Basri recently came to visit us at Mendeley HQ in London and told us about his research investigating students’ perception of Mendeley in academic writing, and of his amazing plans to organise the Mendeley International Symposium in Education (MISE) in Makassar next year.
How did you get into your field and what is your research story? I get into my field in billiteracy development through the extensive reading and research over years and years. My current research on the Exploring Indonesian students’ perception on Mendeley reference management software in academic writing has been presented in the The 2nd International Conference on Information Technology, Computer, And Electrical Engineering (ICITACEE 2015) indexed by IEEExplore.
Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you? Doing research with the community development looking at the literacy program under the UNESCO Project on National Literacy Building for Timor Leste and the UNESCO program on education for all is an exciting work for the my latest work experience as a UNESCO consultant of education for all for Timor Leste.
How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research? I have been on Mendeley for more than two years after experiencing using Endnote in my PhD work. Mendeley is a simple reference management software and easy to use in academic writing.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program? Since experiencing Mendeley easy to use in the academic writing then I decided to incorporate Mendeley in writing article, research paper and other publication.
What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive? Nancy Hornberger, a Professor in Pensylvania University, USA who pioneering the continua model of biliteracy.
What book are you reading at the moment and why? Language Ecology authored by Dr. Mark Garner, the Roehampton University since this book inspired my research on ecological perspective on language use in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
What is the best part about working in research? The best part of working in research is the way we find the most up to date, and futuristic topics, as well as finding the dynamic of the data in the field to put into a comprehensive output of the research.
And the worst/most challenging part about working in research? The most challenging part of research is working with the participants who are quite difficult to reach and communicate with for data collection.
What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley? One thing that I want people to know about Mendeley is the way Mendeley help authors in citing and referencing simultaneously as well as highlighting feature for easy revision.
In July, some of us Mendeleyans had the amazing privilege to fly over to Washington to visit the NASA HQ for the New Horizons Pluto Flyby. During our trip, we had the chance to meet some of NASA’s scientists, one of whom is planetary geologist and a program scientist Sarah Noble. Sarah’s specific interested are in space weathering on environments such as the Moon, Mercury, and asteroids.
We recently got in contact with Sarah again, to speak with her about being a women in planetary geology.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a program scientist at NASA Headquarters. In my job I have two main hats to wear, grants management and mission work. I manage several Research and Analysis (R&A) programs for the planetary science division, making sure that we find and fund the best planetary research. I also serve as a program scientist on missions, like the recent LADEE mission to the Moon, and I’m currently the Deputy Program Scientist for our next Mars rover, Mars 2020. A program scientist serves as a sort of liaison between HQ and the science team, it’s our job to make sure that the mission actually produces good science. I also get to do a little science once in a while, my research is mostly working with Apollo samples to understand the effects of space weathering on the properties of lunar rocks and soils.
Is this what you wanted to be, when you were growing up? If not, what did you want to become?
I think I always knew that I would work for NASA, though as a kid, of course, I wanted to be an astronaut, didn’t every kid?
With Moon rock and the giant microscope I use to study it.
Doing a Q&A just before the LADEE launch.
What is your background and how did you get to where you are now?
I started my undergrad as an aerospace engineering major (because it was the only major with the word “space” in it), but quickly realized that I was much more interested in science than engineering. I switched to geology and fell in love with it, I also minored in both political science and art, because why not? I continued on the geology path in graduate school, specializing in planetary geology. After completing my PhD, I took a year or so off from science to scratch my political science itch and went to work for Congress. As an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, I worked as a committee staffer for the Space and Aeronautics subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology. Then I went back to science, in what I like to call my “NASA-nomad phase, where in the span of a few years I worked at NASA Johnson Space Center, then NASA HQ, then NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, then NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and finally back to NASA HQ.
Apart from being a lunar/planetary, what else are you/do you do?
In my spare time, I’m an artist. My day job tends to leak over into my art, most of my paintings are of the Moon and planets – they are so beautiful and amazing that I can’t help but paint them.
What are the best and worst parts about working in planetary geology?
In planetary science, we literally get to discover new worlds. Like NASA’s New Horizons mission that flew by Pluto this summer, giving us our very first pictures, and ESA’s Rosetta mission that has brought us incredible views of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. And every time, every new world, they are more amazing and incredible than we had imagined. But it’s a two-sided coin, space is hard, and vast, so our data is always limited. It took New Horizons nine and a half years to get to Pluto (and that’s just from launch, it doesn’t include the nearly three decades of work lobbying, planning, proposing, and building to get the mission off the ground), it will be a long time before we go back.
Is there a problem attracting girls/women to planetary science?
At the graduate school level, we are doing pretty well, about 40% of planetary grad students are women. Recruiting isn’t the problem, retaining is a bigger issue. Those numbers fall off precipitously among tenured faculty and senior researchers.
Me sporting #thatothershirt
With my Pluto painting
Have you had any role models or mentors in your field/during your career? If so, how did they support/encourage you?
My PhD advisor, Carle Pieters, was/is an amazing mentor. She was a women in planetary science back when there weren’t any women in planetary science. When I was her graduate student, her door was always open and whenever I would knock on it, no matter how busy she was (and believe me, she was always busy), she would give me her full attention. No phone calls, no quick glances at her computer, her full attention, which taught me that what I had to say was important and worthwhile.
Are there any particular challenges you’ve faced as a woman in STEM?
Imposter syndrome (the feeling that you are not as smart or qualified as those around you and that one day you will be found out) is something that I have struggled with. It turns out to be quite common among scientists, particularly female scientists, and actually I have found it to be very comforting and reassuring to realize that most of the people around me are struggling with the same feelings. One thing I try to remember to do when I mentor early career scientists is to talk about my failures, not just my successes, it’s important to realize that everybody fails sometimes and it’s not the end of the world. When we only talk about our successes it makes us appear superhuman, and that can be a tough standard to compare yourself to.
What has been your best experience, as a women in STEM?
I help run the Women in Planetary Sciences event at our annual meeting, the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. I used to attend those events when I was a graduate student and it would be maybe twenty people crammed into someone hotel room swapping war stories. Now we fill up the big ballroom, well over a hundred women (and a few men) gathering to support each other and offer advice. Every year as the women are gathering, I take a minute to look around, take in the scene, and remember how far we’ve come.
Is there anything you wish you’d had, to support your career path?
My career path has not been a straight line, I have stepped away from doing research, first to work for Congress, then again at HQ, and I wish there had been more people telling me that that was okay, that getting a tenure-track faculty job wasn’t the only correct path, that I wasn’t “throwing away my science career”. I have no regrets about those decisions, they were the right ones for me, and I love my job. There are lots of ways to be a scientist, and all of them are valid career choices if you end up happy and fulfilled.
Which woman in STEM, dead or alive, do you most admire, and why?
I’m a big fan of Poppy Northcutt – She was the first women engineer to work in mission control and helped to design the return-to-Earth trajectory for Apollo 8. There’s a great picture of her in mission control, fashionably dressed, tousled blond hair, sitting in the midst of a sea of men in short-sleeved white shirts with ties and horn-rimmed glasses – the unofficial uniform of Apollo. One of these things is not like the others, clearly, and yet, everything about her body language and expression says she was right where she belonged, comfortable and confident. It’s hard to be the first, the only, and I love that she didn’t shy away from her “otherness”, didn’t buy herself a white shirt and horn-rimmed glasses.
What advice and encouragement can you offer to girls wanting to enter a career in STEM?
Follow your passion and your curiosity. Science is hard, but if you love it, it’s worth it.
What is your science/tech dream?
Part of me still wants to be an astronaut, or more to the point, I want to visit the Moon, do some field geology, see the Earth rise over the horizon.
If you are, or know, a women in STEM who would be interested in contributing to our Women in STEM blog series, then please email us! We’d love to here your story!
There’s an increasing drive in the scientific community to do more with the data that comes out of research. As funding bodies and governments begin to mandate that all research outcomes must be made available, researchers are looking for ways to publish their data, share it, and make it available for other researchers. The new Mendeley Data repository is designed to help them do exactly that.
“If you think about it, the output from scientific research hasn’t changed in the last 500 years or so,” said Joe Shell, Head of Research Data Management at Mendeley, “It’s always been about the research article, the meta of the experiment if you will, and takes the form of ‘we asked this question, here’s the answer’. What we want to do is enable researchers to show their working, and most importantly get credit for that.”
The platform allows researchers to upload the raw data from their research, and give it a unique identifier (a versioned DOI), making that research citable (please see our FAQs to find out what a DOI is, and how this works in Mendeley Data). For partnering journal websites (so far ScienceDirect, Cellpress, and others in future), the article links to the research dataset on Mendeley Data, enabling readers to quickly drill down from a research article to the underlying data; while the dataset also links to the article.
Researchers can also “privately” share their unpublished data with collaborators, and make available multiple versions of the data relating to a single research project, creating an evolving body of data. As science increasingly moves towards longitudinal studies, which involve repeated observations of the same variables over long periods of time, this will be invaluable.
Mendeley Data has been developed in close collaboration with the research community, to ensure it addresses their needs. “Since we kicked off the project we’ve been having a few users come in every week to test it out,” Joe said. “We’re getting really good feedback on usability”. The Mendeley Data team has been working closely with Mendeley Advisors, and other scientists and publishers to ensure the product serves their needs.
In line with that, and the Mendeley ethos, Mendeley Data is a free service and datasets are licenced under a choice of open licences. Research datasets are permanently archived with DANS (Data Archive and Networking Services) based in the Netherlands. Further, all the features of the web App will be available via a publicly available API (Application Programming Interface) enabling other Apps to build on top of, and interface with, the research data repository. The API will be released in the next few weeks, and you can find out about it first by following the Mendeley API on Twitter.
We’re also proud to announce that Mendeley Data will be collaborating with the Hivebench Electronic Lab Notebook, in the aim of helping researchers to capture and archive data from their experiments, as they collect it in the lab, providing a truly end to end data management solution. This integration is a great example of how one can use the Mendeley Data API.
Do you collect, share or consume research data? We want to make something that serves your needs – we would be delighted to hear your feedback and ideas for Mendeley Data! Please follow the feedback button on the bottom of the Mendeley Data page, comment on this blog or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the run up, we’ve explored the event’s beginnings and how it continues to bring together young professionals from different cultures and disciplines, who share the same passion for discovery and innovation.
What is it?
The Falling Walls foundation was established on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Inspired by this world-changing event on 9 November 1989, the question at the heart of the gathering is: Which walls will fall next?
Since its symbolic beginning, the conference has expanded its sphere of influence. Extensions to the original programme now exist, including the Lab, an opportunity for the brightest minds to showcase their breakthroughs and hone their science communication skills.
The Lab aims to build and promote interdisciplinary connections between young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals from all fields, and in the lead-up to the Lab Finale in Berlin, 36 qualifying events in 29 countries took place in 2015. The three winners of the Berlin Lab will get the chance to present their ideas once more on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference, to an international audience.
Why is it different?
Falling Walls gathers the brightest minds from all over the world. Rarely is it possible to learn and share with as many world leaders in their field, all in one place: ‘Leaders at the intellectual frontier’, describes Scientific American.
Similarly, the Lab is not just any science slam; it incorporates a unique mixture of competition, assertiveness and real curiosity in what other people are doing.
Why should I get involved? Get inspired – Participating in the Lab can give young researchers and innovators visibility on a global stage, but above all it will offer inspiration. Past winning ideas are as diverse as they are exciting. Last year winning projects included ‘the Lorm hand’ – a communication device enabling deaf-blind people to connect with others using social media, technology allowing salt to be filtered out of water and sold on, making the treatment of wastewater profitable, and a project to induce fat cells to secrete insulin, so that type 1 diabetes patients would no longer depend on insulin injections in the future.
Network – Even more so than the conference itself, The Lab is an ideal place to network with like-minded people who want to share their passion and their work with you. Find who works near you, and with whom you would like to collaborate. After the event, stay in touch with Falling Walls and the conference alumni through Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo. Keep them updated with your ideas and get a chance to get your work ‘In the Spotlight’: a new feature in store for this year’s edition, which will document and promote the breakthroughs of conference alumni all over the world.
Hone your outreach skills – Transforming your research into a 3-minute long ‘elevator pitch’ is a challenging restriction. Drawing a compelling presentation out of a complex project will bring out the most essential aspects of your idea: What is it? How does it work? What problem does it solve? Having a strong answer to these questions will help you make your idea sound exciting to people – which is the beginning of success.
We’ll be providing updates from Berlin next week, and will be profiling the winning Lab projects in more detail, so watch this space. You’ll also be able to watch the live stream. In the meantime, check out the Falling Walls blog and watch some videos to find out about previous winning ideas to get your innovative, creative brains working.
They’re here! Your new research features are now visible on Mendeley.com – check it out now!
Feature: Suggest Mendeley’s Data Science team have been working to crack one of the hardest “big data” problems of all: How to recommend interesting articles that users might want to read? For the past six months they have been working to integrate 6 large data sets from 3 different platforms to create the basis for a recommender system. These data sets often contain tens of millions of records each, and represent different dimensions which can all be applied to the problem of understanding what a user is looking for, and providing them with a high-quality set of recommendations.
With the (quite literally) massive base data set in place, the team then tested over 50 different recommender algorithms against a “gold standard” (which was itself revised five times for the best possible accuracy). Over 500 experiments have been done to tweak our algorithms so they can deliver the best possible recommendations. The basic principle is to combine our vast knowledge of what users are storing in their Mendeley libraries, combined with the richness of the citation graph (courtesy of Scopus), with a predictive model that can be validated against what users actually did. The end result is a tailored set of recommendations for each user who has a minimum threshold of documents in their library.
We are happy to report that two successive rounds of qualitative user testing have indicated that 80% of our test users rated the quality of their tailored recommendations as “Very good” (43%) or “Good” (37%), which gives us confidence that the vast majority of Mendeley reference management users will receive high-quality recommendations that will save them time in discovering important papers they should be reading.
For those who are new to Mendeley, we have made it easy for you to get started and import your documents – simply drag-and-drop your papers, and get high-quality recommendations.
On our new “Suggest” page you’ll be getting improved article suggestions, driven by four different recommendation algorithms to support different scientific needs:
Popular in your discipline – Shows you the seminal works, for all time, in your field
Trending in your discipline – Shows you what articles are popular right now in your discipline
Based on the last document in your library – Gives you articles similar to the one you just added
Based on all the documents in your library – Provides the most tailored set of recommended articles by comparing the contents of your library with the contents of all other users on Mendeley.
Suggestions you receive will be frequently recalculated and tailored to you based on the contents of your library, making sure that there is always something new for you to discover. This is no insignificant task, as we are calculated over 25 million new recommendations with each iteration. This means that even if you don’t add new documents to your library, you will still get new recommendations based on the activity of other Mendeley users with libraries similar to yours.
If you are a published author, Mendeley’s “Stats” feature provides you with a unique, aggregated view of how your published articles are performing in terms of citations, Mendeley sharing, and (depending on who your article was published with) downloads/views. You can also drill down into each of your published articles to see the statistics on each item you have published. This powerful tool allows you to see how your work is being used by the scientific community, using data from a number of sources including Mendeley, Scopus, NewsFlo, and ScienceDirect.
Stats gives you an aggregated view on the performance of your publications, including metrics such as citations, Mendeley readership and group activity, academic discipline and status of your readers, as well as any mentions in the news media – helping you to understand and evaluate the impact of your published work. With our integration with ScienceDirect, you can find information on views (PDF and HMTL downloads), search terms used to get to your article, geographic distribution of your readership, and links to various source data providers.
Please keep in mind that Stats are only available for some published authors whose works are listed in the Scopus citation database. To find out if your articles are included, just visit www.mendeley.com/stats and begin the process of claiming your Scopus author profile. If not, please be patient as we work further on this feature.
Mendeley has restyled and simplified the profile page to make it easier to use with improved layout and visual impact. The card-based design and progress bar make updating profile fields a breeze, while the brand new publications feature allows published authors to bulk import their publications from Scopus, de-duplicate them and showcase their work in the publications section. This more comprehensive publications list can also improve the quality of the article recommendations available via Mendeley Suggest.
Feature: Mendeley supports Elsevier sign in
If you’ve registered with another Elsevier product such as My Research Dashboard, ScienceDirect alerts or Scopus, you can now use the same username and password to sign in to Mendeley rather than registering a new account. This will save you from having to remember (yet another!) username and password, as well as giving you access to Stats based on Scopus if this information is already held in your Elsevier account.
Mendeley.com now features a new navigation, which makes it easier to move around the site and makes our Apps clearer and snappier. As always, we welcome your feedback – please comment on this post or head over to our feedback channel, and help us to improve Mendeley further.
What makes a successful PhD student? Hermes believe it is high quality skills in your field, excellent communication skills, proficiency in leading technologies and an international network of peers. At the Hermes summer school, they aim to provide training and opportunities in all these areas.
Hermes is an international summer school committed to excellence in materials modelling and science communication. The interdisciplinary school is organised by PhD students from a variety of different institutions. They also bring together leading academics in materials modelling, top science communicators and leading data visualisation specialists to teach and work with you over the course of your stay.
Participants come from top institutions across the globe, and over the five days they create a lasting network of early-career scientific researchers. During the school they work together in groups, utilising their newfound skills to produce a scientific visualisation and explain it at a widely accessible level.
Hermes has been designed from the ground up by PhD students for PhD students, each of them having previously attended a Hermes summer school and been inspired to build upon what they learnt for the next school. The aim is to provide PhD students with what they want and need, regardless of their career aims. Participants will come away from Hermes feeling more confident about moving forward in their careers, will have research skills at the forefront of their field and will have gained world class skills in data visualisation and science communication. How do we know this? All of the Hermes organising committee are previous participants.
Continuing in the spirit of the highly successful Hermes 2012 and Hermes 2014 conferences, Hermes 2016 promises to provide an enriching experience for all participants. Next years summer school will be held 27th – 31st July at Cumberland Lodge, near Windsor. Applications for the summer school are now open, and you can apply here!
You can find Hermes in twitter at @Hermes_Comms, where you can get regular updates on the upcoming summer school.
Over the past year, we have made major changes to the Mendeley API. Many of these changes made existing Apps work better than before, but some required the developers of those Apps to make changes, and we’ve worked with those developers over the past year to help them make the transition.
In some cases, the developers decided not to transition, which hasn’t been the case of Scholarley. We spoke to the developer, Matthew Wardrop:
Mendeley is a fantastic piece of software that couples with the cloud to synchronise your entire academic paper library across multiple devices. During the early years of my PhD, I loved using Mendeley on my desktop; but also wanted a way to read those papers when I was on the go. At the time, Mendeley did not provide any mobile applications (Android or iOS), but they did have the foresight to provide an API by which all of the documents/metadata/files/etc could be accessed. Motivated by my own paper reading needs, I decided to write an App for Android tablets (and later phones), which took advantage of this API in order to have ready access to my papers when and where I needed them. Thus was Scholarley born!
Around the same time, other Mendeley Apps were being developed (such as Droideley and Referey), each excellent in their own way; but each of them did not provide the features I needed. In time, Scholarley garnered a lot of attention, and continued to accrue ever increasing numbers of users up until the release of Mendeley’s official Android App; at which time it sported more than 37,000 active users. Many features were added into Scholarley at the request of keen users, whom I thank for their enthusiasm.
However, Scholarley was never intended to implement all of Mendeley’s features. With the time and financial budget available to me during my PhD, implementing things like synchronised annotations and in-App PDF viewing were simply not feasible. Furthermore, I always understood that Mendeley would eventually develop and release their own Android application, which in my mind would supersede what I had the resources to provide. Thus, when Mendeley announced plans to work on an Android app, I deprioritised work on Scholarley; and when Mendeley did release their App, I deactivated Scholarley for new users in the Google Play store; and updated the App description to encourage existing users to adopt the new Mendeley App. I am confident that any genuine deficiencies or shortcomings of the official App (compared to Scholarley, which had many of its own) will be worked out in the fullness of time.
Mendeley’s response to Scholarley’s existence and role has been great. Mendeley has on occassion updated or fixed problems with their API based on bugs that surfaced in Scholarley, and kept me abreast of upcoming changes; including the deprecation of the old API which Scholarley uses. While Scholarley could be updated to use the new API, I have chosen instead not to divide the user base, and to support instead the official App. The deprecation of the old API was scheduled to occur a long time ago, but when Scholarley was not going to be updated, they graciously have let the old API live on until the release of the official App; and indeed, even afterward as they grandfathered old users off Scholarley and into the official ecosystem. But the time has come.
When the old API is disabled, Scholarley will cease to synchronise with Mendeley’s servers. You may continue to use it in offline mode, but you will not be able to download new papers or upload changes to old ones. The new official App is considerably more stable than Scholarley, and already supports in-App paper reading and metadata editing; with more features coming on a regular basis. Now is the time to move over to the official Android application.
It would be remiss of me not to say, at this point, a heartfelt thank you to all those who have supported Scholarley with positive reviews, encouraging emails and/or financially. You have made the process of writing and maintaining the App enjoyable. But all good things come to an end, and the end for Scholarley has come.
We are incredibly thankful to Matt and his Scholarley creation as it filled a void for many Mendeley users. Scholarley has now been removed from the App store and the old API endpoints it uses will soon be removed. Please head over to the Play Store to get Mendeley for Android. As always, we’d love to know what you think.
Why did we need a new API? Couldn’t we just fix up the old one? The initial version of our API (often referred to as the OAPI) was a fantastic success, in terms of provoking interest and spawning some great clients, from mobile Mendeley clients such as Papership or Scholarley, to some great ideas that Mendeley could never exploit internally, such as openSNP or KinSync. Unfortunately, the OAPI that we had, was no longer a technology enabler. It was brittle and resistant to change with a high maintenance overhead. We could not add new features or resource strategic projects.
We wrote the new API (we recently celebrated it’s 1st anniversary) to increase security, add additional features, and link together the users, data, and apps of the existing Elsevier platforms so we can help researchers discover new research and help them with essential time consuming tasks and to increase the overall performance of the service. You can read about some of the features of version 1 here.
So we are currently embarking on decommissioning our legacy systems. We have worked closely with clients (see OAPI Blackout Testing) to ensure they have migrated onto the new API and in most cases all clients have taken the plunge and migrated.
We’re very grateful to all our API clients, new and old, past and present. If you’re interested in joining our API community, check out the Mendeley Developer Portal.