Advisor of the Month: Felix Oke

Felix Oke: Anchor University, Lagos, Nigeria 

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

I undertake research in linguistics with a focus on media studies. Recently, I have got a deep insight into an emerging field called digital humanities.

My research career began while I was working on my final year project as an undergrad. I enjoyed the affordances there are in carrying out field work in linguistics. Next, I engaged with a robust and more detailed research project in medical linguistics. Recently, my research activities have revolved around media discourse and digital humanities with special interest in digitising images of cultural heritage in Nigeria.

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

As a faculty staff member, I make use of my office in Lagos, Nigeria and sometimes in the library. I enjoy the serenity of my workplace. In a few occasions, I take a research retreat.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in 2016.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

Due to my passion for referencing, I engaged in the manual way of documenting sources judiciously. Since the time I came across Mendeley, my research experience has changed tremendously.

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

I was surprised by the wonders of Mendeley, so I decided to learn and master the software. Also, I have passion in reaching out to researchers who don’t have the knowledge of any reference manager in my country.

I love referencing generally. I was part of a team of developers put together to work on the style sheet for referencing online data. I have taught that aspect of referencing with graduate students as part of their requirements for a course in methodology. I have also taught Mendeley in our Summer School on Digital Humanities, to the ICT staff of University and to other faculty and doctoral researchers.

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

The researcher I would like to work with is James Cummings, Newcastle, UK. He is a digital humanist who specialises in coding, mining and visualising humanities data.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Currently, I am reading Goals by Brian Tracy. I would like to learn more about attaining to one’s life goals.

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

Teaching referencing to graduate students of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria, who have no prior knowledge of a reference manager like Mendeley.

What is the best part about working in research?

What I enjoy the most in research is the aspect of data interpretation or discussion.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The most challenging part of research is data gathering.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?

I have discovered, over the years in Mendeley, the intricacy of what is called the “metadata”.

Biography

I am a doctoral candidate from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a lecturer in the Department of Languages and Linguistics from Anchor University, Lagos, Nigeria. My research interest borders on the intersection between language studies and digital software.

In my ongoing doctoral thesis titled “Construction of Identity and Ideology in Nigerian News Reports on Boko Haram Insurgency”, I have been able to show the trajectory of news discourse, critical discourse analysis and multimodal digital humanities in terrorism discourse. Recently, I have undertaken a research project on digitisation of cultural heritage in Nigeria.

Editor’s Note: Felix is too modest to say it here, but he has been working with his university to set up a Mendeley learning lab! We think this is pretty cool.

Find out more about Felix by viewing his Mendeley profile.

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

We hit another Advisor milestone!

Once a month, we like to comb through the Mendeley Advisor statistics to see if there’s anything we can learn about how we can make the program even better. (We also like to see if we’ve hit another milestone that we should celebrate with cake.)

And right now, the biggest milestone is the number of new Advisors in 2019!  We are pleased to say we have welcomed 1,045 new Mendeley Advisors to the community in 2019.

We’re also happy to see we have a good split of Advisors across the globe, with new Advisors based in 104 countries ranging from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia to The Netherlands to Japan!

This chart shows the top 10 countries in terms of where new 2019 Advisors are based.

As always, we want to thank the Mendeley Advisors for sharing their love of Mendeley, and helping make reference management just a little easier!

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

 

Advisor of the month: Merceline Obwaya

 

Merceline is a Library Assistant at the Kenyatta University Post Modern Library. Merceline grew up in a small village called Nyansara in Kisii County, Kenya. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Kenyatta University in December, 2014. She is passionate about providing timely and quality services to the community she serves.

 

How did you get into your field?
I love reading, but that’s not the reason I became a librarian. I love connecting people with the information they need to change their lives for the better. I love the hunt and the power of having the right information at the right time and teaching others to gain the skills too. I chose to pursue a degree in Library and information Science to accomplish all these through serving library/ information centres’ clients. I joined Kenyatta University Post Modern Library a few months after graduating and it has been exciting serving the University Community. It is amazing to work in a library!

Where do you do work the best?
In a relaxed and clean environment with people who are committed to their work and are self-driven.

How long have you used Mendeley?
I was first introduced to Mendeley in 2015 by my supervisor, who is currently the Deputy University librarian at Kenyatta University. Thanks Mr. Thuku!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
Microsoft Word citations & bibliography. Mendeley is a one-stop solution when it comes to research. It makes referencing and citation so easier, allows one to read the saved PDF documents, make notes and add comments and even search the web catalog for more related reference documents and suggests more articles for further reading. It is an amazing tool.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor, and how are you involved with the program?
When I joined Kenyatta University, I realized most of the users I served had issues with citation and referencing. I took the challenge to learn more about Mendeley, so that I can help them rather than giving them several referrals to the reference experts. I joined the Librarian certification program in 2017 and I learnt and sharpened my skills in using Mendeley. I am involved in the library Information Literacy training sessions and one of the key issues addressed in the trainings is use of the reference management tools. I am the Mendeley expert in my library! I train the students and staff how Mendeley can make their research more enjoyable and easier.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
No one in particular, but I wish to meet the Mendeley team. They have done so much to make referencing such an easier task, providing all the support and resources needed by the users to learn more about Mendeley. The people behind this magic.

What book are you reading at the moment?
In addition to the many articles I read while working, I am currently reading “Doors of opportunity: issues in personal development and achievement” by Sebuye Livingstone.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
Learning is a continuous process. There is always something new to learn each day.

What is the best part about working in research?
Always learning to solve problems scholars face to make their research life better and interesting.

And the most challenging part about working in research?
When people assume that as an information professional you know everything, and that you can solve all the challenges they face in the research world.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?
All the Mendeley features are just where I exactly need them. The new Mendeley web importer is an amazing development! I can now save the subscribed articles without going through the long process of downloading them to my desktop folders first.

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

October 2019 Advisor Briefing Webinar

Showcasing, Mendeley Reference Manager and new teaching materials!

We had another successful Advisor Briefing, but just in case you missed it the recording is available.   Listen to learn what we have been building over the last 3 months.

Listen here

This quarter we covered:

  • Showcasing: We’ve been hard at work updating Mendeley profile features so that you can better demonstrate your research output to the world
  • Mendeley Reference Manager New Features:  Meet some more of the team behind Reference Manager and learn about the new features they are building
  • New Material Updates: Find out what new teaching materials are available

As always, you can register an event or access teaching materials here.

Love and References,

The Mendeley Community Team

 

Would you like to become a certified peer reviewer?

 

The process of peer reviewing is associated with certain challenges. Editors often struggle with finding reviewers for their next articles. Reviewers want to demonstrate their expertise but have no way of getting noticed. It happens that reviewers decline requests due to lack of familiarity with the subject matter, or because they think they are not competent and experienced enough to review someone else’s work. In the mission of overcoming these challenges, potential reviewers can gain ground skills on peer reviewing by participating in The Certified Peer Review course developed by Elsevier Researcher Academy. Becoming a certified peer reviewer will allow potential reviewers to publicly demonstrate their expertise as referees and contribute to the integrity of academic.

What is happening?

For the past few months, the Elsevier Researcher Academy team was working on a new crash course. The course has been specifically designed to give those who have not yet reviewed – or who feel they would like additional training in this area – the skills and confidence to accept a request to review. The course content is delivered via directed self-learning in the form of webinars, podcasts and questionnaires and can be tackled at the desired pace of the participant. Completion is recognised by a certificate. We hope that the course will help to tackle the reviewer shortage issue that so many of you and your peers face.

Why is this important?

The integrity of scholarly communications depends heavily on the peer reviewing process. 82% academics agreed “without peer review there is no control in scientific communication” and 74% agreed that reviewing significantly raises the quality of published papers (full report here). Therefore, it is crucial for science to expand the reviewer pool and to ensure that proper training is received for producing trustworthy and high-quality peer reviews.

Researchers agree that there is a general ”lack of guidance about how to perform a good review, and reviewers are expected to ‘learn on the job’” (read more here).  Therefore, 77% of reviewers would be interested in receiving specific peer reviewing training. Those who are interested are early researchers (with experience of 5 years and less) but also established career researchers.

What to expect?

The course is divided into 4 major sections.  Each section features complex subthemes to assure that every aspect of the procedure is covered, establishing skills and confidence in the process.

When is it happening?

The course will launch during Peer Review Week on 17th September. Register for free via this link: https://researcheracademy.elsevier.com/navigating-peer-review/certified-peer-reviewer-course/introduction-certified-peer-reviewer-course

Peer review week is a global event, organized to emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication. On 16-20 September 2019, individuals, institutions and organizations devoted to the mission of maintaining a high quality of science participate in this event to share research, highlight the latest innovation and advance best practices.

Advisor of the Month: Payam Sepahvand

 

Intro:

I’m Payam Sepahvand, an undergraduate student at Lorestan University of Medical Sciences and a researcher at Razi Herbal Medicines Research Centre in Iran.

How did you get into your field?

I am at the beginning of my research journey. My story began when my mother became sick and was treated with herbal medicines. After that, I became very interested in research on herbal medicines and traditional medicine.

Where do you do work the best? 

I like an environment for conducting research, where people work and study with love, interest and help other humans and other creatures on the planet, away from material purposes.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I’m have been using Mendeley for almost two years.

What were you using prior to Mendeley 

Before Mendeley I used the EndNote application. Mendeley software has a much better and faster user interface, as well as being free and always available.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor ?

Always when I find something good and functional, I love to share it. That’s why I decided to introduce this useful and functional tool to others, as far as I can, and improve the work speed of others.

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

I would like to work with Professor Thomas Efferth, the chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. I’m trying to be like him in my job.

What book are you reading at the moment ?

I’ve read the book “One Minute for yourself” of Spencer Johnson, because by improving and upgrading my skills, I can be more useful to the world.

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

The new matter that I learned was about implementing a new irrigation system for agriculture. Along with studying, I am engaged in agriculture to cover my expenses.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part of being a research fellow is to step in and enter the world of unknown and new things.

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

For me at the moment, provision of the costs and expenses of conducting research projects has become the hardest part of the work, but in general, if there is love and interest in the work, certainly, any difficulty is tolerable.

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

If I just want to talk about a feature, I’d like others to know more about the great user interface of this software.

 

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

Do you have enough chairs?

  We noticed an interesting trend in the Mendeley workshops you are running.  Not only are you running more events, but they also seem to be getting bigger!  (We wanted to start sending out chairs as merchandise to help you accommodate all those extra attendees, but the mailroom guys said “Nooooo.” Apparently, the mailroom isn’t big enough!)

We think this growth is brilliant and we wanted to share the numbers with you:

As of September 10, 2019, you have run 275 events with more than 17,000 attendees this year.  Sessions have an average of 63 attendees.  In all of 2018, we had 125 events with close to 7000 attendees.  The average was number of attendees 55.

Breaking it down by month, we see that there is a steady growth in the number of attendees per event.  In January 2019, the average event had 50 attendees and by September 2019, events had an average of 78 attendees.

What’s driving the growth? Librarians!  (We always knew we loved them.)  We had virtual coffees with a few librarian Advisors to find out how you run events.  While some of you are getting 200 people in a room for a class, most of you are doing a lot of one-on-one support through the reference desk but we are counting all the drop-in sessions as one event.

Lessons we learned:  Not all events look the same! Some are a traditional class, but some are more individual coaching sessions spread out over the entire semester. We love them all, so keep at it and let us know if you need a merchandise to support your drop-in sessions.

Regardless of the form your event takes, we are happy to support it.  To get merchandise and other support, register your event on the Mendeley Advisor Community page.

So it looks like maybe we don’t need more chairs yet, just bigger boxes to mail off all the merchandise!