia, Science University of Malaysia and MARA Institute of Technology University invited me to demonstrate Mendeley to their librarians.

How does Mendeley influence your research?
I intensively use Mendeley for my research.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I have been invited as a speaker and trainer at both the national and international levels, specializing in thesis writing, reference managing using Mendeley and research methodology. These trainings have been conducted mainly for postgraduate students; at Japan (Khusyu, Meiji), UK (York, Manchester, London) and Denmark (Copenhagen).

Besides students, I have also trained researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Institute of Leadership & Quality Management, The Malaysian Islamic Judiciary and the People’s Trust Council. Due to my experience in research and training, I was appointed as an official representative and trainer of the Mendeley and Atlas.ti softwares in Malaysia.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive? 
I’d like to work with R.E. Mayer, the founder of Multimedia Learning Theory and John Sweller, the founder of Cognitive Load theory. I use both theories in my current research.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
Im now reading “How to get things done – when you are not the boss” by Russel (2012). This book is so inspiring and so refreshing for me to be at my best, even my boss is not around!

What is the best part about working in research?
I learn new things everyday – that is the best part ! I enjoy my work, having good friends around me, and for sure, to feed my curiosity to find the practical way to teach chemistry, and at the same time I meet lots of wonderful researchers all over the world.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
The most challenging part for me is to publish my article in high impact journals!

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
Its so easy for my participants to fall in love with Mendeley!


Visit the Mendeley Advisor webpage to find out more about our Advisor Program.

Cheers to the #pint15selfie winners!

We had such a great time at the Pint of Science festival this week – so many amazing talks and discussions with an incredibly engaged audience. Congratulations to the Pint of Science teams in the UK and around the world for another successful celebration of science.

There were a great many selfies being submitted during the 3 day science extravaganza, thank you for all your wonderful entries! So will no further ado, the winners are:

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Here are some other great pictures from those who attended Pint of Science 2015:

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If you were able to attend the Pint of Science festival, the teams would love to get your feedback – there is a very short survey here for you to leave your comments.

Research in the 21st Century: Data, Analytics and Impact


You will be welcomed to the ReCon (Research Conference) in Edinburgh this June! This conference focuses on changes and developments in research communication in academia, including dealing with vast volumes of data, social networks, publishing and the use of metrics. A number of factors are influencing the way we communicate research in 2015 including new technologies, publishing policies, the variety of research outputs and the assessment of research impact. This conference aims to explore the evolution of research communication. What incentives are required for researchers to change how they communicate their work? What role will metrics play in the future at the journal level, article level and researcher level? How will we deal with the large volume of data and research outputs that we are creating?


ReCon is designed to raise and discuss current issues to do with research communication in academia and beyond. These issues range from the use of metrics for evaluating research, access to publications, how to share and store data, government policy to how this affects careers and incentives for researchers. ReCon includes speakers from government agencies, academics, publishers, people working in outreach and founders of start-ups working in the research space.


In addition to the main conference this year (19th June), we will be holding an optional free research communication hackathon the following day (20th June) at Codebase, the UK’s largest technology incubator, which houses over 60 technology companies.

We ran two previous highly successful events on disruption in publishing in June 2013 and June 2014 at the University of Edinburgh. Each year, the conference attracted over 200 delegates including entrepreneurs, students, investors, freelancers, writers and publishers and was broadcast live on the web. The talks are available to view online.

Steve Wheeler
Our Keynote speaker this year is Steve Wheeler.

To register to attend this event, just click here.



Joanna YoungJoanna Young
Jo is the founder and director of The Scientific Editing Company, a publishing services   and researcher training consultancy. Prior to this, she completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of several research publications, various blog posts and many tweets. She also runs the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club and an annual careers conference for PhD students and postdocs, NEON21.

Graham SteeleGraham Steel
Graham has been actively involved in Patient Advocacy work in his spare time since 2001. More recently, his activities have been focused mainly on Neurodegenerative conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease. He is also involved in advocating for Open Access/Science/Data and acts in advisory capacities to the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the Public Library of Science (PLOS). As of January 2015, he acts as Community Manager for ContentMine.

Jan WessnitzerJan Wessnitzer
In addition to being an independent statistics and machine learning consultant, Jan manages the data analysis projects at The Scientific Editing Company. Prior to this, he completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral research in robotics and machine learning at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, where he was involved in several open source projects and authored many research papers.

Announcing a Special Contest for Mendeley Users at University of Toronto and York University.

canada uni may 2015

Celebrate Your Research Team!

At Mendeley we understand that life in a research team is very busy: focusing on your research as well as collaborating with your colleagues and trying to keep up with the latest research in your field. We’re here to help you with your research productivity while trying to make sure you having some fun too!

That’s why we’re introducing a new contest for you called “Celebrate Your Research Team” that will run from June 1st 2015 through to August 1st 2015.

You can win the following:

  • 1st Prize: Mendeley funded Pizza Lunch ($80 gift card) and Mendeley Researcher Edition for your team
  • 2nd & 3rd Prizes (each month): Mendeley Researcher Edition for your team.

Sounds great right?

What is the Mendeley Researcher Edition (MRE)?

Mendeley Researcher Edition (MRE) is a premium version of Mendeley, a reference management tool built on top of one of the world’s largest academic collaboration networks that allows you to do the following:

  1. Create and keep your ‘online profile’ on Mendeley, helping you be more discoverable, connecting you with others, and making it easy for others to follow you.
  2. It’s great for research teams as you can connect with other researchers and share full-text documents (manuscript, readings, etc.) via an unlimited number of private groups. You can form public-Invite only groups to bring together small research groups to further promote and expose what you are working on.  You can set up topical public groups with other researchers to generate interest about your discipline.
  3. It also helps research teams that want to keep on top of the changes in their field as you can utilize the various search and proactive recommendation features such as Mendeley Suggest to alert you on the latest articles, people, and groups you’ll want to know about.
  4. Mendeley Researcher Edition (MRE) is easy to use and comes with 5 GB of cloud storage to manage your documents and references. Mendeley also makes it convenient to create proper citations.

Here’s how you enter:

  •  Make a post in your university’s group with the following information:
    • Your Name & Institution
    • Description of your team’s research focus (50 words max)
    • Tell us how your team uses/would use Mendeley (50 words)
    • Explain why your team should win (80 words)
  • Submit that same information via this form (using your institutional e-mail address, this is so we can verify your information)

The criteria used to determine the winner of this contest is:


…so be sure to invite your friends and colleagues to the group!

The winner is selected on the last day of every month and an announcement is made via the Mendeley Blog. Those who have won a prize are not eligible to participate in the contest again.

For more information please contact Yath on

The INQUA Project is bringing researchers together – across disciplines, across Europe.


The research environment is changing rapidly, with an ever increasing focus on interdisciplinary collaborations. Often this means collaborators are in different countries, which further complicates the process of team work and communication. Today’s guest blog post is from Dr Erick Robinson (Ghent University, Belgium), who is part of the INQUA Project 1404. The primary aim of this project is to bring together young researchers experts within Europe to investigate the variable impacts of gradual versus abrupt palaeoenvironmental change on human cultural change. Dr Robinison’s post provides a summary of the project’s objective and requirements as well as it’s challenges and how they are overcoming those obstacles.

The long windows of time offered by data from the palaeosciences (archaeology, geology, physical geography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology) are essential to our understanding of the potential impacts of future climate and environmental changes on ecosystems and humans throughout the world. Over the last decade, interdisciplinary research in the palaeosciences has started to advance tremendously our knowledge of the shear complexities of past climate and environmental changes, and the diversity of ecosystem and human responses to these changes. These advances have included an awareness of a range of different climate and environmental changes with variable causes, durations, and magnitudes: gradual ecosystem changes in species composition, sea-level rise, abrupt climate changes caused by glacial meltwater outbursts, and extreme events such as tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The short windows of time traditionally taken into account in modelling the potential impacts of future climate changes therefore risks a lack of knowledge regarding the relationships between environmental changes of different temporal durations and geographical scales of impact. It is imperative that future research considers these longer windows of time in order to understand the broader complexity and dynamics of environmental changes throughout human history.Robinson Riede Mendeley blog entry 1

Caption: An example of how cultural and environmental records can be studied in tandem. This figure shows a comparison of revised radiocarbon chronology for the Early and Middle Mesolithic in the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt area of northwest Europe (G-I) (calculated with OxCal 3) with selected climate records of the Northern Hemisphere that indicate multiple Early Holocene cooling events (A-F). A: timing of Ice-rafted debris peaks (Bond et al., 1997) indicating the frequency of sea-ice; Greenland (NGRIP) ice core δ18O record (Rasmussen et al., 2006) with GICC05 timescale calibrated into years relative to AD 1950, a temperature proxy; c: Greenland ice core (GISP2) K+ record (Mayewski et al., 1997), a proxy for atmospheric circulation and wind; d: Oxygen-isotope ratios of precipitation (δ18Op) inferred from deep-lake ostracods from the Ammersee (southern Germany) (von Grafenstein et al., 1999); e: Dongge Cave (China) stalagmite D4 δ18O record (Dykoski et al., 2005) providing information on past temperature; f: Hawes Water (UK) core HWLC1 δ18Oc record based on samples of authigenic calcite indicating temperature. The dark line represents the centennial-scale trend calculated omitting the abrupt cooling events (Marshall et al., 2007). The periods of the 9.3 cal. BP and 8.2 cal. BP cooling events are shaded blue (adapted from Robinson et al., Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013)

Extending the temporal scope of research to consider the relationships between millennial scale, centennial scale, and very abrupt climate and environmental changes across the period of the Last Glacial-Early Holocene (14,000-8,000 years ago) requires ‘big data’ approaches enabling the integration of regional datasets at the continental scale. The International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) Commission for Humans and the Biosphere (HaBCom) has recently funded an international research project aiming to integrate archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data across Europe for this important period in Earth and human history. This project (INQUA project) “Cultural and palaeoenvironmental changes in Late Glacial to Middle Holocene Europe—gradual or sudden?” is comprised of a majority of Early Career Researchers across the continent interested in exploring new frontiers in international interdisciplinary research. The project requires published data from all regions of Europe for the time period of focus to be integrated into a database that can be utilized for implementing a range of different computational modelling approaches. Big data research of this nature is challenging for many reasons, possibly the most important of which is specialists in one particular discipline or region integrating, interpreting and utilizing data from another discipline/region. Communication is therefore paramount in data quality assessment and research quality control. The Ph.D., Early Career Researchers, and Senior Researchers in the project are faced with the challenge of maintaining regular communication over the data that is integrated into the database, its employment in different modelling approaches, and the assessment of modelling outputs.

We are very happy to be partnering with Mendeley in facing these challenges in this new generation of international interdisciplinary palaeoscience research. Mendeley Team package provides the perfect collaborative workspace for integrating publications with useful data for the database that we aim to build in this project. Our research network is only able to meet once a year for an annual workshop, therefore Mendeley provides the central nexus of communication during the critical periods of data integration and modelling. The progress of the project will be determined by what our research network collaborators can contribute to the project amidst their busy schedules at their home institutions. We are excited to start this challenging and potentially very fruitful research project with the support of Mendeley.

We are delighted to be working with the Project1404 team, and to be able to support their team collaboration.

You can follow this projects updates through the Twitter hashtag #project1404 and find out more about Team plans here.


Get Discovered – Your New Mendeley Profile!

As you may have noticed by now, our developers have been working hard to redesign profile pages to give you a fresh new professional public face.


We’ve added an interactive completion widget to make completing your profile easy, which will help you connect and build your research network. Adding your photo, research interests and institution makes your account more personal and discoverable. Moreover, if you add your publications, your Mendeley readership statistics will be displayed. In the future, we will be including more impact metrics to help showcase your work.

Plus, the responsive design gives all users a superior viewing experience, regardless of which device they are using.

The new profile pages are part of a bigger project to make your profiles more visible to the wider research community. Over the next year, we will be improving the dashboard and feed features to bring you more relevant information and recommendations.

We will also tighten integration with Scopus and other Elsevier products to bring in more data and automation. This means less work to build and maintain your profile, and the ability to showcase your other professional activities on your page!

We are currently working to improve further features of the new profile pages, including making all CV sections editable again, making follower/following lists available, and adding a “Save to Mendeley” button for individual publications as a more direct option to importing articles to your library.

As always, feel free to get in contact with us any time, we would love to hear your feedback as it will drive further improvements and keep our developers slogging away for your benefit.

Win some goodies, courtesy of Mendeley and Pint of Science. Cheers!

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The amazing and international Pint of Science festival will begin in just 10 days time! To celebrate this exciting event, we are launching not one, but two competitions to win a bunch of Mendeley and Pint of Science goodies!


Did you put too much detergent in your washing machine, are you visiting a science museum, or do you work in a lab? From now until the end of the festival, tweet us your photos showing us where science shows up in your world. We will chose the three best entries and winners will be announced at 4pm (BST) on Tuesday May 26th from submissions containing #pint15selfie and @mendeley_com. Winners will be announced on the Mendeley Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have a burning science question or were you unable to attend the Pint of Science events? Send us your science questions and we will get them answered by our panel of Pint of Science experts! Three winning questions will be selected from submissions containing #pint15Q and @mendeley_com, based on the interesting and thought-provoking nature of the question and/or the creative way in which the question is posed (written, photographic or video). Submission deadline is midnight (BST) on May 31st 2015. Winning questions will be collected and answers published in a Mendeley blog post by the end of June 2015. Winners will be announced on the Mendeley Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Changes to the Elsevier manuscript sharing policy: how they affect Mendeley & you

On April 30th, Elsevier updated its policies regarding how Elsevier papers may be used to more closely align with the STM Association principles and to address usage on social networks, which have become popular since the last time the policy was updated (yeah, it was that old!) For Mendeley and other sites on which research is shared, the main thing is that there are fewer restrictions on what sorts of use are permitted, but we also get some technical help with a new article tagging proposal.

What it means for a Mendeley user

The day-to-day experience of a researcher using Mendeley won’t change. We plan to use the new machine-readable information in the PDFs to improve our catalog search, recommendation features, and article-level information available via the Mendeley API. We would also like to encourage researchers to add the new author manuscripts to their researcher profiles.

While we continue to dream of and work towards a world where all research is available to anyone without restriction, this is a welcome step forward. At Mendeley, we worked closely with Elsevier to ensure these changes help the whole scholarly communications ecosystem – researchers, publishers, librarians, and developers of new technology – and found Elsevier a willing and forthcoming partner in our work to meet the changing needs of of researchers. For any new startups that have bold new ideas about how to make research better, get in touch with Alicia or Alexandra – they don’t bite!

What we like about the policy

  • We like that the policy is much simpler to understand. The old policy was complicated and had all sorts of exceptions. Simpler policies allow us to provide a better user experience.
  • We like that the policy is not too prescriptive re: sharing platforms. The online world changes rapidly and it’s good that Elsevier is signaling willingness to work with existing sites and whatever YikYak-for-research might be yet to come.
  • We like that author manuscripts have a CC license applied. This helps remove the uncertainty about reuse permissions.
  • We like that the policy isn’t just words – a proposed new standard for article tagging, to be developed in collaboration with sharing platforms and other publishers, will make it easier for us to build advanced search and discovery features, as well as to provide better article usage stats to Scopus,, Plum Analytics, etc. Importantly for stats, the machine-readable tags will now include information such as article license & document version.

The above changes aren’t just good for us, they’re good for everyone – Mendeley user or not. We understand that researchers need a range of tools and services to support their work, so we worked hard to ensure these changes help the whole scholarly communications ecosystem – researchers, publishers, librarians, and developers of new technology. Of course, we’re on the progressive end of things at Mendeley, so there are some parts of the policy we don’t feel goes far enough.

What we don’t like about the policy

  • The author manuscript embargo. We believe that libraries and researchers will still value the permanently archived, DOI-linked, more readable and fully-citable version of record, regardless of the prevalence of author manuscripts. We’re not alone in our dislike of this, either. Harnad and Kevin Smith single this out as the main issue. Here’s the thing – it’s entirely reasonable for Elsevier to worry that IR copies might end up substituting for publisher copies. If librarians and researchers do actually value the permanently archived, DOI-linked, and variously enhanced version of record, you need to make your voices heard on this so that we can get policies based on evidence and demand, not worry and risk projections.
  • The NC-ND bit of the Creative Commons license on author manuscripts. The NC license will create confusion about use of the work in academic settings and the ND license will cause uncertainty in applications such as text-mining. For what it’s worth, we have been told the license isn’t intended to restrict use in classrooms or text mining.
  • The distinction between commercial and non-commercial sites. We don’t like that for-profit enterprise is singled out as if we’re somehow more risky to partner with. Mendeley reached out to Academia, ScienceScape, MyScienceWork, Pubchase, Sparrho and others for guidance as we worked with Elsevier, and their feedback has helped shape the policy. We would therefore like to suggest that the disdain we sometimes encounter within academia for for-profit enterprise is misplaced.
  • Overall, we think the positives outweigh the negatives. Though there’s bound to be some cases where one particular part of the policy has an outsized and unforeseen effect – this is inevitable when trying to restrict use of digital content – they are not presenting this policy as cast-iron and immutable for the next decade, so please let them know if some part of the policy is really ill-suited to your particular application.

    There’s one other thing we’d like to mention. It’ll do no good if this overture from Elsevier is ignored or repudiated, so we’d also like to suggest that criticism of the policy be done with a fresh set of eyes. We’re not suggesting that the past be forgotten and we’re certainly no stranger to grand-standing and revolutionary rhetoric, but we also think good behavior should be rewarded if there is to be more of it. Embargo aside, this does lift the burden somewhat on those trying to innovate in the scholarly communications space, so that’s why it is, on balance, a positive step forward in our eyes.