Manuel Armenta, Wendy Perez Diaz, and Sinhue Rodriguez on the campus of Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, México
We decided to do something a little different this time–our first Advisor of the Month story featuring a group of Advisors from a single institution. Since the 2021 LATAM North “Elsevier Live” webinar series where we presented the Mendeley Advisor program, we’ve been hearing more from Advisors in the region. Among them are three from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP), who share Mendeley know-how by organizing events within UASLP’s large library system. Advisors Manuel Armenta, Sinhué Rodríguez, and Wendy Pérez Díaz spoke with us about their experiences and inspiration. Each works in a different division within the libraries at UASLP. Manuel supports research and user training at the Information Center for Science, Technology and Design; Sinhué is a Librarian Documentalist at the Information Center for Humanities, Library Science and Psychology, and Wendy works as a Librarian in the central Library Services office.
What attracted you to UASLP?
Manuel appreciated “the large university community, opportunities for research collaboration and cultural outreach,” while Sinhué says that “it is one of the best universities in Mexico and has beautiful libraries.” Wendy describes the UASLP library system as “the best place to develop professionally and personally.” She added that the university “is a national reference, and the library system is one of its particular strengths.”
How did you become interested in your field?
Wendy’s interest grew out of a broad curiosity, “a need to have answers to questions. There is a lot of work to be done and a very wide field to be explored.” Sinhué highlighted interacting with people, noting he likes working “with PhD students and researchers and assessing their information needs.” Manuel discovered his interest by accident. “I was looking at another area, but the course was changed to focus on reference managers.” He appreciates being able to “propose ideas, to look for solutions that can benefit all who need information for their research.”
How long have you been using Mendeley? What’s the most important thing about Mendeley that people should know?
All three have used Mendeley for eight or more years and highlighted its flexibility and accessibility. Manuel notes that Mendeley’s “free” access is the main thing. Many people he has worked with “think it is necessary to invest money to be able to cite and manage references. When you talk to them about the qualities and wonders within Mendeley and tell them that it is free, they are surprised and excited.” He also appreciates how Mendeley is “in constant growth and adaptation for the benefit of research.”
Wendy emphasized how Mendeley allows researchers “to organize their information in a smart, dynamic and professional way.” For Sinhué, who previously had been managing references and citations manually, it’s the ease of creating citations and bibliography and the flexibility to change the citation style automatically that are Mendeley’s most important strengths.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
Wendy joined to “teach Mendeley to the university community of researchers and share…experience with Mendeley Reference Manager.” Sinhué finds the Advisor program supports him in offering a higher quality of service to users, as does Manuel: “I worked with researchers and academics who struggled with citations and references, managing their documents…and finding information was a problem. I had knowledge of Mendeley and wanted to share it with more people, so when I saw the opportunity to join, I did not hesitate.”
Is there a researcher you admire (dead or alive) that you would like to work with or meet, and why?
Wendy appreciates Dr. Lourdes Feria “for being a librarian who inspires and motivates colleagues to generate research.” Sinhué admires medical technology and innovation researcher Samuel Kolosovas, who he has known since childhood, “because of his superb analysis of power and the relationships and dependencies it creates in individuals.”
A researcher Manuel would have liked to meet is Rui Pérez Tamayo, “a Mexican pathologist and immunologist, researcher, science popularizer and academic. I liked very much how he expressed himself about science, his contributions, how he saw the future – and how directly and indirectly everyone contributes to science.”
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
Manuel participated in a “Design thinking” collaboration “to find solutions for problems in our university community. Incredible as it may seem [after] 7 years inside the institution, we have realized that we are really far from knowing. We are excited about the idea of looking for possible solutions to the most frequent problems.”
Wendy’s insight is “the importance of shared knowledge, and the fact that there are new things to learn every day.”
Can you recommend a “good read?”
As you might expect, these Advisors have diverse reading and listening interests. Manuel “would always recommend the series of ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ by the author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. “There is no age limit, there is no reading order, you are immersed in the reading from beginning to end.” Sinhué suggested George Orwell’s “1984” and Wendy likes the podcast “Creative,” “because they talk with outstanding creative people from different industries to learn a little about their way of seeing life.”
What is the best part about working in research?
For Sinhué, it’s that you can “learn about many topics and interact with knowledgeable people,” while Manuel points to both the cross-disciplinary aspects and the opportunities for “collaboration, and freedom to share knowledge.” Wendy also appreciates “sharing new knowledge” and being able to contribute to the larger community.
And the most challenging part about working in research?
Both Wendy and Manuel identified the time investment necessary for the process of scientific research, while Sinhué mentioned the challenge of trying to understand researcher’s needs.
What advice would you give to young researchers?
Manuel advises that “they love their discipline” and feel encouraged to further the research in their field. Wendy suggests that they see the generation of new knowledge as contributing to the community. But Sinhué offers perhaps the most important piece of advice: “Approach the librarian. They can help you.”
You can follow these Mendeley Advisors on LinkedIn:
Manuel Armenta: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manuel-de-jesús-armenta-martínez-1ba3735a/
Wendy Pérez Diaz:https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-ariadna-d%C3%ADaz-997a8823b/
Interested in the Mendeley Advisor program? Visit https://www.mendeley.com/advisor-community to learn more.