Falling Walls – The International Conference on Future Breakthroughs in Science and Society

For the last two years, Mendeley and Elsevier have been partners of the Falling Walls Conference. Next week, we’ll be heading to the Falling Walls Lab in Berlin and tweeting live from #fallingwalls15 so follow @mendeley_com and @Falling_Walls to stay updated.


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.

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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.

New research features on Mendeley.com!

They’re here! Your new research features are now visible on Mendeley.com – check it out now!

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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.

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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.

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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.

To find your recommended articles, check out www.mendeley.com/suggest and begin the discover new papers in your field!

Feature: Stats
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.

Feature: Profile
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.

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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.

Hermes Summer School 2016

xt4sJel8What 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.

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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.

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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.

So long Scholarley, and thank you!

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:

Scholarely logoMendeley 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.

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Congratulations October Advisor of the Month – Sanjeev K Sunny

profile-2Congratulations to Sanjeev K Sunny, October’s Advisor of the month.

Sanjeev did his Masters in Documentation and Information Science from Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC), Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, India. He is also pursuing a Ph.D in Library and Information Science from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai as a Direct PhD Scholar

Currently, Sanjeev is an Assistant Librarian at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, and recently ran workshops reaching at least 150 participants!

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
By chance! I joined Library and Information Science course after graduation by chance. However, the more I studied the more I loved this lovely profession of Librarianship. Now I have nearly eight years of experience of working in various types of libraries in both academia and in corporate world.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you? 
At night, In my study room. For research work I prefer complete silence and no one around.

How long have you been on Mendeley?
I have been using Mendeley since 2012. Prior to Mendeley I was unaware of reference managers. I have been introduced to reference managers using Zotero during our PhD Course Work. Later, as per my very nature, I looked for other possible and probably better options and I found the best – Mendeley.

2 Audience during my first presentation on Mendely

How does Mendeley influence your research?
The best part is organization and retrieval of my literature that too along with all my sticky and universal notes. And, not to mention that ‘no worries about citations and bibliographies’.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I have always felt an inclination, since my childhood, towards teaching what I learn. Conducting Information Literacy programs for library users have always been my passion. When I heard about Advisor program, I took it as another exciting assignment towards helping library users. I started conducting hands-on training workshops for research scholars of our university (JNU); and later for professors, scientists and other researchers at different institutes.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
I would love to work with a researcher in the field of application of knowledge organization and representation systems’ and ‘information retrieval’, And, also with librarians passionate about service library patrons.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
An Introduction to Budhhist Psychology and Counselling” – because I was astonished when I read few excerpts of this book about the insights of the master – Budhha who happened to be on this planet 600 BC.

What is the best part about working in research?1 During my first presentation on Mendely at National Seminar on Plagiarism at JNU, New Delhi
Success breeds success!

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
Analysis of the findings.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It can manage all styles of citations and bibliographies within no time.

Meet the Social Team

Last month we briefly announced that Mendeley is evolving! A team that is heavily involved in that evolution is the Mendeley Social Team, who are working to bring you all new and improved Stats and Suggest features associated with your Profile.

The Team

Francesca_Ayres (1)Fran is a Product Owner within the Mendeley Social team. She’s been in London for over a decade doing a whole heap of stuff: studying Physics, launching scientific journals, working in funding departments, and striding around the financial services before settling at Mendeley.

How do you describe your role within the Mendeley Team?

It’s my job to care a lot about what we build and why we build it. I gush a lot about how excited I am to be working on the shiny new Mendeley we’re creating!

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

The cake. The people. The parties. Oh, that’s three things. #sorrynotsorry

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Watching movies and relaxing. I also run a theatre charity, and half marathons… and I make my own clothes.



Anna has just joined the Mendeley team, having previously been a product manager at ScienceDirect. Her background is in computer science and information retrieval.

How do you describe your role within the Mendeley Team?

For now I’d describe my role as the newbie! I’m taking over responsibility for Mendeley profiles, though, learning the ropes as I go.

What is your favourite part about working for Mendeley?

I love being part of a company where we’re trying to help researchers do their work better, and sometimes by working together with researchers and implementing what’s come out of their research. That’s true of working at Elsevier and, here at Mendeley in particular, the data science team is a great example of that.

But if you want my absolute favourite thing about working at Mendeley, I’m going to have to say the cupboards full of breakfast cereals!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

If I could get away with doing nothing but eating pizza, drinking wine and reading a good book, I would. But since I can’t, I also go running. 😉


What are the Social Team are working on?

Firstly, your profile will feature enhanced statistics information to provides any published author with an aggregated view on the performance of their articles, including metrics such as citations, Mendeley readers and group activity, academic discipline and status of your readers, as well as mentions in the news media.

Moreover, you’ll be able to easily import your publications from Scopus, which has the highest-quality source of data on published articles, and for articles published on ScienceDirect we additionally provide information on views (PDF and HMTL downloads), search terms used to get to your article, map of where your readership comes from, and provides links to various source data providers (ScienceDirect, Scopus, media outlets)

In addition to these statistic features, you’ll be getting improved article suggestions,  which will provide four different recommendation algorithms tp support different scientific needs:

  • “Popular in your discipline” – Shows you the seminal works in your field
  • “Trending in your discpline” – Shows you what articles are being read right now
  • “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” – Gives you the most tailored set of recommended articles by comparing the contents of your library with the contents of all other users on Mendeley.

These suggestions will be constantly recalculated and tailored therefore ensuring that there is always something new for you to discover. For users who are new to Mendeley, we make it easy for you to get high-quality recommendations by providing a drag-and-drop way for you to quickly add a paper and get related document suggestions.

So there is lots to look forward and explore as Mendeley evolves. As always, we welcome your feedback through the usual channels – we also have a brief questionnaire on your experience with the new suggest features.

Debunking the myths of Open Access

Myth: Open Access journals are not peer-reviewed.
Reality: Most OA journals conduct peer-review, just like their subscription brethren. An inspection of the website of a journal helps you tell if the journal is doing quality work.

  • How many articles have they published, are those articles found in curated databases such as Scopus or Pubmed (NB: Google Scholar is not a curated database, it’s a scrape of the web).
  • Is the publisher listed at DOAJ?
  • How many readers do their articles have on Mendeley?
  • Are the articles consistent in appearance, readable, well-formatted, free from typographical errors, etc.

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Myth: Publishing in Open Access journals is the only way that peer-reviewed articles can be Open Access.

Reality: There are two routes through which OA can be delivered – gold OA is through journals and green OA via repositories. The belief that all OA articles are gold hasn’t been true since the beginning of the OA movement and, in fact, in almost all fields (bar medicine and biomedical sciences), OA publication in green.

roarOne reason for the misconception is that open access repositories are a relatively novel and less well-known resource. In this digital age however, there is ever increasing access to repositories – many of which listed on the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR). These repositories are a great source for the (legal) sharing of published, peer-reviewed articles.

Myth: Publishing in Open Access journals is expensive.
Reality: Costs for publishing in OA journals are often on par with page charges or color figure fees in subscription journals. Many universities have institutional funds that can be used to pay these fees, many publishers will waive fees for those with substantiated financial hardship, and some society journals don’t charge anything at all. There are low cost options, too, such as PeerJ (Heliyon, which is an Elsevier journal comparable to PLOS ONE and has a comparable publication fee).

However, it’s well known that many peer-reviewed OA journals do not charge publishing fees – the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has been tracking the number of fee-less OA journals for almost a decade, and recently reported that more than 60% of peer-reviewed Open Access journals are free to publish in.

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Myth: Open Access authors pay author-side fees themselves.
Reality: A study carried out by the Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) revealed that <15% of author-side fees are paid by the authors themselves; the vast majority of these fees are covered by funders and occasionally by universities.

study of open access publishingIn addition to this, authors who follow the green (rather than gold) OA publishing practice, never pay any fees to do so. Through gold OA publishing, roughly one third of peer-reviewed OA journals have author-side fees. This means that only one third of <15% of OA authors have to front up the cash for the publication of their article – despite half of peer-reviewed OA articles being published in fee-based journals!

Myth: Sending my best work to an Open Access journal will harm my career.

Reality: OA publication can be the best way to get your work out there. It’s often faster, disseminated more broadly, and could even be more highly cited.

Myth: Publishing Open Access means giving up the widely-recognized brand names that colleagues respect.

Reality: Many of the largest funders now require OA publication, and no publisher wants to exclude good work. You can still publish in Cell, Science, or Nature – just pick the open access option when your article is accepted.

Myth: Traditional publishing prevents authors from making that same work available through Open Access channels.
Reality: Many traditional publishers actual allow authors to follow through on green OA routes, and others will do so upon request – see the Sherpa RoMEO database to find out more about various publisher policies. This sort of green OA is lawful, despite the rights having been given to the publisher. Even when this is not the case, authors could retain the rights through author addenda or Rights-retention policies of employers or funding bodies (e.g. the Wellcome Trust, NIH, Harvard and many other universities).


Myth: I have my pre-prints on my website (or in a repository, like arXiv). I don’t need Open Access.
Reality: You are in fact already practicing OA – a form called “green OA” to distinguish it from paid “gold OA” – Congrats!

Myth: Academic freedom is restricted when authors are forced to publish Open Access.

Reality: While this may hold true for gold OA, it certainly doesn’t for green! Green routes are entirely congruous with traditional, non-oOA publication. For this reason, it is important to ensure clarity between gold and green OA, especially in the context of OA mandates that may be imposed upon researchers.

(See the this weeks Guardian articles on Open Access myths and last year’s on Open Access challenges for even more information)

Mendeley and Beyond – Open Day 2015


We’re just three weeks away from our 2015 Mendeley Open Day – Mendeley and Beyond #MDOD15 – and this year we’re excited to be hosting the Open Day at our new headquarters in the AlphaBeta building, London, UK. If you’ve already registered, share it with your network and let us know your excitement too.

“Mendeley and Beyond” will for a day of fun, innovation and discovery in the field of research, science and technology. It is also an opportunity for us to connect with our community, talk to the people who use Mendeley, and give you the chance to meet the people behind the product.

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Mendeley is evolving, and this year’s event will be looking at where we are, and where we’re going. We’ll be telling you about the vision for Mendeley and beyond, and revealing two product releases! You’ll also have the chance to find out about our API, Data Science developments, the progress of Mendeley Data, as well as being able to have your say in the future of Mendeley by giving us feedback on developments in progress.

During the day there’ll be some live and interactive entertainment (we’ll keep this as a surprise!), and this will be followed by the legendary Mendeley drinks social.

If you’re able to join us in London on November 6th, you can register for your free Open Day ticket. Once you’ve registered, please take a minute to let us know if you have any dietary requirements, any questions that you would like us to address, or topics you would like to see in the agenda. We will do our best to accommodate!

So as we begin the countdown, we’re looking forward to welcoming you at our new Mendeley HQ in AlphaBeta (Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1BR).


Mendeley Desktop 1.15 – Out today!



Microsoft Office 2016 on Mac

The Mendeley citation plugin now works with Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac (and Windows, but that worked already), so you can now, once again, easily generate citations and bibliographies.

You can install the Word plugin from the “Tools” menu in Mendeley Desktop. Once installed, you’ll need to restart Office and then find the citation controls in the “Add-Ins” tab of the ribbon toolbar in Microsoft Word.

Please bear with us on the aesthetics of the ribbon toolbar – we are waiting for Microsoft to make some changes to their ribbon implementation to allow us to achieve a design that looks like the rest of the ribbon, but this currently isn’t possible. We are told the changes may be a few months away.

In addition, we’ve fixed numerous general and plugin bug fixes, which we’ve listed below:

General bug fixes

  • Fixed arXiv and PubMed ID lookup.
  • Increased file size limit to 250 MB.
  • Fixed exported BibTeX when document notes contain multiple lines.
  • Fixed exported BibTeX when metadata contains accented characters.
  • Fixed bug exporting some “month” metadata fields to BibTeX files.
  • “A” initials in the document won’t be occasionally converted to lowercase after importing a PDF.
  • Enabled Edit Find Next/Previous in the PDF viewer.
  • Saves PDF zoom levels when switching tabs.
  • Fixed a crash when retrieving certain annotations.
  • Fixed bug exporting some “month” metadata fields to BibTeX files.
  • Avoids creating duplicate annotations when switching tabs.
  • File organizer now works across partitions.
  • In Literature Search, the button to add a document to your library situated in the document view is back.
  • Switching tabs will keep the last read position of each open PDF.

Citation Plugin bug fixes

  • Improves reliability of plugin installation for Microsoft Word 2011 on Mac.
  • Avoids showing an error message when opening a protected Microsoft Word document (e.g. when a document has been downloaded).
  • Exporting MS Word compatible from LibreOffice won’t raise an exception anymore.
  • Fixed the error when canceling “Export Compatible with LibreOffice”.
  • A LibreOffice plugin installation error has been fixed.
  • (Mac): In the Word for Mac plugin, updating your citations and bibliography won’t make the Word document file get bigger each time (causing a Microsoft Word error after a while).

Reflecting on the Think Global UK Japan Forum 2015

final outlined text web pngThe first Think Global UK Japan 2015 Forum on International Perspectives in Education took place in Fukushima City, Kyoto and Tokyo from the 23rd – 28th August. This project (started by Rory Gallagher, of The Thomas Hardye School in Dorset, and Dr Toru Okano, of the Rikkyo School in England) aims to facilitate an exchange of ideas between Japanese and British teachers, to encourage a global outlook in the classroom for both students and teachers, embed a global perspective in teacher professional development in Japan and the UK, and promote gender equality in education and in global leadership.

There was approximately 50 participants across the three venues, mostly teachers from Japanese schools, but there were also representatives of higher education institutions, international schools, museums, and the press. At the Tokyo workshop, there were presentations by Japanese high school students, and students from the British School in Tokyo participated in, and facilitated, the discussions. Of the Japanese teachers involved, the vast majority were from senior high schools, with a few teachers from junior high schools or from joint junior/senior high schools. There were many teachers of English, but also teachers of science, technology, history, Japanese literature and other subjects. We exchanged ideas and resources about how to encourage and develop a global ethos among teachers and students. We now aim to develop a programme of forums in the UK and in Japan, and to offer seminars and training for teachers.

All of the participants were very positive about the workshops, and thanked the UK teachers and the organisers for the events. Those who came to the workshops were passionate about education, about international education in particular, and were looking to find ways to implement ideas in their own classrooms. They appreciated the structure of the events, with four separate workshops, and there was a great deal of discussion during the workshops. The Japanese teachers told us that they appreciated the hands-on ideas we were sharing with them, as although similar ideas are being promoted in Japan, there is little training or advice on how to implement these new ideas in the classroom. It was interesting to note that as the workshops progressed, we found more similarities than differences with our Japanese counterparts, especially in terms of the broader picture of our aims and beliefs in education. We also found that the workshops of the four UK teachers echoed each other in their core message – that of the importance of engaging students, and of nurturing a passion in what we do.

Rory Gallagher, teacher of French and Japanese in Dorset, led the first session of the day. Through activities and a short presentation, he explored the ideas that communication is about much more than language, that a high level of ability in language is not always essential to communication, and that communication skills are the most important tool for global education. He used examples from his own classroom to demonstrate these points, and also showed how these activities can give students much-needed confidence in communication and in their studies by allowing them to succeed in difficult challenges involving another language. There was discussion with the Japanese participants around the similarities and differences between UK and Japanese classrooms, and the Japanese teachers expressed their thanks for the sharing of ideas and resources which they could use in their schools. Rory’s workshop also helped Japanese participants to have the confidence to take part in discussions in English and to feel that their contribution was valued during the workshops.

Rory said: “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Japanese teachers, and discussing education and classroom practice. We found that we have a similar philosophy of education, a love of learning, and a desire to improve our own practice through collaboration. I hope to have helped the participants to gain confidence in their own level of English, and hopefully the Japanese teachers can help their students in gaining confidence and in becoming better global communicators. Personally I found that my own practice has been enriched by the experience of reflecting on what works well in my classroom and sharing those ideas with other teachers. I have gained a great deal from the sessions I led and from the workshops of the other UK teachers, learning from both my British colleagues, and from the Japanese participants.”