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.