APImas

Mendeley Data API launched!

Just over a month ago at the Mendeley Open Day, we launched Mendeley Data, and the number one requested feature has been to allow people to create and retrieve datasets via an API.

APImas

In the spirit of this festive season, we’re offering the community a gift – now you can use a REST API to create, manage, publish and find datasets. This means anyone can integrate it with their Apps and tools. In fact the Mendeley Data website is entirely powered by the API, which means that you have access to the same API capabilities that we use to develop our web app.

If you’re interested in working with datasets via our API, you can read our documentation here. If you’re new to the Mendeley API, you can get started by visiting our developer website, where you will find information about the API including authentication, documentation and examples.

But wait, we’ve got one more festive present for you! An early adopter of the Mendeley Data API is Hivebench. Hivebench is a digital lab notebook (DLN), which helps to plan and run experiments. Thanks to the Mendeley Data API, any data or observations can easily be shared to Mendeley Data from the Mac, iPhone and iPad apps.

Hivebench logo

 

This post can also be found on our Mendeley API blog feed – so head over there for more API news and updates

We’re excited to see what you will make with our API. If you have any questions, or have created something cool, let us know at api-support@mendeley.com or on Twitter.

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"Changing the way we do research, Thirty-five at a time!" – Olayinka Fatoki on sharing Mendeley in Nigeria

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Mendeley has a vision: to change the the way we do research, for all researchers!

Today’s guest blog post comes from Olayinka Fatoki, who works in Information Science at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Olayinka tells us how she is sharing Mendeley with researchers and shares some of the feedback she’s received after her workshops.

In March 2014, I was in a training room during the TEEAL/AGORA workshop at the Kenneth Dike Library of the University of Ibadan, when I first heard of Mendeley. The facilitator took a group of researchers and librarians through a session on using the reference manager to organize citations and manage their references. I was fascinated by the power of this tool and the electrifying applause from the participants at the end of the session.

Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) through partnerships with institutions in Nigeria organizes 3-day workshops which highlights Research4Life programmes, The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL) and Reference Management software, Mendeley. As the Training and Outreach Officer for ITOCA in Nigeria, the responsibility of delivering training sessions on Mendeley soon fell on me and so I had to learn expressly and became conversant with the application. Mendeley is easy to learn and use especially with the different user guides available. At each of the TEEAL/AGORA workshops, with at least thirty-five participants, I have discovered more about Mendeley features and the saving grace it brings to researchers.

As a researcher myself, I use Mendeley for my work and have also organized training for PHD students, and lecturers in my faculty. Fifteen workshops and several training sessions down the line, I am always very happy to see the relief, excitement and brightened up faces after each Mendeley session.

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TEEAL/AGORA Training-of-Trainers Workshop at the BABCOCK University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria which took place between 27-29 October, 2015

Some of the testimonies shared by participants at the end of different Mendeley training sessions are as follows:

I think Mendeley is great. The fact that a search and reference tool like this exists beats my imagination. It’s great for research.

I have had Mendeley for six years but I have just discovered it is a unique program, that I am able to download and keep my download in it as a backup for my work is unique. It is an essential tool for me as a researcher.

Mendeley experience has opened a novel pathway for literature search, archiving and retrieval. Thus making research reporting easy and fun. Thanks to the MENDELEY TEAM!

Excellent tool for management of references. How I wish I could have been introduced to this immediately I enrolled for my postgraduate study. It will definitely help and boost my writing.

Mendeley is the best thing that happened to me in the world of referencing. I simply love it!

It gets better when participants from these workshops send in exciting stories about how they have been sharing the knowledge about Mendeley with friends and colleagues. Gradually and steadily, as more and more researchers and librarians learn about Mendeley, the way we do research indeed is changing – Thanks to Mendeley!

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How a PhD prize is supporting chemistry’s bright young stars

By David Evans, Scientific Affairs Director at Reed Elsevier Properties SA

The fuel efficiency of our cars depends on the relative reactivity of the hydrocarbons in the fuel; in 2013 a PhD student published a paper describing a new material that can filter out the molecules that make our cars less efficient. A year later, a different PhD student published work that makes it possible to watch the tiny structures inside cells moving around in real-time, using a microscope.

Rising chemistry stars like these will be tomorrow’s leading scientists, developing solutions to many of the problems we face today. Recognizing their work and supporting their careers is vital, and that’s exactly what the Reaxys PhD Prize is for. The best known and respected of its kind, the Prize has attracted almost 2500 submissions from more than 400 universities in its six-year history.

Every year, 45 finalists are selected out of hundreds of submissions from chemistry PhD candidates and researchers who have recently been awarded their PhD, in a process managed by a review committee of renowned chemists. The finalists represent the world’s best young chemists, and their work is showcased at an annual Symposium.

Submissions are now open for the 2016 PhD Prize, and we’re preparing to see even more outstanding and impactful research this year.

Celebrating success
Imagine you’re just finishing your chemistry PhD and you’re standing at the foot of your career, wondering how you’ll be able to scale the mountain. You’ve done some really cutting-edge work already, but you have even bigger ideas. Now you need people to bounce them around with and a mentor to guide you.

The Reaxys PhD Prize gives exceptional young researchers a leg-up, helping them scale the difficult first part of their career and supporting them with lifetime benefits.

The two PhD students mentioned at the start of this article are previous PhD Prize winners and are now two of almost 300 members of an elite group – the Reaxys Prize Club. Each year the 45 new finalists are welcomed into the Prize Club, giving them the chance to network with some of the world’s best chemists.

The PhD Prize has been running since 2010, hence, Club members now hold a variety of positions in academia and industry, giving incoming members a great opportunity to find mentors and collaborators. Over 50 members are now in their first independent academic positions.

How it works
The 2016 PhD Prize is open to those who are in a chemistry PhD program or have completed their PhD after 1 January 2015, and who have published a peer-reviewed paper during their PhD. They apply online with their peer-reviewed paper, along with a CV (resume) and a letter of recommendation from their PhD supervisor.

Submissions are open until 8 February 2016, after this the review process will start, and once completed the review committee will select the 45 finalists. All 45 finalists automatically become members of the Reaxys Prize Club and a host of other benefits, including unlimited personal access to Reaxys and Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry and discounts on Elsevier Chemistry books and scientific conferences.

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All the finalists are invited to attend the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium. Before the symposium, the review committee will publish a shortlist of applicants. At the Symposium, all the finalists will present their research at a poster session, and the shortlisted candidates will give oral presentations. The three winners will be chosen after the oral presentations and will each be awarded a cheque for $2000.

Are you up for the challenge? We are looking forward to seeing the exciting new research being done by today’s rising stars and to welcoming a new wave of members to the Reaxys Prize Club.

To stay updated on the finalists, shortlisted candidates and the winners, visit the PhD Prize website.

Why Campaign for Women in STEM?

In June 2015, Sir Tim Hunt was reviled for being perceived to be in favour of gender-segregated labs on the grounds that ‘girls’ cause men to fall in love with them, and cry when criticized. His comment, whether or not it reflected his actual opinion, cost the Nobel Prize winner his honorary professorship at UCL, and his position on the Royal Society’s Biological Sciences Awards Committee. More recently online, The Review argued that campaigning for women in STEM was unnecessary. Gender gaps in different professions, the editorial contends, can often be a matter of biology. Gender is a factor in determining why we study what we study, and blindly incentivizing students to pursue STEM subjects may distort the job market in the longer term.

But what we’re increasingly seeing is that failing to encourage women to pursue these careers can be equally damaging to the job market. In the short term the UK could find itself in the position of Australia, struggling to address the 600,000 strong STEM skills shortage. On a broader scale, a report released by the European Commission in 2013 estimated that if as many women as men worked in ICT, European GDP would be boosted annually by around €9 billion – therefore showing that failing to attract, and retain, women in this sector has negative consequences for the entire economy. In terms of the advancement of science, the research community could have missed out on the talents of Dr Sarah Noble, featured last week on the blog, Christina Richey, Planetary Science Division Program Officer at NASA, Liu Yang, pilot and astronaut who became the first Chinese woman in space, Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, selected as the next director general of CERN, Maryam Mirzakhani, who won the Fields medal in 2014, and so many more.  

The science community might also have missed out on the work of Professor Lucy Carpenter, this year’s winner of the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, which was celebrated yesterday as part of the Royal Society’s Anniversary Day. Professor Carpenter specializes in atmospheric chemistry, studying the controls and mechanisms responsible for the release of a wide range of oceanic gases, many at concentrations around a trillionth of nitrogen and oxygen (hence named ‘trace gases’). This type of research is vital to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, how it affects our health and climate, and how our atmosphere responds to natural and human activities. Above all, Professor Lucy Carpenter was chosen for this award not only for the outstanding quality of her work, but also for her suitability as a role model and her project proposal to promote women in STEM.

The award is named after Rosalind Elsie Franklin, the English chemist who immensely contributed to our current understanding of the structure of DNA. The controversy surrounding the amount of credit due to Franklin continues and was brought to light most recently in Nicole Kidman’s depiction of her in a West End production.

What is certain, however, is that her meaningful work in learning about the structure of DNA was never publicly rewarded: she was beaten to the publication of her X-Ray photographs of DNA and work on the DNA structure in part because of her frictions with Maurice Wilkins. Later, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962 was awarded jointly to Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.

Photo 51: X-ray diffraction image of DNA obtained by Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling in 1952. The pattern triggered the idea that two strands of DNA ran in opposite directions, forming a helix.

Without doubt, this helps to highlight the importance of awards and schemes, such as those championed by the Royal Society, in supporting the development of female scientists, recognising their achievements and instilling them with the confidence to pursue lines of research that could lead to the next major scientific breakthrough.