Here at Mendeley Headquarters, we love to hear back from our users – especially when they have a good experience using Mendeley.
Today’s guest blog post comes from Dr Eloi Pineda (Professor Agregat, Departament de Física i Enginyeria Nuclear, Escola Superior d’Agricultura de Barcelona (ESAB), Spain). Dr Pineda tells us how he uses Mendeley to make his work easier, and how he shares this resource with his students.
I strongly encourage my students, undergraduates as well as graduates, to use Mendeley for organising their bibliographic references and writing perfect bibliographies on their assignments. This is something we usually do with the Library support: a librarian comes to our classroom at the beginning of the term and shows students the basics of Mendeley: creating an account, downloading desktop version, installing the web importer at their browser, etc… I suggest them to download the recommended reading list for my subject Biomaterials in the Biosystems and Agri-Food Engineering degrees. I ask students to work in groups so they have to create new groups on Mendeley and share references with their classmates. Each group works accordingly with different aspects of the Biomaterials course: Classes and properties of materials, characterization techniques, synthesis methods and applications. The recommended reading list is uploaded on the online campus application and linked straight to the library catalogue, from where they can export the references to Mendeley. Feedback about the exercise is so positive and they really like the drag & drop documents from their computers.
After that, I invite students to look for some academic papers such as journal articles or conference proceedings from Google Scholar and ask them to download some full text files if there are no copyright infringements on doing it. They begin the work in group exercise: they must read an article and they must work with it, this means underlining it, making notes, sharing the information with their team-mates and, of course, deliver a bibliography with the references they collected from Google Scholar.
It’s a simple exercise, but accomplishes a very first step that we, the library and the professors want: be aware that all the information you use has to be cited in order to acknowledge the deserved credit to authors. It shows students what it’s going to be the learning process at the university: look for some information, in this case Google Scholar, select relevant documents, save them in Mendeley and cite them in a bibliography, and it also anticipates the first step towards how to write a scholarly record.
In the case of graduate students, who are more used to bibliographic software as we researchers are, they appreciate not only the friendly interface that to me distinguishes Mendeley from other applications, but also the social network interaction. Adding friends, and posting on the dashboard is something they really like and use it to advice on the documents related to their areas of interest. They also like to follow colleagues from other departments working in the same topics. I think this social dimension of science is really interesting. Graduate students work with multiple databases and it is so easy to collect references from different sources and put them together in Mendeley.
From my perspective as a researcher what I have seen is how broadly Mendeley has been adopted within the scholars’ community. I can create groups and share references with my peers around the world. I treasure the openness spirit that runs Mendeley meaning that it is able to accommodate new services for researchers, i.e. integrations with service providers and also with ORCID, the Open Reseacher and Contributor ID.
I’m thrilled to see how Mendeley is simplifying my life.
If you’d like to write a guest blog post about your experiences with Mendely, please contact the Mendeley Community Team.