Mendeley Desktop 1.13 Released – Faster Sync & Catalog Import

Mendeley Desktop 1.13 is now available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This update has largely been about under-the-hood work on sync functionality to make it faster and enable you to access it across a wider range of platforms. Coming soon, you’ll be able to access your Mendeley library from our upcoming new web and Android apps, plus a revamped iOS app.

We’ve also been working on improving the PDF import functionality. The new release of Mendeley will automatically update imported documents with details of the matching entry in our catalog, enabling you to cite the paper without further corrections more often.

New and improved in this release

Faster Sync

In addition to enabling new first and third-party apps for accessing your Mendeley library, the new sync infrastructure allows faster and more data-efficient sync of large libraries. Syncing a typical library is now 2-3x faster. If your library is large (many thousands of entries) or you are on a slower connection, the benefits will be much greater.

Catalog Import

Mendeley Desktop matches papers you import to entries in our catalog which combines data from users and other sources, providing readership statistics, popular tags and other information for papers. In Mendeley Desktop 1.13 we’ve added an Update Details option to import data from the catalog into your Mendeley library. This should save you time when you come to cite the paper. To use it, just select a group of entries in your library, right click and select Update Details:

md-113-win-update-details-1-cropped

Mendeley will then refresh the details with the latest version of the entry from our catalog:

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Hit the ‘View research catalog entry for this paper’ link to see more about the paper on Mendeley. Where the author is on Mendeley themselves and has uploaded the paper to their My Publications folder, you can also connect with them:

md-113-win-update-details-catalog-cropped

Early access to new Mendeley features

If you’d like to get early access to new Mendeley releases, you can opt-in to our preview releases via Help -> Check for Updates -> Opt-in to Experimental Releases in the app. The current preview release is a bug-fix update which addresses several of the top causes of crashes in the app.

New for Developers

This release of Mendeley Desktop is built entirely upon our new API which is also available for public use. Unlike our previous public API, the new platform provides access to all of the data which is displayed in Mendeley Desktop including documents, folders, annotations, file attachments and metadata lookup. If you want to build your own tools that use Mendeley’s data, check out our developer portal.

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 Released

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 has been released. The major new feature in this release are the new Contents and Enrichments tabs in the right-hand pane which provide an easier way to get an overview of a paper and dive into the relevant section of it. For an introduction to this, see our previous blog post. There are also a number of bug fixes for legal and working paper citations, handling of internal links in the PDF viewer and more.

One additional new feature in this release is a facility to opt-in to notifications of preview releases of Mendeley Desktop. New features and bug fixes for Mendeley first appear in our ‘development preview’ releases before we roll them out to a wider audience. Until now, you had to download preview releases manually from the downloads page. As of Mendeley Desktop 1.11, there is now an option to get notifications of new preview releases automatically from within the app and install them with a couple of clicks.

 

A note about Preview Releases

Please note that preview releases are not final and will have had less testing than our stable releases. If you’re not comfortable using beta software or you have an urgent deadline coming up, stick to the stable release.

Getting Preview Releases

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 now provides an option to opt-in to experimental preview releases of Mendeley. We’re rolling MD 1.11 out gradually to existing users, so if you’ve not got it yet, just go to Help -> Check for Updates.

To enable notifications of preview releases in 1.11 and later, go to Help -> Check for Updates -> Opt-in to Experimental Releases. Mendeley will then check for new preview releases whenever it is started and offer to install them. You will always have the option of whether or not to install a new preview release and you can opt-out of preview releases at any time via the Help -> Check for Updates menu.

Mendeley Desktop preview opt-in

Feedback

Please note that we can’t offer the same level of support for previews as we do for our stable releases, but we would like to hear about any bugs you encounter or thoughts on new features or changes via our support forum

More Tips and Updates

For more tips on using Mendeley, updates about releases and other news follow our Twitter accounts (@MendeleyTips, @MendeleySupport). If you’d like to vote on feature requests, please visit our uservoice forum.

 

Quicker Literature Reviews with the Mendeley Desktop 1.11 Preview

Today we’re announcing a preview of the next release of Mendeley Desktop, which adds an experimental feature to help you explore papers and find relevant information in them more quickly. This improved reading experience is initially available for Open Access papers, but we’re hoping to expand it to additional content in future.

Table of Contents

We automatically analyze the hierarchical structure of papers, identify the main headings and present them in the ‘Contents‘ tab. From the ‘My Library’ tab, you can browse supported papers and jump directly to the section of the document you are interested in.

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Figures

We attempt to identify tables and figures that appear in the paper and list them in the ‘Summary‘ tab. You can  then select a table or figure to jump directly to the relevant section of the paper.

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Tables of Data

Tables in the paper are located, the data is extracted from them, and the results presented in a normalised style for easier reading. You can also export the data by clicking the drop-down arrow in the header for the table and selecting ‘Copy as HTML‘. From there you can paste the data into a spreadsheet such as Excel for quick analysis or visualization.

word-segmentation-results-table

Getting the Preview

Initially, we’re making this feature available for papers in our catalog that have been identified as Open Access. To see examples of enrichments:

    1. Download the preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.11
    2. Go to the ‘Literature Search’ pane in Mendeley Desktop, click the magnifying glass icon in the search box and select ‘Open Access’ to limit your search to open access papers.
    3. Search for a topic that interests you
    4. Browse the results. When you select a paper, if we’ve automatically extracted an outline, tables and figures then they will appear in the ‘Contents’ and ‘Summary’ tabs in the right-hand pane.

Feedback

This is a new and experimental feature which we’re making available for early feedback. We know that we have plenty of work to do to expand coverage to more papers and improve the recall and accuracy of extraction, especially for tables with more complex layouts.

The research that enabled this feature was developed as part of the EU-funded CODE project, with partners at the University of Passau and the Know-Center in Graz.

Join Us!

Would you like to help us make the lives of researchers easier? Interested in developing algorithms for data extraction, working with a library of the world’s research or creating beautiful apps for scientists? We’re looking for a data scientist to help us extract information from papers and engineers to help bring the fruits of their work to users on desktops , mobile devices and the web. If you’d like to be involved – please get in touch! For examples of the R&D work we’ve been doing internally and with univeristies, see the Mendeley profiles of Roman and Kris.

Mendeley Desktop 1.10

The next release of Mendeley Desktop is here. You can update from within the app via Help → Check for Updates or download it here.

Mendeley Desktop 1.10 features improvements in two main areas: creating citations and discovering relevant research.

Journal Abbreviations

To make it easier to generate correct citations Mendeley Desktop 1.10 will now automatically abbreviate publication titles according to the rules of the style. We’ve included a built-in set of abbreviations and rules which should cover most publications out of the box. You can however provide additional abbreviations or custom lists in cases where the built-in ones do not match the output you need.

 abbr-prefs

For BibTeX users, we’re handling abbreviations by providing an option to control whether the ‘journal’ field contains the full publication title (the default) or an automatically generated abbreviation. This can be set from the BibTeX tab in the Options/Preferences dialog.

abbr-bibtex

In addition to journal abbreviations, we’ve also been checking and adjusting the styles used for many Elsevier journals.

Related Research

A key goal of Mendeley is to help users discover useful content related to their research interests. On the article pages in our catalog, we display papers related to the current entry.

In this release, we’ve added a new Related Research view which provides a way to quickly find articles in our catalog that are related to the selected content in Mendeley Desktop. With Related Research you can get:

  • Instant recommendations based on specific articles – Select a single document, a group of documents or a whole folder just hit the ‘Related’ button to find research related to those papers.
  • Quick and easy import – You can add recommended papers to your library with a single click and if we have permission to do so, we’ll include the full text of the article as well.
  • Drill-down into recommendations – When you find a recommendation that interests you, select it and click ‘Related Documents’ again to view further suggestions based on that paper.

Using Related Research is simple. Just select the document(s) or folder you are interested in and click the ‘Related’ button on the toolbar:

related-toolbar

Mendeley Desktop will then search the catalog of the world’s research that we’ve crowdsourced from users and publishers and present related papers:

related_02_result

The recommendations come from a mix of analysis based on the content of the selected paper and what other users with similar interests are reading. Our new recommendations service is still young and we’re working on tuning the results, so please give us feedback and let us know how we’re doing.

Other Improvements

Alongside the two main improvements this release also includes a number of important bug fixes and stability and performance improvements. See the release notes for more details.

Supported Platforms

We are planning changes to supported versions of Mac, Windows and Word in the near future. This release introduces support for the upcoming OS X 10.9 and Windows 8.1 operating systems, expected to become widely available in October. There are no changes to supported versions of Mac OS X or Word in this update but in subsequent releases we intend to retire support for OS X 10.5, Word 2008 on Mac and Word 2003 on Windows.

 

Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview

A preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.7 is available. This release makes it easier to use custom and 3rd-party citation styles, includes an updated plugin for citing your Mendeley documents in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac and includes a number of improvements to search.

 

Citation Styles

  • Easier sharing and installation of custom and 3rd-party styles. Go to View → Styles → More Styles → Get More Styles , paste a link to a style in the box and click ‘Download’. You can also drag and drop citation style (CSL) files into the styles dialog.
  • We have refreshed the available library of citation styles from the citationstyles.org repository. This adds many new styles.

Updated Mac Word 2011 Plugin

The Mac Word plugin has been updated for Word 2011 on Mac. The updated plugin has a more obvious UI for inserting citations and bibliographies. It is also much faster when refreshing medium to large bibliographies.  Word 2008 is still supported, but it will continue to use the earlier plugin which is accessible from the ‘Script’ menu in Word.

 

Search

Internal search has been overhauled in this release.  Many of the changes are internal to improve consistency, performance and stability.  There are a number of user-visible changes:

  • Search is now incremental across full text and metadata.
  • Search is faster and more stable when searching many large PDFs.
  • More consistent behavior between full text, document details and citation editor search.
  • Search now finds and shows matches for the search keywords in all metadata fields.
  • Improved handling of boolean queries (with AND, OR and ‘-‘ (NOT) terms).
  • Spelling corrections will now include suggestions from the full text as well as document details.

Other Improvements

  • The look and organization of the menus and toolbars have been streamlined on Windows and Linux.  The Mac version had a UI overhaul in the previous release, so we thought it was only fair to give a little love to the Windows and Linux versions.
  • Improvements to import of RIS files generated by RefMan
  • Updated tab-switching shortcuts that are more consistent with web browsers (Chrome, Firefox).
  • Improved performance for BibTeX sync and batch metadata edits.  We’ve also fixed a number of causes of UI ‘hiccups’ (sometimes referred to as lag) when using the app.
  • Import suggestions. Mendeley Desktop will notice when you tend to import PDFs from the same locations repeatedly and will offer to automatically import other articles from the same folder.

As always, we really appreciate help from early adopters helping us get the next release into shape.  Please download the preview and let us know if you find any issues.  You can report any issues on our support forum .  You can also suggest improvements our UserVoice forum.

For the full list of fixes and improvements, please see the release notes.

Mendeley Desktop 1.6 Released

The final version of Mendeley Desktop 1.6 is here.  Please see our announcement of the preview release for a list of the improvements in this version and this gallery for screenshots.  In addition to the features in the preview, other enhancements added for the final release include:

  • Improved search in the PDF viewer.  Opening a PDF from the search view in My Library will start a search for the phrase in the PDF, search results wrap around when clicking Next / Previous, we display the number of matches and we no longer dim the whole page when highlighting matches.
  • Support for LibreOffice on Windows and improved detection of available LibreOffice / OpenOffice versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Please note that on Mac the plugin only supports LibreOffice.
  • Under Tools -> Options -> Connection, there is a ‘Use system connection settings’ checkbox in case you need to use custom proxy settings with Mendeley Desktop for any reason that are different to those used by Internet Explorer or Safari.

Many Windows users have asked for a version of Mendeley Desktop which can be installed and updated on systems without administrator rights.  There is now a customized installer (this is for 1.5.1, but it will update to 1.6 after install) which will install and run Mendeley Desktop from your home folder.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on this release, please keep it coming in!  You can vote for improvements on the feedback forum and get help with any problems on the support forum.

One final note, there are no changes to the supported platforms in this update but for the next release, Windows users will need Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later (if you’re reading this and you’re not sure, it is very likely that you already have this) and Linux users will require Ubuntu 10.04 or equivalent.  On Mac, we hope to support OS X 10.5 for a little longer, but if you can run Snow Leopard or newer, we’d suggest doing so.

Mendeley Desktop 1.6 Preview

A preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.6 is available.  Improvements in this release include:

  • A visual refresh on Mac and initial support for ‘Retina’ display Macs.
  • Improved full-screen reading experience on Mac
  • The ability to add page numbers, chapters and other kinds of location within a larger work for individual citations.
  • The ability to suppress author names and add custom prefixes and suffixes for individual citations.
  • Improved compatibility with various proxies in corporate and campus networks.  Mendeley will use the system proxy settings on Mac and Internet Explorer’s settings on Windows.  If you encounter any problems, please let us know in our support forum.
  • When you drag and drop publications to ‘My Publications’, we now make it clearer that the documents will appear on your Mendeley profile and that the PDFs will be downloadable from there.
  • Clearer ‘Getting Started’ steps after installing the Word plugins.
  • Various small improvements to citation formatting.
  • The Filter and QuickShare panes in the lower-left corner can now be hidden when you don’t need them.

If you’d like to test the new release, please download the preview and report any issues in our support forum.  For more screenshots, see this gallery.