Effective research data management with Mendeley Data

The science of tomorrow will require the data from today

All the information underpinning research articles offers value to other researchers: raw and processed data, protocols and methods, machine and environment settings, and scripts and algorithms. Sharing and using such research data can increase the impact, validity, reproducibility, efficiency, and transparency of research.

To unlock the true potential of research data, the Mendeley Data team believe that there is a need to move beyond solely making data available and find a dependable solution that enables data to be stored, shared and re-used. So we launched Mendeley Data. When collaborating with the research community to develop Mendeley Data, we followed four guiding data principles:

  1. Data needs to be discoverable
  2. Data needs to be comprehensible
  3. Researchers should be able to take ownership of their data
  4. Research data management (RDM) solutions need to be interoperable.

Discover more about the four principles for unlocking the full potential of research data.

Empowering researchers to perform research data management

Open science benefits research and society, and drives research performance. Here are five things you need to know about RDM with Mendeley Data:

  1. Mendeley Data supports the entire lifecycle of research data: modules are specifically designed to utilize data to its fullest potential, simplifying and enhancing current ways of working
  2. Researchers own and control their data: you can choose to keep data private, or publish it under one of 16 open data licenses
  3. Mendeley Data is an open system: modules are designed to be used together, as standalones, or combined with other RDM solutions
  4. Mendeley Data can increase the exposure and impact of research: Mendeley Data Search indexes over 10 million datasets from more than 35 repositories
  5. We actively participate in the open data community: we are currently working on more than 20 projects globally

View an infographic on the five facts

Mendeley Data 5 facts

Striving for superior data management for researchers

No one can solve RDM challenges alone, nor can one business unleash the full potential of research data sharing. However, through following core data principles, and continually evaluating and improving the RDM solutions built on our Mendeley Data platform, we hope to be able to contribute to supporting researchers discover the value of their data .

Get started with Mendeley Data.

Find out more about all-things Mendeley here

Mendeley’s vision for supporting researchers

Gaby-Appleton-at-MendeleyGaby Appleton is the Managing Director for Mendeley and Researcher Products at Elsevier. She leads an expert product management team in a mission to support millions of researchers with better digital information systems. The aim is to help them have more impact with their work and effectively demonstrate that impact, to stay up to date, to organize and share their knowledge, and to advance their career. She brings over 15 years’ experience to her role along with a passion for the world of research. We met with her to discuss the development vision for Mendeley.

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the development vision for Mendeley. How would you define that vision?

Our vision for Mendeley and indeed for all the Elsevier solutions is to contribute to improving the information system that supports research — an ecosystem of tools and data that addresses real challenges in researchers’ daily reality.

What informs that vision?

Above all, it’s informed by conversations with researchers, which is something I spend a lot of time on. Not that it is a hardship! Spending time with them is truly one of the highlights of my job. Hearing about ground-breaking research from people who are so enthusiastic about what they’re doing is inspirational.

But it’s also essential. The Mendeley team that is responsible for defining our vision needs that open, honest contact with researchers.

Why are those conversations so important?

Because our development strategy has to focus on the problems we can solve for users. If we were doing something because it was exciting technologically but it didn’t address real challenges, then we’d be completely missing the point. We need to ground our development in researchers’ needs.

That’s why we start by listening to gain insight into their challenges, then look at what the technology can do, and finally design solutions to those challenges.

What is the vision for Mendeley’s development that has come out of conversations with researchers?

Based on all the challenges researchers have talked about, we’ve adopted four principles to guide our development strategy: source neutrality, interoperability, transparency, and user control.

Source neutrality means that researchers can use this information system to retrieve, store and disseminate information regardless of the publisher. An unbiased view is the essence of good research and we want to ensure that our platforms and tools are open to content beyond Elsevier’s. Mendeley users can receive recommendations on what to read next (Mendeley Suggest) based on what they’ve already added to their library, and funders-imagethese recommendations are not limited to Elsevier – they can be from any publisher. And we don’t restrict that to papers. Researchers have talked about challenges with staying abreast of funding opportunities, so we’ve worked to provide one of the largest aggregations of funding information, maintaining source neutrality and transparency. The same applies to career postings.

Interoperability is about ensuring that applications, tools and data sets from different providers can work together. The Mendeley API represents our commitment to interoperability with any tools that researchers need.

Transparency is vital to researchers. If they receive an alert or recommendation, they need to know what prompted it. Otherwise, they can’t know if it’s relevant without spending time assessing it. If they are looking at search results, it’s great if they can see how their search string relates to those results. That helps with filtering and refining the hit set. An example of how we maintain transparency is in the functioning of Mendeley Suggest. It makes recommendations for further reading based on what a user and their colleagues are reading, but crucially, it includes information about why that article is relevant.

Control is all about giving researchers control of their own data, where it’s shared and how it’s used by the system. If they don’t want their data to be visible beyond a select group of users, or they don’t want their behavior to provoke recommendations, they should be able to opt out of those features. User control is all about making it easy for an individual to find the settings for preferences. A good example in our system is Mendeley Data, which makes it easy for users to define exactly who sees their data. Similarly, the organization, privacy and recommendation settings of researchers’ reference manager library are easy to control. What displays in a Mendeley Profile is entirely at the user’s discretion.

That’s where our development team constantly strives to take Mendeley: to keep it open to content from any source; to make sure its application programming interface is compatible with multiple tools and platforms; to give users insight into how its features make recommendations; and to ensure that it’s easy for users to set their preferences.

You’re currently developing a new reference manager, now available in BETA, which is a completely re-platformed and updated version of Mendeley’s core reference management function. How does it align with this vision for Mendeley?

I’ll leave it to my colleague Laura Thomson, our Head of Reference Management, to talk about the new Mendeley Reference Manager in more detail in her upcoming interview. Briefly, reference management tools are what we’re best known for. Mendeley Desktop is now ten years old and, while it’s developed incrementally over that time, to really act on users’ feedback and make some big improvements, we felt we needed to take a new RNS_963_a.General version image (2)approach and take advantage of new technologies that have become available since the original Mendeley Desktop was built.

The new Mendeley Reference Manager remains free-to-use and publisher agnostic. The Mendeley API remains open, allowing researchers and developers to create interoperability with multiple tools. We’ve ensured that the settings for the library, recommendations and so on are transparent and in researchers’ control. It’s unique in satisfying those four aspects of the vision for an information system supporting research.

Every aspect of Mendeley follows the same principles and is informed by real-world conversations: from reference management through data sharing to showcasing impact.

We would never pretend that we have all the answers, but we listen. We’ll continue to communicate with researchers as we work on each application of Mendeley. Our goal at Elsevier is an information system that supports research, and Mendeley aims to remain a core part of that.

Thank you very much for your time.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Find out more about all-things Mendeley here

Find out more about the information system supporting research here 

We’re continuing to offer Mendeley Institutional Edition benefits

You may have seen some recent posts about Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) benefits no longer being offered. We’d like to reassure all our users that this is not the case.

MIE customers will continue to receive their existing benefits, which will be integrated into our core Elsevier institutional offering. Our communication around this has not been as clear as we would have liked, for which we apologize. We are getting in touch with all our MIE customers with more detailed information.

To be clear: nothing is changing for our MIE customers, and we’re committed to continuing to support them.

Mendeley is a key part of Elsevier’s range of services for researchers, and we continue to invest heavily in its on-going development. All of our 10 million registered users are important to us, and we always develop with you in mind. We continue to bring researchers new and improved solutions and tools. This month, for example, we have added new data metrics and made it possible to preview 3D files in datasets in Mendeley Data Repository. We have lots of other exciting updates happening across Mendeley over the coming weeks and months, including new reference management tools (be sure to keep an eye on this blog to learn more).

Mendeley remains committed to supporting the academic community and we look forward to continuing to work together with all our users.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Mendeley Support.

Mendeley advisor of the month: Eko Sumartono, SP., M.Sc

Eko

Eko Sumartono is a researcher at the Department of Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bengkulu. Eko was born to a family of teachers and farmers: “Our life was very simple at that time. I was born in a city full of history, and a long coastal area, namely Bengkulu, Indonesia. Beginning in 1999, I migrated to the City of Education in Java, namely the Special Region of Yogyakarta. From this city I know a lot of variety and knowledge. I continued with the College in one of the Agribusiness Study Programs, Faculty of Agriculture, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta. It took me four years to graduate with a good title of GPA 3.26. As long as I go to school in Yogyakarta, with a hobby in agriculture, I manage a small shop by peddling modern-style dishes. Furthermore, I also work part-time by managing the menu of agricultural products to be healthy and inexpensive food for other students.”
Eko completed a Masters of Agribusiness Management (on Tobacco Research) at Gadjah Mada University, and in 2015 he took his existing theoretical and practical knowledge and started teaching in one of the Agribusiness Programs in the Department of Social Economics, University of Bengkulu. “Mendeley really helps me, and I can transmit the benefits and functions of this Mendeley tool in order to progress my research with friends of research collaboration in Indonesia and abroad.”

What motivates you in your work?

“I found that one of the visions of the university where I work is to become a world-class university in 2025, so my way to improve the knowledge and standard of living of others is by providing the best convenience for them to share my knowledge. This is what calls me to be a part of it by using Mendeley tools. I believe that our country needs a better place for its citizens. Through this role, I can be part of this very valuable mission.

What sort of work environment suits you best?

“I used to work in several types of work environment, and I enjoyed new things from each of these conditions. I can say that actually I don’t have a particular preference about the work environment. I just like working with people who are highly committed to doing extraordinary things and have responsibility for their work.”

What’s been your experience of using Mendeley?

“I learned about Mendeley just six months ago with friends at Indonesian Journal Volunteers. At that time I was taught to use these tools by Supriyono, M.Sc and then I learned from various friends until I also had to study and I also had to pass on a little knowledge that I had.”

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

“Researchers who have the concept of the future and life without looking back from the background.”

What book are you reading at the moment?

“”The Earth of Mankind”. In this book, Minke also experienced an inner conflict about his views on education and its influence in changing human degrees. Interestingly, this book combines Indonesian history and romance that is integrated in a harmonious story.”

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

“Learning to share time is all important, and sharing is beautiful.”

 

You can find out more about Mendeley at www.mendeley.com

Meet the team: Heather Williams

Heather Williams

Job title

Sr. Product Manager for Mendeley Careers

Introduction

I studied as a psychologist and majored in human-technology interaction (human factors). My first job was at the US DOD Human Systems Analyst Centers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Case in Ohio. Later I moved to LexisNexis, inspired by what I heard a couple of my grad school mates were doing there, I wanted to do that too. While I was at LexisNexis I learned of a User-Centered Design Group at Elsevier and I felt interested in creating designs for doctors, nurses and researchers and applied to move. I interviewed nine times and even created a prototype to get a position there, which worked. While at Elsevier, I got the opportunity to work in nearly each business unit in the company, and I’ve interviewed hundreds of our users in multiple fields and disciplines in health, science, technology and engineering.

After thirteen years, I relocated to Amsterdam from New York, still doing user understanding and design, but I moved in to an R&D group. While in this group I switched careers and moved into product management. I was now working with other designers and other disciplines. During this period, I got involved with a concept that developed into a full product launch – Mendeley Careers. I stayed with it. That launch moved me officially to Mendeley. Nearly nineteen years later, I still love working in this company.

But I also enjoy other fun stuff – making new memories with my family and friends over food and/or travel. I learned to enjoy running. I love to go to gigs. I like to ski when I can get to snow & altitude. I laugh easily and really like experiencing good design in all its forms.

When did you join Mendeley?

1 December 2016

What do you love most about your job?

I love all of it the most. I literally believe in the power of human connection to the users I serve and their connection to improvement of society and our planet.

What book did you most recently read?

The Platform Revolution. It was really good, but I should find something else to read next.

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

We believe in you. That might sound a bit cheesy, but helping others make improvements, increasing knowledge, is what motivates me so much about my role here at Mendeley.

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

I help researchers make better connections between their work and others. Hopefully it increases their chances for better collaboration and other research opportunities to help them move their work forward.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

The problems we help solve.

What keeps you awake at night?

I sleep really well. Solutions to complicated problems often get resolved in my dreams. So I like my sleep ☺

The importance of interoperability

We recognize that interoperability is vitally important to Mendeley users. Our users should be able to easily integrate what they are doing on Mendeley with other applications and tools. We also want to ensure that this workflow experience is seamless: moving from our platform to one that you use for different tasks should be quick and simple to do.

To help achieve this, we’ve always had and will continue to have an open public API (application programming interface). Many companies and developers use our API, because it’s the most stable way for them to integrate their products with Mendeley. Organizations like F1000, the Centre for Open Science (COS) and Altmetric.com have been using it freely for many years. We’re committed to maintaining this open API for third party developers. It’s available at https://dev.mendeley.com/

Last year, a Mendeley update went live that had the unintentional consequence of hindering interoperability. We made a change to the Mendeley Desktop application that broke some integrations with users’ local Mendeley database, including Zotero’s import tool, which resulted in it not working with Mendeley. We’re really sorry about this — it was never our intention to break these integrations and we should have picked this up in release testing.

We’ve heard a lot from our users about this and our team has been working behind the scenes on two things.

First, we clearly heard from users that they want to be more in control of how and when they can export their PDFs, annotations and highlights directly from Mendeley. Improvements were released in Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.3 and further improvements to the export process will be released as part of Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.4.

Second, we’ll work to release a long-term stable Zotero integration. This solution will be available in the 1.19.5 release of Mendeley Desktop towards the middle of this year. We’ll let everyone know the exact dates that this will go live as soon as we can. To be clear, users can still move their libraries to Zotero, it’s just that they can’t do it using the Zotero importer tool. Click here to find out how.

UPDATE 2 May 2019: In January we told you that the solution to the long-term stable Zotero integration solution would be available in the 1.19.5 release of Mendeley Desktop towards the middle of this year. We are still planning to release this solution in the middle of this year, but the version number will be 1.19.6 and not 1.19.5 as we previously indicated in this blog post. Mendeley Desktop 1.19.5 was released on 2 May 2019. You can find more information about our releases at: www.mendeley.com/release-notes

I must say a big thank you to the users who’ve spoken to us in detail about these issues. They’ve helped us better understand how they’re using and interacting with our platform. We’ve updated our procedures to incorporate this feedback, including improving our Customer Support information and services; and we’ve reviewed our testing procedures for new releases. Mendeley Desktop users can also get previews of upcoming releases by signing up for development releases in Mendeley Desktop if they want to, which makes new features and updates available before we roll them out more widely.

I’m excited by the developments we have in the pipeline. Our team is working hard to deliver these as soon as we can.

Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management