We Mendeleyan, like hearing the great stories of our users. Today’s post comes from a very special user – Katja Kraemer: a researcher who was also a Mendeleyan for a while, meaning she knows Mendeley inside and out!
Here, Katja tells us about her Mendeley journey and the night she was finalising here thesis.
Thursday, 8th of January, sometime when between 10 p.m. and midnight: To me, this Thursday evening will always be special, because it was the first time I realized that my PhD journey has almost come to an end! I was sitting in front of my laptop and one click away to export my thesis from Mendeley, which meant I could no longer edit and actively insert any citation, but start with the fine-tuning of the thesis.
However, this was also a moment of me thinking about the value of Mendeley. To me as researcher, Mendeley means an easy and efficient way to identify, collect and share knowledge. For each single research conversation I am contributing from and to, I am able to create folders with the relevant papers. I can add comments, sort them, and within these folders (some are now more than five years old), I am able to identify newly emerging topics and research gaps. The folders grew over the years and each of them is precious to me! I can easily start a research project and invite colleagues to groups that contain my folder content and I can also be invited to the folders of my colleagues. We are so much faster in starting a research project than about five years ago, because we do not necessarily have to collect a bunch of relevant literature anymore – because we already have it in our Mendeley collections.
At the Chair of Information Systems I in Nuremberg, where I carried out my PhD, we organized introductory sessions to Mendeley for our bachelor students at the beginning of the courses as they are just about to start with the analysis of scientific papers. Moreover, my colleagues and I always encourage students to dive deep into scientific conversations, when they have to write their bachelor or master thesis. In this way, Mendeley further enables us to ease the way for these students by sharing an initial set of papers with them.
On that Thursday evening I was also thinking about the steps before my time as research associate. When I was a business administration student, I got a job offer as a student research assistant at the Chair of Information Systems I in Nuremberg. I supported a group of researchers that dealt with a new phenomenon, which they called Social Research Network Sites (SRNS), Web 2.0 services for researchers. I supported the research activities about such sites and used one of those sites for organizing our research activities – Mendeley, the most innovative and useful tool in the eyes of my supervisors. During that time, I finished my studies, was interested in research, and somehow wanted to go abroad. Since I was doing research about Mendeley, using Mendeley, I thought “hey, why not applying for a job at Mendeley?” Five weeks later, in May 2010, I joined Mendeley! Now, while writing these lines, I am still fascinated by how fast researchers get used to services like Mendeley. I can hardly imagine working without Mendeley anymore.
Back in 2010, I met a young and dynamic Mendeley team. Every single team member was so enthusiastic and hands-on in their work attitude, helping each other in building and improving the tool. The team consisted of so many nationalities from Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, South Korea, and many more. Even though I was only a Mendeleyan for a very short time, I learned so many things and got to known so many great and special people – people that I am still in contact with. This network, and my Mendeley experiences, help me now as Post-Doc at the University of Lübeck, where I work at the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Business Development. As researcher I am more than grateful for the work of the Mendeley team and the service they offer!
So you see, quite a few thoughts for a Thursday evening in mid January 2015. However, there is one last thought, that came to my mind on that Thursday evening right before I clicked on the export-button: when I left, the Mendeleyans Kris and James, who are both PhDs, gave me the advice to go for a research gap that fascinates me, a topic which I can live with for a couple of years. In 2010, I thought “Ok, whatever that means.” In 2015, I thought “Oh man, how absolutely right they have been!”
If you’d like to write a guest blog post about your experiences with Mendely, please contact the Mendeley Community Team.