Advisors from Argentina to Zimbabwe

For many of us in the Advisor community, August is a slow month.  There are summer holidays, winter breaks and just the lull that naturally comes in August.

But not for all of you!  In August, you hosted 23 events around the world and introduced over 1200 people to the power of Mendeley.  (Last year we had 3 events with less than 120 attendees in August.)

Some of the highlights of the month:

  • We had events in 11 countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe! (This is up from 3 countries in August 2018)
  • The University of Mauritius hosted its first Advisor event as part of their Schrodinger Day
  • Our largest event this month was hosted by Oscar Javier Zambrano Valdivieso at Colombia’s Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO) with 200 attendees
  • The Brazilian Advisors hosted 6 events, making them the most prolific country

Do you have any upcoming Mendeley events?  Make sure to register them with us so we can send you stickers, pens and other giveaways!

Advisor of the month: Ahmad Samir Alfaar

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar

 

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

My cousins had a home library full with science fiction stories that encouraged me to read more about science, my mother was a high school mathematics teacher that used to build models for teaching, I started to read early in biology and by the end of high school I decided to be a physician that practices medicine and does research. I entered medical school, finding no chances for practicing research for students, I decided to practice programming and by the end of medical school I decided to specialize in Ophthalmology and medical/biomedical informatics. I was called to participate in founding the research department at Children’s Cancer Hospital, Egypt in 2008. The team we built created a great environment to learn more about clinical and biomedical research, so I specialized in ophthalmic oncology research. We have gained knowledge together in many aspects and identified the areas that need development in ourselves. After three years, I have been assigned as a head of the research education unit. I have designed and organized multiple training programs for students, early graduates and hospital staff training on clinical research. After finishing my diploma of informatics, Master of science in ophthalmology and Master science of Advanced oncology, I decided to pursue my PhD in molecular medicine and integrated my informatics knowledge in that. Due to the delay in starting my PhD, I have completed another doctorate degree for physicians (Dr. med.)  and now I am conducting a second doctorate degree (MD/PhD in Neuroscience) at Charité Universtätsmedizin – Berlin and Humboldt University International Graduate School of Neuroscience. My current research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of Retinal degenerative diseases beside many other topics.

 

Where do you do your research? What kind of environment suits you?

I have found that the best place for production is the garden and on the train. However, I lack power supply in the garden, my laptop does not last for very long disconnected and I do not travel that often to allow myself to work on trains, so I find myself obliged to accept working at my desk.

The best environment for research, for me, is open space where I work with students, colleagues and other physicians, sharing knowledge freely, teaching and discussing clinical and biological dilemmas without limits or sensitivities. In any place I plan to work I install a big white board for describing, modelling, sharing and breeding ideas, sometimes, over years.

 

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

Over 10 years, since its first beta versions.

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

Before Mendeley I was using Zotero. Zotero was a great move in the field of citation management after classic ones like Endnote. However, Mendeley represented the first user-oriented, user-friendly, and of course free, software. Its learning curve was extremely steep. Before that, researchers required longer time to learn the software, build their own library, and cite within the documents. Mendeley accelerated my speed of organization, annotation and writing and submission of manuscripts. These findings were noticed also by my students and colleagues whom I taught Mendeley. Moreover, it allowed hundreds of my students to collaborate effectively on publications and scientific documents over the last 10 years. Such web 2.0 features were unique in Mendeley.

 

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

I was teaching Mendeley before being an Advisor. Being a Mendeley Advisor means I am updated about feature-releases early and supported with teaching materials. Moreover, it allowed me to be recognized by those who want to learn about the software. A more valuable reason was the storage space given to Advisors. This allowed me to build large number of groups during the big courses that I was organising, to evaluate participants’ progress, and to practice with them till the publications get published.

 

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

From the last 100 years; Alfred G. Knudson Jr, and from the last 1000 years; Ibn Al-Haytham.

Besides, many people that impressed me by their art of organised depiction starting from nominal observations.

 

What book are you reading at the moment?

Behave, by Robert Sapolsky. It provides a perspective of a scientist on the triggers and development of human behaviour and the potential relation to other creatures.

 

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

Working in research raises the threshold of signals that can be named interesting. It teaches you to doubt everything. Everything requires re-analysis even what very reputable outlets broadcast.

 

What is the best part about working in research?

You keep asking, diving in the space of answers, you keep mutating and breeding your questions, evaluating your question, however, no answer is satisfying, but you report your position and enjoy the game.

 

And the most challenging part about working in research?

To convince humans of something they cannot model (imagine) and to form holes in their conflicts of interest.

 

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have? 

Drag, drop, show me your paper

 

Biography 

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar, is a physician (ophthalmologist), informatician, medical educator, patients’ advocate and clinical research expert. He was graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 2005. He received PPCR Clinical research certificate from Harvard University in 2009, Certificate of E-Learning Development from Inwent-GIZ in 2009, Diploma in Informatics from Helwan University in 2010,  Master of science in Ophthalmology in 2012, and Masters of Science in Advanced Oncology from Ulm University in 2014. Ahmed worked as a clinical research specialist in Retinoblastoma and Pediatric solid tumors between 2008 and 2014 in the Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt, and the head of research education unit between 2011 and 2014.

He moved to Berlin in 2015 to work in the experimental ophthalmology department, Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin and received his first doctorate degree (Dr. med.) in Ocular Oncology in 2018 and since 2017 he has been studying for MD/PhD degree in the International Graduate School of Medical Neuroscience, Humboldt University and Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin.

Ahmed has received multiple awards and grants for his activities in research and education.

He has been a Mendeley advisor since September 2012, one of the first advisors in Egypt, and taught referencing management using Mendeley to hundreds of students worldwide.

Further details can be found on:

Website: http://www.ahmadsamir.com/

Mendeley Profile: https://j.mp/AlfaarMEND

LinkedIn: https://j.mp/AlfaarIN

ResearchGate: https://j.mp/AlfaarRG

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

Meet the Team: Maggie Brade, Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Name: Maggie Brademaggie

Job title: Executive Assistant/Office Manager

In this Meet the Team, we introduce you to Mendeley’s Office Manager, Maggie. Maggie is pivotal in making sure the Mendeley office runs smoothly, and that members of Team Mendeley have a happy and productive environment to work in (as well as keeping everyone well in check!) She also assists Mendeley’s Managing Director, Gaby Appleton and Elsevier’s SVP of Research Applications, Elisabeth Ling.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a single parent to a wonderful 15-year old son. I have been in administration for the past 7 years, previously I was a chef for 12 years working up to the rank of Sous chef. I am amazingly funny and I am great person to get to know. (Editor’s note:  WE ALL AGREE. Maggie is great)

When did you join Mendeley?

6th November 2018.

What do you love most about your job?

The variety of it all – no two days are the same!

What’s the last book you read? 

How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb.

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

Mendeley has a diverse and eclectic team which I find works really well in this office environment, and shows what a down to earth a company it is.

Gaby Appleton is an amazing person to work for and her passion for Mendeley is inspiring. (She didn’t pay me to say that). Whilst we’re in different offices, working with Elisabeth is also great – she is just as amazing as Gaby when it comes to understanding her team, and us working together.

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

Why would I be explaining my job to a stranger? I support two managing directors with their diary commitments and other responsibilities which helps them manage the work day. I also manage the London Mendeley office, AlphaBeta.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Helping and liaising with my executive assistant colleagues and getting to know all staff here at AlphaBeta.

What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing, my conscience is clear LOL.

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

How amazingly good I am at my job. 😊

 

Find out more about all things Mendeley at mendeley.com

 

Mendeley Advisors Recruit 10,000 New Users in 2019 (Wow!)

(Right photo: Yahaya Gavamukulya, Left photo: Serge Kameni Leugoue)

As of early June, Mendeley Advisors introduced a whopping 10,000 people to the power of good reference management and research workflow this year! The ever-growing Advisor Community runs around 40 events per month, averaging a combined 2,500 attendees. We’d like to give a special thanks to super star Advisors Serge Kameni Leugoue (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and University of Dschang – Cameroon.) and Yahaya Gavamukulya (Busitema University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kenya) for welcoming user 10,000 during one of their events!

Congratulations and a big thanks to all of our Advisors for your help and hard work on this journey.  Mendeley is so much more than a reference manager – it is a strong community of academics from all disciplines and career stages, committed to improving the way we do research, from end-to-end.

Why and How to be a Mendeley Advisor   

Mendeley Advisors are network of over 5,000 passionate Mendeley experts across the world. They are our hands on the ground, helping potential users connect with the platform. We also consult with Advisors to understand the needs of users and to beta test new features.  You’re the first group we consult when we are considering adding a new functionality to the product. But the Mendeley Advisor program isn’t just about making Mendeley famous—there are also some nice perks for you:

  • Be the Mendeley representative on your campus (a nice thing to add to your CV)
  • Get a special Mendeley Advisor account with more groups and increased storage
  • Connect with the team behind Mendeley
  • Be the first to know what we are working on and get early access to new features
  • Get access to the exclusive Mendeley Advisor forum
  • Receive free Mendeley giveaways for events
  • And most importantly: get a flashy Advisor badge for your Mendeley profile so the whole world can see you’re a Mendeley guru!

Want to learn more about Advisors?  Read our Advisor of the Month column or apply on our Mendeley Advisor webpage. Have questions?  Reach out to the Community Team at community@mendeley.com. 

Meet the Team: Karin Hilton, Senior Director Technology

Name: Karin Hilton

Congratulations to Karin for being named one of 50 most influential women in tech in The Netherlands! 

Job title: Senior Director Technology

Karin is responsible for the technology team who are building Mendeley Data, which is Elsevier’s platform to support research data management.  Karin and her team are using technology to transform the way that researchers collaborate and work together to spark discovery and support innovative interdisciplinary thinking.

Before joining Elsevier, Karin was a Technology Director with eBay Classifieds Group heading up core capability technology platforms on a global basis challenging how they respond to mobile wave as an organization and has held technology leadership roles at companies across a range of industries.

When did you join Mendeley?

I joined in June 2018

What do you love most about your job?

I gain energy from making a positive difference – and every time we talk to our customers, I see that the tools and services we are providing are helping them to be more successful. And a successful researcher is a researcher who is changing the world we live in. It’s great to be able to see real change happening as a result of what we build.

What book did you most recently read?

I most recently finished Jodi Taylor’s Hope for the Best.  I usually have 2-3 books on the go at any one point in time – I am also reading Mary Beard’s Women & Power – but aim to always have something lighthearted and relaxing to wind down with at bed time.

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

That we would love feedback on how to make Mendeley the most effective tool for them. It is really energizing when people reach out and give us feedback on how we can make our product better.

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

I make tools to help researchers crack their codes

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

The people – definitively the people! We have a team that’s passionate about what we are building, and we work with amazing researchers and thought leaders in our community.

What keeps you awake at night?

I tend to sleep quite soundly – but sometimes I do get woken up by a nocturnal member of my family.  Sometimes it is a Great Dane who has decided to wake me for a midnight stroll and sometimes it is one of the cats proudly presenting their latest ‘gift’ with accompanying commentary on their night hunting prowess.

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

That’s a tough question! I try and keep up with new research in a few fields that interest me: there’s some fascinating new science showing just how far back man has been impacting weather patterns and creating global warming; showing the impact of diet/gut on health and how loss of hippos from riverine areas in Africa is impacting downstream in the health of the ecosystem.

 

 

June 2019 Advisor Briefing Webinar: What’s next for Mendeley

Thanks to everyone who attended our June Advisor Briefing webinar, where we introduced some new features plus had a huge congratulations!

We would like to thank all the Mendeley Advisors for all your dedication to helping promote good research practices around the world.  In the first 6 months of June, Advisors have introduced over 10,000 colleagues to Mendeley and run 171 events in 102 countries around the world!

Topics include:

You can watch the full briefing here.