Explore mindfulness to improve your research–life balance

The human mind can be trained to cope with and relieve stress. This training is called mindfulness. By increasing awareness of thoughts and emotions in a given moment, it helps to avoid getting carried away. Mindfulness is proven to improve mental and even physical health – and now Elsevier’s Researcher Academy is bringing mindfulness to researchers in a brand-new module.

See the new Mindfulness module

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Why is mindfulness important to researchers? The work of a researcher can feel overwhelming. The pressures associated with funding, competition and deadlines can affect a researcher’s wellbeing and peace of mind. In turn, this can mean a poorer work–life balance, reduced work efficiency and burnout. Mindfulness can help researchers take charge over their own lives.

The new Researcher Academy module will explore the practice of mindfulness in coping with stress as well as improving mental health and overall wellbeing. It will include an exploration of the scientific background of the practice and step-by-step guide to mindfulness in daily research routines.

The Mindfulness module will go live on 14 November at 11:00 a.m. (UTC). Register today!

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Get more career guidance from Elsevier’s Research Academy here

Find out how to unlock your research potential with Elsevier’s Researcher Academy here

Advisor of the month: Virginia Ballance

Virginia BallanceVirginia Ballance is the Nursing and Health Sciences Librarian at the University of The Bahamas. She works in the Hilda Bowen Library at the nursing school campus in downtown Nassau Bahamas.

How did you get into your field?
I loved studying and working in the library while I was at university and after graduate school studies sort of moved seamlessly into librarianship.

Where do you do work best?
In the library.

How long have you been using Mendeley?
I set up an account several years ago mostly to try it out. Last year the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research suggested I offer a workshop on reference management – we selected Mendeley because of the great features.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?
Years ago I used EndNote but in recent years, embarrassed to say, I wasn’t using anything…

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
The Mendeley Advisor programme encouraged me to really learn to use the product and exploit all its features as well as providing me with the training materials (presentations that could be customized, posters and certificates) needed to run a workshop. Being an Advisor puts you in contact with a fabulous group of Mendeley users all over the world to share experiences using Mendeley. There are other great benefits such as having a larger account size and greater number of Mendeley groups.

Which researcher would you most like to work with, dead or alive?
Hard question – to be honest, I really enjoy working with the students and faculty here at the University of The Bahamas.

What book are you reading at the moment?
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and about 10 other books…

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
I discovered Google Crisis Maps. This is a special project which gives access to satellite images and maps specifically for emergency situations. I was amazed to see details of the extent of the devastation on the two islands in the Bahamas that were hit by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019. https://www.google.org/crisismap/weather_and_events

What’s the best part about working in research?
Seeing your name in print! Getting cited!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
Procrastination. Making time in the day or the week to work on writing especially when there are so many distractions.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It can make your scholarly writing so much easier…

Do you have any advice for young researchers?
Absolutely – be brave, go to conferences, present your ideas, network, work with your colleagues, and let the librarians in your institution know what you are working on.

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Watch Virginia give advice on the best methods and tools to effectively collect, organize and retrieve a personal knowledge base as part of Elsevier’s recent Build My Knowledge webinar

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

Efficiently building knowledge

By: Louise Springthorpe

BMK webinar image 2How much time do you spend adding to your knowledge base? Consider all the tasks involved: searching for data and literature; evaluating their relevance; downloading what you need; and then organizing everything, including your own experimental data, so that you can always find and share a given piece of information when it’s required.

We estimate that researchers spend one to two days per week on such tasks. Fortunately, there are ways to increase efficiency, leaving more time to focus on research projects.

One way is ensuring that information is easy to discover. Elsevier’s research solutions, like ScienceDirect, Scopus, Reaxys and Engineering Village, access high-quality collections of literature and data indexed with dedicated taxonomies. Articles and books are available in electronic formats to support efficient review, and data export is possible in a range of formats suitable for further analytics.

Mendeley is a popular and user-friendly platform for creating your own library. Its collaborative features allow multiple researchers to annotate documents and share information. Elsevier is also refining our text mining tools to improve library searching. For more reliable data capture, management and storage, we offer an ELN and cloud-based platforms, including Mendeley Data.

These cutting-edge solutions reflect Elsevier’s promise to build an ecosystem of solutions and services that help researchers achieve their goals more efficiently.

Join our Build My Knowledge: Effectively collect, organize and retrieve your personal knowledge base webinar where 3 fellow researchers will discuss how they effectively collect, organize and retrieve their personal knowledge base and provide insights on how they keep themselves organized in the era of information overload.

Date: Tuesday 10th September
Time: 10am Los Angeles, 1pm New York, 6pm London

Register here

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Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Amy Neeser

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Amy NeeserName: Amy Neeser

Job Title: Consulting and Outreach Lead at University California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

Bio: Amy is a data librarian working in Research IT. She coordinates the consulting efforts across the Data Management and Research Computing programs to offer a holistic approach to data and computation. She also facilitates their community, partnership, and outreach programs. She previously worked as the Research Data Management Program Manager at UC Berkeley, as Data Curation Librarian at the University of Michigan, and as a science librarian at the University of Minnesota.

What motivates you each morning?

I am passionate about research. I love that I get to help enable world changing research by helping Berkeley faculty, students, and staff address the challenges and opportunities associated with research data and computing.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main things really. In terms of practicality, I would love to see RDM really focus on sensitive data needs. Currently this is often managed at an institutional level, but it would make a huge impact if there was a nationwide, or product-based solution that could address this. That would be huge.

Secondly, I think RDM is vital for reproducibility. Technologies like containers and Jupyter Notebooks enable users to share not only their data but also the software, versions, and specs to analyze it. As these types of technologies data management practices become more commonly used, it will be much easier to share and reproduce results!

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

I like how the different modules and features available can easily interact with each other. And it’s practical, supporting the data management process.

I feel that Mendeley Data Repository can help institutions address the reproducibility crisis, and it can save the need for institutions to create a repository at a local level.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I don’t think RDM can or should be “owned” by one unit or department, such as the library. It’s too big an area to be managed alone, and different players bring difference expertise and experience. It calls for a combined effort.

A lot of the questions that I get are in the active phase of the research lifecycle and often include sensitive data. IT can help with these issues, but also needs the library’s expertise around the beginning (planning, finding) and end (publishing, sharing, preserving) of the research lifecycle to provide researchers with a holistic approach to their scholarship.

More researchers from across domains use data and computational resources, and I think IT must be closely aligned with the library and other important players on campus such as the office of research.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: David Groenewegen

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

David GroenewegenName: David Groenewegen

Job Title: Director, Research, Monash University Library

Bio: David Groenewegen is the Director, Research. He is responsible for Library client services to the science, technology, engineering and medicine disciplines at Monash University, as well as the contribution the Library makes to the University’s research activity.

David has wide-ranging experience working in the areas of electronic information provision and related technology. Before returning to Monash University Library in 2013 he spent four years as a Director of the Australian National Data Service, where he was involved with the development and implementation of data management solutions across the Australian university sector.

What motivates you each morning?

The thing I most love doing is trying to find ways to help our researchers do their job better, which in the library means giving them the tools, training and resources they need, at the time they need it, and in ways that simplifies their life, not complicates it. I’ve been lucky to have the chance to try lots of new and cool things in my career, and I’m always looking for the next one.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

I want things to become frictionless. I’d like to see software that’s smart enough to understand the subtleties of where data is stored and create that connect with other software and processes throughout the researcher lifecycle. This would really help to overcome the messiness caused by having information all over the place.

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

One valuable thing that Mendeley Data is trying to address is how to bring data together, and manage it in a consistent end-to-end way. But for me, the modular aspect of Mendeley Data is the most exciting part. You’re not locked into one solution, instead you’re able to plug in different Mendeley Data modules into your own workflows – it’s the way universities like ours want to work

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

The need for RDM is well known, but there are still a lot of people struggling with finding the most frictionless way of doing things. Bespoke software might appear to be the best solution, but often this won’t work fantastically well, as integrating new processes into existing workflows isn’t easy. RDM isn’t as simple as storing data in a repository. I’m seeing growing recognition of the need to curate data and package it up for later use, so that others can get a decent answer out of it. Most of the tools currently available don’t support this very well.

Following on from this, long-term curation and management of shared data is also a key area I’d like to see develop. What was considered a lot of data 10 years ago isn’t now, but it’s not feasible to continue buying more storage so that we can keep everything just in case. Improving metadata goes a long way towards addressing this as it enables you to make quick decisions later on, but I’d like to see new processes developed that help us to identify if we no longer require to hold certain data.

 
Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Rebecca Koskela

Sharing research data has the potential to make research more reproducible and efficient. When developing Mendeley Data – an ecosystem that enables data to be stored, shared and re-used – we worked with a board of librarians and research leaders from across the research data management community.

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Rebecca KoskelaName: Rebecca Koskela

Job Title: Executive Director of DataONE at University of New Mexico

Bio: Rebecca Koskela is responsible for the day-to-day operation of DataONE—coordinating all technical, management, reporting, and budget issues.

Prior to her current position, Rebecca was the Life Sciences Informatics Manager for Alaska INBRE, and the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core Manager for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition to her bioinformatics experience, Rebecca has over 25 years’ of experience in high performance computing, including positions at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cray Research and Intel.

What motivates you each morning?

In addition to duties at DataONE, I’m a volunteer for other projects, such as EarthCube and Research Data Alliance, which are also concerned with research data management. The collaboration with these other projects moves them all forward.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main challenges that I’d like to see addressed more quickly.
It’s great that more and more funding agencies are requiring data management plans, but I think we’re lagging in the development of tools to help people do the actual planning.

I also still see problems today around data discovery and the need for adequate documentations to re-use data. In 2010, we carried out a survey at DataONE which found that researchers had limited understandings of metadata standard. Unfortunately, even with the emphasis on FAIR data, we still have a long way to go to highlight the significance of metadata.

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

The thing that stands out to me the most about Mendeley Data is that, contrary to what people may think, Elsevier doesn’t own the data – it remains in the control of the researcher. I love that.

Mendeley Data 5 factsI also really like the fact that users can pick and choose which modules they’d like to use. This means that you can get started somewhere, and have the option to expand into other RDM tools when it suits you, instead of having to start using everything from the offset.

What value does Mendeley Data bring to the space?

Mendeley Data is all about education – it helps people learn what is meant by RDM, and then provides the tools to do it.

I also like the fact that you can manage different metadata standards with Mendeley Data. It’s a good quality product built on strong coding.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I hope that people will pay attention to the need for quality metadata. I’d like to see better tools being developed that will speed up change here.
I also think that education needs to play at important part in RDM – it should go hand-in-hand with tool creation. I also want to see some success stories that show how added effort can really pay off.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

 

Supporting the movement toward gender equity in STEM

Diverse faculties are vital. In research, they bring different perspectives to bear on projects, supporting innovation and discovery. In education, they foster a greater range of young minds thanks to their broader understanding of marginalization and privilege. While some advances toward gender equity in STEM faculties have been made, women remain greatly under-represented, particularly women of color.

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) recognizes the serious long-term impact of this lack of diverse perspectives in research and education. They’re working toward equity in STEM, and this year, they’ve launched an exciting initiative to further that crucial goal: the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Community. It is intended to bring together diverse audiences, including scholars, educators, practitioners and researchers, to collaborate on, discuss and implement change.

At Mendeley, we firmly believe in the goals of the AWIS and are proud to be supporting them. We have created a new dedicated online group for the ARC Network to help members from across the globe connect. They can share both ideas and resources, including reports, articles, datasets and videos, as well as organizing online events and learning opportunities.

In addition, Elsevier’s preprint service SSRN will host a dedicated STEM First Look series to support the initiative. This will be a quarterly digest of STEM equity content and early-stage research, including presentations, white papers, videos, podcasts and webinars.

Mendeley and SSRN are designed for connection, sharing and collaboration, and that’s exactly what the ARC Network needed when they approached us. As Dr. Heather Metcalf, AWIS Chief Research Officer and ARC Network Principal Investigator explains, “with the online research collaboration tools generously provided by Elsevier, the ARC Network will facilitate the early adoption and implementation of promising practices and sharing of new research findings. Providing these opportunities broadens our collective impact on STEM equity in unprecedented ways.”

Gaby Appleton, Managing Director of Mendeley and Researcher Products said of the collaboration “Supporting researchers and educators is the core vision for Mendeley. We’re delighted to be part of the ARC Network initiative because it means supporting a healthy future for scholarship and innovation in STEM.”

Find out more about AWIS here and their ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Community here

Find out more about SSRN here