Advisor of the month: Serge Kameni Leugoue

Editor’s note:  Serge helped welcome our 10,000th Advisor-generated user of 2019 in early June.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I am involved in animal sciences, particularly animal reproduction research. I came across this research field because of my will to improve livestock practice in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in Cameroon. As a matter of fact, livestock remains labour intensive, leading to poor yield and subsequent insufficiency in protein availability on market regardless of the hard work of farmers. Furthermore, they solely rely on natural mating which limits their profits. Despite being on increasing pressure to farm as cost effective as possible, and taking into account the rapid increasing of population, producers are facing a critical challenge which on my view can be tackled using assisted reproductive techniques. My background is biology, indeed I obtained my bachelor with a major in animal physiology at the University of Dschang, Cameroon. I started a master’s in plant pharmacology, but I rapidly switched to animal sciences and I moved to South Africa, to the University of Stellenbosch where I have refined my knowledge and lab practice in animal sciences close to Dr. Helet Lambretchs who gave me, in collaboration with Dr. Gilbert Ateufack from the University of Dschang, the opportunity to be part of the amazing voyage to the unknown reality that science allows to illuminate. I am a PhD student in animal sciences at the University of Dschang, Cameroon and my research project focuses on small ruminant’s assisted reproduction. Currently, I am on a research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, where we are working on the development of biodegradable food packaging.

Where do you do your research?

The research I am involved in requires me to be outside for sample collection and to be in the lab for analysis. I am at my ease in both sites, but I generally prefer to be outside because I can browse and appreciate the beautiful landscapes of Africa in miniature – Cameroon and breathe some fresh air.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I have been on Mendeley since 2015. Indeed, I was introduced to the software at the beginning of my master studies in South Africa by the librarian in charge of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch and have used it ever since. I want to say thanks again to Yusuf, the librarian, it has been of great help and it’s still the case.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

Before Mendeley, I was using the MS Word reference. Of course, it wasn’t that efficient. I remembered one day that my system crashed, I lost all my resources and I had to rebuild it from the beginning.

Mendeley has drastically changed my research, now I am safe from losing my resources, I can access them anytime and anywhere, and I receive consistent suggestions of research papers – no need to browse the whole internet to stay updated. In addition, I can connect with others, find careers and funding opportunities.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I am part of those who believe that right tools should be shared with others. For me, Mendeley is one of these excellent tools, that is the reason why I decided to become an Advisor and assist others to be more efficient by optimizing their research work with Mendeley.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

Tu Youyou. She is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel Prize in 2015 for her work in creating an anti-malaria drug that saved millions of lives in Asia and Africa. She relied on traditional Chinese medicine in her discovery of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, which have helped significantly improve the health of people living in tropical climates. She made me think of the year I worked in plant pharmacology.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Recently, I attended a training course in France where we discussed cell culture and of course Hela cells. I then dug a bit about the origin of those cells and I found that they were derived from the cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks. The title of this book is just fascinating “immortal life” it effectively highlights how we have been moved forward with research – opening novel perspectives.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Life is really an adventure and should not be taken as a long and calm stream. Whatever the challenge you meet, keep going, you won’t win anytime but do your best.

What is the best part about working in research?

Without hesitation, being at the forefront of pushing the world forward by trying to improve living conditions, bringing your own stone to the big building.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Patience, nowadays being patient is not that a shared value, especially when working in a team, yet research that produce actionable results requires time, thus patience.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have? 

Being able to import the resources straight to the appropriate folder of the library using the web plugin. It’s really time saving as you can import and tidy up everything at once. I think also being able to share your unpublished data is an important point as generally most of the research is not published, but at least you can share it with others.

Serge’s Biography :

I obtained my High School certificate with a major in mathematics and physics and I then jumped in to university where I received my Bachelor Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of Dschang, Cameroon in 2011. I received my Postgraduate Diploma in 2012 and I moved to the University of Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa for a one-year research stay. Back in Cameroon, I completed my MSc in 2015 in the same field as my bachelor. While being a full-time PhD student at the University Dschang in Cameroon, I am currently on a 6-month research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.

I am a member of the Cameroon Forum for Biological Sciences (CAFOBIOS).

I am a Mendeley Advisor!!!

I share a special interest for environment protection, so I am involved in several NGOs as United voices to Serve Forests and Environment (USFE) International, which is an organization that design and implement actions towards environment preservation.

I am an amateur chess player.

 

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here

Advisor of the Month: Gustavo Bernardi Pereira, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

Since my childhood, I have been passionate about learning how things work as well as any quirky stuff I can find. Because of this “quirky stuff” side, I ended up starting a bachelor in physics and maths. However, something was missing… the “how things work” side. So, I decided to change my degree to Industrial Engineering at Federal University of Parana.

In the meantime, I got a scholarship to study MEng. Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Warwick. Back to the quirky stuff… my project was called “Manufacture of functional polymer-composite materials for electromagnetic applications by extrusion”. Even though it was a challenging project, my supervisor at the time suggested I use a reference manager called “Mendeley”. As most of the students, I did not pay enough attention to her and made it without using it.

Back in Brazil I began a Masters in Process Mining. As soon as I started studying it, I realized that working only on the research itself would consume much more energy than I expected (as you often have to redo your work). At this point I decided to optimize my research process. And I decided to follow my former supervisor’s advice and start using Mendeley.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Usually I like to balance two environments: loud and talkative (to generate the ideas) and quiet and surrounded by nature (to organise the ideas).

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I first heard about it in 2013. However, it was only in 2016 I started exploring its features and using them effectively.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I used to have a notepad file with a list of references, which I pasted in to the document at the end. When I found out what Mendeley could do for my research, I must confess I was bit sceptical in the beginning. As I started using it, the intuitive environment changed my mind and now I am very comfortable about swapping my notepad to Mendeley.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

Seeing my Master’s peers struggling to finish a 6 page assignment because of the references brought my attention to simple problems around me. So I became an Advisor and since then I have been holding teaching sessions for many groups in the university.

Which researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

Leonardo da Vinci is one researcher I would like to meet and work with. Possibly because of his broad range of skills in different areas.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. The book talks about how decisions you assume are being made rationally sometimes are not really something you have a choice about.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Well… some people say it is possible to use a biological virus to improve computing power hahaha https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsanm.8b01508

What is the best part about working in research?

Having your research used by someone else (to help someone, not to have citations) is the best part.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

Dealing with egos, in my humble opinion, is the biggest challenge we have been facing in science as it jeopardises both the speed and the environment in which the research is made.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Unless your notepad file still can solve your problems, use Mendeley…. for the greater good.

 

Follow Gustavo on Mendeley

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Advisor of the Month: Robin Pertz; science librarian, NASA Glenn Research Center

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I started at a library in Gahanna, Ohio (Columbus Metropolitan Library) as a homework help center coordinator. As a former middle school science teacher seeking a new venue for my talents it was the library where my passion for teaching and my enthusiasm for learning collided. It was there I was encouraged to go to grad school where I earned my MLIS from Kent State. During my last semester at KSU I was assigned a project in which I interviewed the manager of the library at NASA Glenn. In a twist of fate, I was asked to complete my practicum, a culminating experience at a place I pined over as a child growing up in the Cleveland area. NASA was always a dream of mine. So it happened that a position became open while I was there and one thing led to another, the rest is history! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I’d be the science librarian at NASA.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

My best work is done in the morning, outside of my building at a picnic table. With the sound of wind tunnels and jet engines in the background with a cup of tea out of my NASA mug is when I’m doing my best work!

How long have you used Mendeley for? 

I have been on Mendeley since January 2017, I was actually the first person to “graduate” from the librarian certification program!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I was using NOTHING! Mendeley helps me save time and lean my research process. Saving me time, therefore saving the government time!

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

I guess it goes back to the need for teaching and learning. You can take a teacher out of a classroom but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher. I host all of our Mendeley demos here at our lab and encourage folks to lean their research process as well!

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

After having been afforded the opportunity to have lunch with legend astronauts and personal heroes like Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Walt Cunningham, and Frank Borman…I cannot answer this question. I’ve already met some of the most wonderful humans that ever walked this earth and who have been to space.

 What book are you reading at the moment?

Secret time. I’m the librarian that doesn’t read as much as “most” librarians. I go through so much research everyday all day long that by the end of the day I’d rather go to the gym, go for a walk or work in the garden.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

That someone actually wants to play football for the Cleveland Browns. Welcome to Cleveland OBJ.

What is the best part about working in research?

Seeing things grow from the ground up. I’ll get a research request, 8 months later see NEW research published that used the research that I found and culled together months ago!

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The misconception that I know everything that NASA publishes because I’m the librarian. (a humorous challenge)

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?

Using the “search” feature to find research that spans across multiple disciplines of research that I’ve saved over the years. That is usually my starting point to a new research project.

Biography

Robin grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Always wanting to be a teacher she ventured to central Ohio for her undergraduate degree in middle childhood education. While in college she was a supervisor of summer day camps for kids. After college graduation she stuck around central Ohio and was teaching until finding her love of libraries with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It was there where she was encouraged to attend grad school where she could advance her career and passion for libraries and learning. Fate would have it that she landed an experience at the NASA Glenn Research Center where all her passions would collide into the perfect dream job! As the science librarian for one of 3 research centers that NASA has, her day to day is filled with many typical librarian tasks like cataloging, collection maintenance, promotion and outreach as well as citation verification, in depth research and reference. Robin also hosts various demos and workshops for the NASA Glenn staff of 1,500. As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Moon landing and the 60th anniversary of the Agency she hopes to be around to see many more anniversaries in the future and not for one moment takes for granted the esteem that comes for working with someone of the brightest people and most iconic Agencies in the world.

You can follow Robin’s Mendeley profile here

Shameless plugs…

https://www.instagram.com/tv/BlT1z7PghHU/

Follow me on twitter @glennlibrary

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Find out more about the Mendeley Advisor Community here

Mendeley advisor of the month: Eko Sumartono, SP., M.Sc

Eko

Eko Sumartono is a researcher at the Department of Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bengkulu. Eko was born to a family of teachers and farmers: “Our life was very simple at that time. I was born in a city full of history, and a long coastal area, namely Bengkulu, Indonesia. Beginning in 1999, I migrated to the City of Education in Java, namely the Special Region of Yogyakarta. From this city I know a lot of variety and knowledge. I continued with the College in one of the Agribusiness Study Programs, Faculty of Agriculture, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta. It took me four years to graduate with a good title of GPA 3.26. As long as I go to school in Yogyakarta, with a hobby in agriculture, I manage a small shop by peddling modern-style dishes. Furthermore, I also work part-time by managing the menu of agricultural products to be healthy and inexpensive food for other students.”
Eko completed a Masters of Agribusiness Management (on Tobacco Research) at Gadjah Mada University, and in 2015 he took his existing theoretical and practical knowledge and started teaching in one of the Agribusiness Programs in the Department of Social Economics, University of Bengkulu. “Mendeley really helps me, and I can transmit the benefits and functions of this Mendeley tool in order to progress my research with friends of research collaboration in Indonesia and abroad.”

What motivates you in your work?

“I found that one of the visions of the university where I work is to become a world-class university in 2025, so my way to improve the knowledge and standard of living of others is by providing the best convenience for them to share my knowledge. This is what calls me to be a part of it by using Mendeley tools. I believe that our country needs a better place for its citizens. Through this role, I can be part of this very valuable mission.

What sort of work environment suits you best?

“I used to work in several types of work environment, and I enjoyed new things from each of these conditions. I can say that actually I don’t have a particular preference about the work environment. I just like working with people who are highly committed to doing extraordinary things and have responsibility for their work.”

What’s been your experience of using Mendeley?

“I learned about Mendeley just six months ago with friends at Indonesian Journal Volunteers. At that time I was taught to use these tools by Supriyono, M.Sc and then I learned from various friends until I also had to study and I also had to pass on a little knowledge that I had.”

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

“Researchers who have the concept of the future and life without looking back from the background.”

What book are you reading at the moment?

“”The Earth of Mankind”. In this book, Minke also experienced an inner conflict about his views on education and its influence in changing human degrees. Interestingly, this book combines Indonesian history and romance that is integrated in a harmonious story.”

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

“Learning to share time is all important, and sharing is beautiful.”

 

You can find out more about Mendeley at www.mendeley.com

Mendeley advisor of the month: Eric Kunto

Eric Kunto Aribowo is an Assistant Professor in Sociolinguistics at the Universitas Widya Dharma Klaten (Indonesia). His research highlights the language phenomenon of Arab descendants in Indonesia. Between 2016—2018, he received research grants from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. His last three publications are Disparity of the Arabic name: the spotlight on children of endogamous and exogamous marriages among Hadrami-Arabs in Indonesia, Arabic, Islamic, and Economy Linking: Onomastics on Business Name of People of Arab Descent in Indonesia, Trends in Naming System on Javanese Society: A Shift From Javanese to Arabic.

Later Eric Kunto Aribowo pursued open science and became involved as a Mendeley Advisor, Figshare ambassador, and INA-Rxiv contributor. In his spare time, he writes stories and shares his ideas at www.erickunto.com/blog.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I am interested in Sociolinguistics, especially highlighting the language used by Hadrami- Arabs in Indonesia (Arabic descent), both oral and written. I’ve researched linguistic landscapes in Kampung Arab (like Chinatown for Arab descend), their personal name (onomastics), language spoken in religious and economic contexts, and the endogamy marriage patterns they do.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Most of the research I did was not in the laboratory but where the data was gathered, especially in the Arab Village in Surakarta (Indonesia). Data collection is often done by participant observation, interviews, discussions conducted in their stores, coffee shops, their homes, sometimes in mosques. The research that I did made me have to be skilled at adapting to all situations and possibilities.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I have known about Mendeley since 2014 and started actively using it a year later. I became a Mendeley Advisor in mid-2018.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

Before using Mendeley, I used RefMe to compile a list of references. Since I was active using Mendeley, I find it easier to do research, especially in reading and reviewing references, marking research findings, finding research gaps, and composing a web of mind when composing manuscripts. First, I read and gave Mendeley’s annotations and highlights in the iPad application, synchronized, and moved to Mac when writing a proposal or manuscript. The annotations I previously did manually (by paper), will now be saved safely thanks to Mendeley.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

Most writers and researchers in my country still use manual/traditional ways to manage references. This causes a lot of time to be spent on this work, making us less productive. I’m eager to disseminate and teach the best experiences. I manage references using Mendeley to students, colleagues, lecturers, and researchers in Indonesia. This is the reason I joined the Mendeley Advisors.

Since becoming Mendeley Advisor in the middle of 2018, I have carried out a couple of trainings attended by approximately 160 participants who are students, doctoral students, and lecturers. One or two weeks before the training, I ask the participants to read and learn the material that I have made online and written in Indonesian at https://sites.google.com/unwidha.id/mendeley. In addition, I also provided a group on social media which was attended by the trainees as a forum for consultation and question-and-answer about Mendeley.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

I would love to work together and learn from researchers who are able to collaborate with other researchers who are outside the field and different countries, researchers who adopt technology in the research done, and most importantly, researchers who apply open science.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The book I am currently reading is titled Citizen Science Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy by Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel & Aletta Bonn (editors), as I am now starting to apply open science in my research.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Open Access Week!! It is motivated me to keep research available to everyone so the people will get benefit from the research and take it further.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part when doing research is getting to meet and know new people, getting new experiences from them, contributing to the world of science, and being part of a group of people who want to make this world better.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

The most challenging part when doing Sociolinguistic research is the stage of data collection. At this step, researchers will often dive into certain communities which researchers often are outsiders. There will be a lot of energy coming out if researchers do not have strategic ways to enter the community.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley is a freemium software (free but with premium features) that can help researchers to conduct research, ranging from tracing references, giving annotations and highlights, making quotes and bibliographies, collaborating with other researchers, and joining the global community in Mendeley social media.

 

Mendeley advisor of the month: Sunday Linus Makama (DVM, MFS, PhD, ERT)

makamaSunday Makama is a researcher with interest in Food and Environmental Health and safety, and currently works at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Nigeria. He is a Chief Veterinary Research Officer (CVRO), Toxicology in the Biochemistry Division of the NVRI. He has researched into various aspects of Emerging Food borne viruses, Food and Environmental Toxicology, Nanotechnology, Ethnoveterinary medicine, and Antimicrobial and other chemical residues. Before his current position, Sunday has worked as a private Veterinary practitioner, then as a Sales and Technical representative of an Agro-allied Company. His research works were conducted in several institutions at different times including the Netherlands Food Safety Institute (RIKILT) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and Alterra, the Institute for Environmental Research, WUR.

Sunday holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He also holds a Master’s degree in Food Safety (MFS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in toxicology from the Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. Sunday is also a certified European Registered Toxicologist (ERT).

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

Towards the end of my Bachelors program in Veterinary College, I contemplated what I wanted to do with my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Clinical practice, especially surgery fascinated me; so did issues of food safety and security as well as public health and environmental health and safety. I love finding answers to very intriguing questions, especially those that have significant impact on public health and environment. The research field provided a good opportunity to be involved in all these interests in a meaningful way. Afterall, multidisciplinarity is the spice of both fundamental and applied research. Now when I realized research and development was going to be the core of my career path, I wanted to be involved in doing something novel. The emerging (or re-emerging) fields in science like emerging technologies (nanotechnology) and emerging infectious diseases therefore, became my primary interests.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

A nice, clean and comfortable environment with lots of nature and a soft music (including those from nature) is a perfect setting for me. The only addition would be some tea.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

Officially, I have been on Mendeley since January 2015

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I used EndNote mostly and once in a while the Microsoft Word citations & bibliography. Mendeley has now become my main reference manager and with so much interactive and simple user interface, it is safe to say Mendeley plays a significant role in my research.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

Working in a research environment with the inherent requirement of dissemination of your findings means lots of reading and writing. Finding a tool that is well amenable to your reading, writing and networking needs is a great relief that it will be inconceivable to ignore such an excellent support. Now, when you find a helpful tool that has aided your research work, it is only proper to share the good news. Being a passionate advocate for sharing of useful knowledge and seeing the enormous need around me, I decided to contribute my quota by transferring Mendeley knowledge to those that need it; and what a blessing it has been! I could liken my experience to that of the three Samaritan lepers (in Biblical times) who found food in the time Samaria was under siege and told themselves, “we do not well!” by not sharing the good news.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I think it will be Prof. dr. Marcel H. Zwietering of Wageningen University.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

I am actually reading two books:

  1. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
  2. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (Read it several times).

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

The fastest person does not necessarily win the race.

What is the best part about working in research?

Getting to work in a multidisciplinary environment and overcoming the challenges of deciphering the unknown.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

The weight of responsibility laid upon you by the fact that many depend on your findings to guide sometimes very critical decisions and policies.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley is a sweet medley; a researcher’s best friend.

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: Chandrashekhar Vithal

Chandrashekhar is currently working as a University Librarian at AURO University, Surat, Gujarat, India. Prior to this he was associated with TEEAL-Cornell University project ((The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library.)  He was involved in implementing the project and provided training programs in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. He has been working in libraries for over three decades and has conducted over 40 training programs on Database search techniques, managing citations using reference management tools, especially  Mendeley as a user since 2015.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I still remember the days of my tenure with the Department of Atomic Energy, assisting the scientist in developing a bibliography on Gyroscopes, which was a game changer in my professional career. Since then I have been assisting people in developing referencing and bibliography lists. Three decades of experience is huge and now I am involved in providing training sessions on referencing tools, and other library promotion programs.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

My preference sounds strange; people prefer silence, I love to be surrounded by people. I enjoy working with people, maybe my job demands that!

How long have you been on Mendeley?

Honestly, I was not very familiar with Mendeley until 2015, when I started working for TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library) a project at Cornell University. As a coordinator for South Asia, I have been involved in conducting training sessions on TEEAL for students, scholars, and Faculty. In addition, I conducted training sessions on reference management using Mendeley.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I am fortunate in the sense that with three decades in the profession I have witnessed technological interventions in libraries. For my master’s dissertation work I still remember I used to record all my references on bibliographic cards, which is tedious and time-consuming. Mendeley is like a divine gift to all researchers enabling referencing with one click and saving time.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are your involved with the program?

Sharing information to all is in the DNA of librarians! TEEAL-Cornell Project has given me the opportunity of conducting training programs for academia which I have enjoyed throughly. I am happy to say that over 40 training programs on Mendeley have been conducted in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

For me, the invention of radio transistor is something like a miracle! In my childhood days, I used to wonder how this small radio transistor transmitted music!! I really wanted to meet Guglielmo Marconi who is an all time favorite scientist for me.

What book are your reading at the moment and why?

There are too many to list! But currently, I am reading “Life’s Amazing Secrets: How to find balance and purpose” by Gaur Gopal Das. The book explains how to conquer your daily battles, align yourself with your purpose and win at life.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

People are still not aware of referencing tools available to them, I noticed this during my recent training program on Mendeley.

What is the best part about working in research?

Research and learning are a never-ending process both contribute a lot to empower society.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?                              

The sense of invention, collaboration, learning from others is the best thing about research and the worst is when the outcome/findings of research is sometimes challenging.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mmmmm…. That’s a tricky question to answer! Mendeley as a whole has several features to make the life of a researcher easy.  For me the “Watch Folder” option is really handy for anyone and helps in building my library.

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: Narendra Kumar

narendra

Narendra Kumar is an Assistant Professor at The Institute of Technology Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand (India). He teaches Technical Communication. He is also enrolled as a PhD student at The Language and Cognition Lab, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (India). He obtained his M.A degree in Linguistics from Banaras Hindu University Varanasi (India). Kumar’s research work focuses on the Neurophysiological correlates of semantic prediction during language comprehension.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

 The question ‘how the human brain knows, what it knows?’ has always intrigued me. Here when I say the term ‘know’, I specifically mean ‘information’, not in the sense of knowledge as a whole in human beings. It is quite apparent that the prime carrier of information is natural language. In our everyday life, we comprehend a sentence so easily and smoothly that no one questions how the human brain processes various linguistic information viz. phonological morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic etc. of every word in milliseconds. I started my PhD in 2013 to explore similar questions on the basis of electrophysiological (Event-Related Potentials) evidence from Hindi, a split-ergative and verb-final language. My research is focused on investigating the processing of semantic information during on-line language comprehension of Hindi sentences. The neurophysiological studies on processing syntactic information in typologically different languages have exhibited substantial differences. So, my research work aims to explore if the processing of semantic information also exhibits neurophysiological differences cross-linguistically.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

I love to work in the lab or the library. I need a peaceful environment to work dedicatedly. Indeed, I enjoy working in a creative and challenging environment where I can push myself beyond the comfort zone to learn new things.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I have been using Mendeley since October 2014. I learnt about Mendeley when I was learning inserting Bibliography in LaTeX from the youtube channel of Chandra Has.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

In the first year of my PhD, I used Endnote but didn’t feel comfortable using it, within few months I came across Mendeley. After using Mendeley once, I realized it was a one-stop solution to organize every research activity. Infact, Mendeley saved a lot of time which I used to waste in renaming and keeping PDF files in different directories according to their use.  Mendeley organizes all these PDF files in a library format and helps to retrieve them easily. Apart from citation and reference writing, I use Mendeley as a tool for reading as its PDF viewer allows me to highlight texts, adding notes and tags which has helped me keeping notes organized in the article itself. Moreover, I love two other features of Mendeley the most, they are Mendeley Web Plugin and the suggestion of article based on the documents in my library.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

 I believe in the philosophy of sharing and spreading of knowledge and information, as mentioned in the following Sanskrit shlok (couplet):

अपूर्व: कोऽपि कोशोऽयं विद्यते तव भारति !

व्ययतो वृद्धिमायाति क्षयमायाति सञ्चयात् ॥ (सुभाषितानि)

[Translation: O Bharati (Goddess of learning)! This indescribable treasure of yours is unique – by expending it grows and by hoarding it diminishes! – Subhashitani (Sanskrit: dated back 5000BC)]

Once realised Mendeleys importance for a research student, I started sharing its features with my PhD pursuing friends. Within a few months of joining Mendeley, I attended a Mendeley event in a nearby institute and as a result decided to become an advisor to organize workshops myself. I have organized a number of workshops in my institute and nearby institutes.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

In today’s world every linguist has a dream to meet Noam Chomsky at least once. He is a living legend as the “father of modern linguistics” and one of the “makers of twentieth century” (London Times 1970). In addition, I would like to meet Steven Pinker (Harvard University), Marta Kutas (University of California-SD), Angela Friederici (MPI, Leipzig), Peter Hagoort (MPI, Nijmegen), David Poeppel (NYU) and Ray Jackendoff (Tufts University) whose works have contributed a lot to the discussion of language, mind and brain.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

These days I am reading two books Neurosemantics (2016) by Plebe & Cruz and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

This week, I reviewed research articles based on the prediction approach of language comprehension. Prediction is one of the essential attribute of language comprehension system, yet researchers do not agree on what prediction is or what constitutes evidence for it.

What is the best part about working in research?

As a researcher, I have started believing in the philosophy of Albert Einstein: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” What I like the most about working in research is that one can enjoy his/her whole life as a student/learner where there is always something new to learn and new problems to solve.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

The most frustrating thing for a researcher is when you do not get the results as expected after spending months/years on a problem. In such case also, supervisors/PIs don’t look at your hard work/labour, instead they start criticizing your potentials and working styles.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley is the best on-stop solution for all research activities. Every academician/researcher should use Mendeley as it makes the life of a researcher organized and smooth.


Biography in Brief

Narendra Kumar is an Assistant Professor at Institute of Technology Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand (India). He teaches Technical Communication to the students of B.Tech. Along with he is also enrolled as a PhD student at Language and Cognition Lab, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (India). He obtained his M.A degree in Linguistics from Banaras Hindu University Varanasi (India). Kumar’s research work focuses on the Neurophysiological correlates of semantic prediction during language comprehension.


Mendeley Advisor of the Month: July 2018

Mendeley july advisor of the month

Mendeley advisor of the month: Gabriel de Oliveira Ramos is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Artificial Intelligence Lab from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). He obtained his PhD (with highest honours) and MSc degrees in Computer Science from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) in 2018 and 2013, respectively. Ramos’ research focuses on multiagent reinforcement learning and game theory, especially in the context of complex scenarios, such as traffic and smart grids.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I started to write my first computer programs at 14 and developed, since then, my passion for Computer Science. Not much later, during my bachelor’s first year, I got in contact with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time and decided that AI would be my research field. In the following years, I developed my research on different AI topics, including machine learning, game theory, and planning. In all cases, my research has always been motivated by real-world problems, like traffic, electricity grids, and logistics. Moreover, the theoretical properties of my methods have always played a role in my research.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Any environment where I can balance insightful discussion sessions (with my peers) with silent study sessions. Good computer resources are also extremely useful, together with the traditional paper-and-pen combination.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in June 2013, just after I finished my masters, to organize the mess of my references at that time.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

Keeping track of the literature is fundamental in science. Before using Mendeley, I had all my references grouped by topics into folders of my computer. The main problem, however, was to efficiently store my annotations and conclusions about such references. With Mendeley, I could finally store all my notes in an efficient and reliable way. Together with the nice search mechanism, it became easier for me to focus on my research.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

I have been a Mendeley enthusiast since I started using it (indeed, it has considerably increased my productivity on specific tasks). As such, I always spread the word about it. Moreover, I contributed to Mendeley by suggesting important improvement several times. In this sense, I always felt as an informal advisor, which became a formal status in May 2015.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?

My work has been inspired by so many brilliant researchers that I could not mention all of them here. Among them, I should definitely highlight Prof. Avrim Blum (TTI-Chicago), Prof. Michael Bowling (UAlberta), and Prof. Tim Roughgarden (Stanford), whose works motivated (and shed light on) my PhD research.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The second edition of Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction, by Sutton and Barto. It is always important to refresh such fundamental topics.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

I attended some of the world’s most important conferences on Artificial Intelligence (ICML and AAMAS), and I enforced to myself the belief that, as a researcher, you should always be open-minded and eager for learning new things.

What is the best part about working in research?

You are always learning new ways of solving problems that could potentially improve people’s lives.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

Sometimes (almost always, in fact) the answer is not the one you would expect. Although challenging, that is what moves science forward (and actually, that is one of the most exciting parts of doing science).

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley really makes your reference management easier.