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.

Supporting and recognizing your peer review activity

The vital role of reviewers in the academic publication process

The peer review process has existed in different forms for centuries, and continues to underpin research validation today. Although not without its flaws, many of which were raised in a 2016 survey of researchers by Elsevier, it’s still viewed as the fairest way to evaluate research quality.

However, reviewer contributions often go unseen, despite the critical role that they play in the system. With this in mind, we’ve been working on an initiative to help acknowledge the reviewer contributions of Mendeley users, in addition to what Mendeley already has to offer reviewers.

How Mendeley helps you as a reviewer

  • A private view on your reviewed publications

Mendeley users get a private view into the impact made by articles they have reviewed that were published in Elsevier journals, including how often the article has been viewed, cited and read. Their anonymity as a reviewer is maintained, as their reviewed publications are not visible to others.

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  • Public recognition of your peer review activity

We’re also excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Open Researcher Contributor Identification Initiative (ORCID) to allow our users to import peer review records from their ORCID profile into their Mendeley profile, by connecting their ORCID ID to their Mendeley account.

We spoke to Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement and Support at ORCID, who said:

“We are delighted that Mendeley users can now connect their peer review activities in ORCID to their Mendeley records. Helping researchers get recognition for all their contributions, including peer review service, is at the heart of what ORCID does; this is a valuable step towards achieving this goal.”

As of 18th June 2018, 2,770 Mendeley users had made the connection with ORCID and are showcasing their reviewing activity on their profiles (with a total of 72,135 peer review entries), see for example https://www.mendeley.com/profiles/bahar-mehmani/.

If you are interested in adding your own reviewing activity to your profile, please look out for the link to connect with ORCID at the left hand side of your profile page.

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  • What’s next?

Mendeley will continue its efforts to recognize and support reviewers. We are therefore working to ensure peer review information from the majority of Elsevier journals can also be added to your public profile and we hope to roll out this functionality in the near future. Of course, reviewer anonymity will continue to be preserved, since the particular articles you have reviewed will not be disclosed.

Reviewers play a pivotal role in the academic publication process and without their valuable time and knowledge, the peer review validation system could not function.  Whilst universal recognition of review activities as a research output is a distance away yet, there’s been a growing number of initiatives supporting reviewer acknowledgment. At Mendeley, we are doing our part, working closely with our Elsevier colleagues whose pioneering efforts led to the launch of the Reviewer Recognition Platform in 2014. More about what Elsevier does to give reviewers due recognition can be found in this article.

 

 

Meet the team: Elizabeth Chesters

elizabeth chesters

Name: Elizabeth Chesters

Job title: UX Specialist

Intro bio (background): 

I’m Elizabeth, a user experience designer at Mendeley! My background is in Computer Science, and I’m a developer turned designer after studying Human-Computer Interaction. I’ve worked as both a developer and designer in a range of companies, moving from the agency and start-up life to in-house. Originally, I’m from the North of England, Manchester and have been braving London for the last 3 years.

When did you join Mendeley?

I joined Mendeley on the 18th December, 2017. It was definitely an interesting point of the year to join with most people on holiday!

What do you love most about your job?

I love the constant challenges of being a designer. There are so many ways to solve even the smallest of problems, which could actually have a huge impact on our users’ lives. Being a part of Mendeley, I’m beginning to understand the impact my design has on people’s lives and careers and how important my work is. I may not be finding a cure for cancer or training the next generation of ballerinas, but it feels amazing to be supporting those out there who are doing amazing work.

What book are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m studying how to be more inclusive with my designs, so, I’m reading A Web For everyone by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery. It’s fascinating how much it expands your thinking. For example, designing for someone only capable of using your product with one hand, whether that be because of a permanent loss of limb, they’ve broken their arm or they’re a parent holding a child. Anyone can be impaired at any moment!

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

The feature I want people to know about is the Watched Folders feature. This is where can setup a folder on your computer to be ‘watched’, in your Mendeley settings. Mendeley then automatically syncs every document you put into the folder. This means you can download documents onto your machine and you don’t have to manually drag and drop everything into your Library.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

I always explain my job as “making the web and technology less rubbish and more friendly for people.” I try to understand why people become frustrated because Alexa doesn’t understand them or discover how products should look at night when people are up late.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

My users are probably the most exciting part of my job because of how varied they are. Working with new people every week keeps me on my toes. Every week we invite 8 users into the office, where we ask users to show us how they use Mendeley and gather feedback on our new products and designs. Each user has such unique research topics and intricate ways of using the same tool, which is fascinating to see.

What is your hidden talent?

I love learning languages and I can welcome and introduce myself in over 10 languages, including Arabic, British Sign Language, Sinhalese and Portuguese! My favourite part of coming into work in the morning is greeting each team member in their native language. People really appreciate the effort and it also helps break the ice when users come in for user research sessions.

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

Every day I’m learning how screen readers work. Some screen readers actually pay attention to the visuals on the page. So, VoiceOver for Mac will group elements based on their visual style and if they look similar, like 5 words which look like 5 tags.

Meet the team: Daniel Christie

daniel christe

Daniel, residing in Philadelphia, PA is our main Mendeley Advisor Community contributor.  He brings a background in mechanical engineering & materials science research, and has been a long-time Mendeley user. We took some time with Daniel to find out what he loves about his job, and of course Mendeley!

How long have you been a researcher? 

I date my start in the research world from my high school days, so that works out to about 10 years. In that time I’ve gone from microfluidics, to drug delivery systems, to functional fabrics and other forms of 3D printed material systems to understand the way they deform and fail.

What excites you about serving the Mendeley Advisor Community? 

The energy & enthusiasm of a global group of researcher from all fields imaginable…there are fantastic discussions brewing in the community each and every day.

What book did you most recently read? 

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow…it’s a riveting, data-driven look at this amazing time we currently live in and what may lie ahead in our future.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley? 

That it’s an awesome research productivity tool – accessible wherever you are. Mendeley is a powerful way to not only annotate, organize, and cite reference – you can also share data and discover your next career opportunity.

How would you explain your current work to a stranger on a bus?

I blend my technical background with my passion for evidence-based learning strategies to help the world’s scientists and engineers work more productively and effectively.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I love traveling out to university campuses & conferences to show researchers new, slick ways of working with Mendeley. You might be surprised how many still don’t use reference managers, even in 2018…it totally transforms their world.

What keeps you awake at night?

Netflix. Otherwise, I sleep well most nights, so the saying doesn’t exactly work for me.

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

I come across plenty of interesting things every week I look for data points that point toward the future. One thing top-of-mind this week is that Tesla outsells Lexus and BMW, and is catching up to Mercedes quickly. That is impressive.

What do you think will be the next big discovery or development in your field? 

The tools that engineers use are becoming more intelligent and powerful by the day…from ideation to fabrication.  I think we’re on the cusp of an exciting era where we blend the best of human creativity with machine-partners to make us vastly more productive. For instance, true “computer-aided” design tools are coming online now. They leverage high performance computing algorithms to take problem descriptions and algorithmically synthesize thousands of potential designs that meet the goals and constraints, in the time it’d take an engineer to manually draw one design.