1,000,000 degrees with a chance of solar flares: a Pint of Science solar weather report

Solar flare. Image provided by Author. Credit: NASA

 

Mendeley is proud to be partnering with Pint of Science for the third year running.

 

As an introduction to the great talks on offer we’re going to be previewing some of the most interesting here on the Mendeley Blog, featuring speakers from across all Pint of Science themes. You can follow along on our blog under the tag PintofScience17 or on Twitter under the hashtag #pint17.

Matthew Allcock

Matthew Allcock is previewing his talk/weather report “1,000,000 degrees with a chance of solar flares,” which you can attend on 17 May The Holt Cafe in Sheffield

Matthew (@matthew_allcock) is a PhD Student in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield. You can follow his work on Mendeley or on his personal website.

 

 

What is the biggest threat to the UK? The UK has a continually updated list of events that pose a catastrophic risk to our society, which includes events such as major terror attacks and flooding due to climate change. High on this list is severe space weather.

Why do such solar weather events occur?

Space weather encompasses the effects that charged particles ejected from the Sun have on the Earth. From satellite malfunction to large-scale power shortages, the volatile Sun poses a significant threat to modern society. The Sun waxes and wanes through a cycle of fluctuating activity with a period of approximately 11 years. During ‘solar maximum’, magnetic activity on the Sun is at its most violent. Tubes of plasma the size of the Moon, shaped by the Sun’s intense magnetic field, rise from the deep solar interior and penetrate the surface. Where these tubes break the surface, we see what are known as sunspots: near-circular dark regions that can be many times the size of Earth.

These magnetic tubes can also dramatically elevate tonnes of hot plasma from the bubbling surface to the high solar atmosphere, known as the corona, and remain in a semi-stable state. Energy stored in the magnetic field near the Sun’s surface builds up as these magnetic tubes are buffeted from below by convection currents until this energy can be stored no longer and is released as an ultra-bright solar flare. This blast can destabilise the elevated plasma, dynamically releasing it as a stream of charged particles, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), into interplanetary space.

Are we prepared for the next major solar event?

The mid 1800s saw an anomalously active period for the Sun. In September 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington was completing his daily observations of the solar surface when he noticed a blurry brightening around a sunspot. This was the first observation confirming the existence of solar flares and is the largest solar flare in recorded history. It triggered a huge CME that headed straight for Earth. In the hours following this sighting, a huge geomagnetic storm was detected and people witnessed the northern lights phenomenon as far south as Colombia.

What would be the impact of a Carrington Event today? Satellites rely on a complex system of intricate electronics. If a CME hits a satellite, induced electrical currents can cause short-circuits that can disrupt the operation of the satellite. A large CME hitting Earth induces ground-based electrical currents which can short-circuit power stations and cause blackouts and damage to electrical transformers. Had the Carrington Event occurred today, the financial impact of the predicted large-scale blackout is estimated to be upwards of £1 trillion. Blasts from solar flares and CMEs cause waves to propagate along the surface and in the atmosphere of the Sun.

In my research, I use these waves to probe solar structures and understand what makes them erupt by combining mathematical models of magnetic structures with the latest solar observations. It is all incredibly difficult to forecast.

 

Mendeley partners with Pint of Science Festival

Pint Of Science is back and only 3 weeks away!

Mendeley is proud to be partnering with Pint of Science for the third year running. This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK.

The last two years of the festival have been a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. You can have a Pint of Science at 26 cities across the UK this year!

Our partnership represents our hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond.

As an introduction to the great talks on offer we’re going to be previewing some of the most interesting here on the Mendeley Blog, featuring speakers from across all Pint of Science themes.

You can follow along on our blog under the tag PintofScience17 or on Twitter under the hashtag #pint17.

Cheers!

Tips & Tricks: How to Tailor Mendeley Newsfeed  

We launched our Mendeley Newsfeed a year ago, but it hasn’t remained stagnant: we’re constantly working with researchers to create a more useful newsfeed.

Here are our top four tips on how to tailor newsfeed content:

  1. URLs in a post can be expanded out to show the contents of the URL. This means followers will see a preview and image of the link contents.
  2. Tag one of your followers in a post if you want a specific person to respond to a question or comment – they will be notified in the navigation bar and their name is clickable in the post.
  3. Add a reference to a post, so you can refer to a specific article or share an article, and your followers can see the metadata and save to library without you needing to copy and paste it.
  4. Add images to the post if you need to ask a question about a specific picture or share an image with your followers

 

We’re still making improvements, based on your feedback and needs, so watch this space!

Insert references into your paper using Mendeley’s Web Library

You can now export references from your Mendeley Web Library into the Microsoft Word Citation Manager — without opening your Mendeley Desktop.

The export feature uses Microsoft Word’s built-in citation tool. This feature is only available on Windows for Word 2010 and above.

To export your references:

  1. Open your Mendeley Web Library
  2. Select the references you want to export
  3. Click on Export to MS Word, which will download an .xml file.
  4. Open Word and go to “References” and then “Manage Resources.”
  5. Browse your folder and select the .xml file. Your references will be available in Word’s Citation Manager.

mm_img_nl_201702_ms-word-citation-toolThe number of citation styles in Word are limited but you can install more styles from BibWord.
MS Word’s citation system is not the same system used by Mendeley Desktop. Using both on the same document will yield two sets of citations and two bibliographies.

Mendeley.com

Introducing the new Mendeley.com

Mendeley.com
The new Mendeley.com

It’s here! We’re proud to unveil the new Mendeley.com!

The new website has a clean new design, makes it easy to find all the ways in which Mendeley can help you as an academic, and helps bring our homepage into line with the fresh designs once you log into your Mendeley account.

“We wanted to update the site and improve the overall visual language, layout and navigation to make it more consistent with our other apps as well as easier for users to navigate and use,” said Matt Coulson, Head of Product. “We also wanted to use it as an opportunity to bring the information on all our products, including recently released features, bang up to date.”

How we designed our website for you, our users

User-centered design is a major part of our design process here at Mendeley, and the website was no different.

Miklos Petravich, Senior UX Designer and lead design on the homepage project, met regularly with users to ensure the website met their needs.

“We got feedback on our initial designs for our homepage where we found out while most people like the clean minimalistic direction but in the early mockups we featured inspirational messages,” said Petravich.
“Through User Discovery, we learned our users are straight-talking, straight to the point,” he said. “We originally thought inspirational messages would be interesting but we listened and learned that this is not what our users want, they want information like a list of features.”

mendeley-home-inspirational-1
Inspirational messages test design

The new website also allows us to show all the exciting new tools and products we’ve been developing to help researchers.

“We were trying to find a balance between what Mendeley is still known best for — reference manager — and how researchers can discover the tools that Mendeley now has for collaboration and showcasing the impact of their own research,” Petravich said.

What’s Next?

Not everything we changed is about design, however. “We wanted to make it easier for our in-house teams to manage the website,” said Coulson. Behind our shiny new facade is an updated content management system.  “This makes it very straightforward to make additions or amendments to the new site without writing a line of code,” he said.

Our plans for the new website are to bring you fresher content and quick updates —information that should not only help new users discover Mendeley, but also help current users find information easier. In the future, we’re going to have a review of all the content on our site and update the information, and we’re going to continue to incorporate more of your feedback.

If you live and work, or even if you are visiting the London area, we’d love to have you in for a User Discovery session. The one-hour sessions are held at our offices in Finsbury Square, and we’ll not only give you a tour of our cool space, but also send you away with a bag of Mendeley goodies and a £50 Amazon* gift card.

And, let us know what you think about the new design in the comments section below!
*If you do not want an Amazon gift card, we will work with you to find a suitable, non-cash alternative.

Stats is becoming part of your Mendeley profile

stats

Stats is changing from being a private dashboard (only you can see) to being a part of your profile so that, as well as showcasing your work, your profile also shows the exposure and impact your work is having.

The features currently shown on the stats overview page will be shown in a tab in the profile: aggregated publication metrics (h-index, views, citations, readers), aggregated view and citation timeline and media mentions.

Your profile will show a single list of all your publications, where:
• you control which publications are showcased to viewers of your profile;
• we show you (and only you) a detailed view of the impact each of your publications is having individually.

Just like now, you control who sees your profile, and this will include your new stats tab. Your profile is public by default, with an option to make visible to only your followers, and an additional option to restrict your followers to only those you give permission to.

Mendeley integrates with ORCID — uniquely identify your research

ORCID ID

Searching for research is now easier than ever — but how do you know whose research you’re reading? Is the piece by John A. Smith, the Harvard researcher, or by John A. Smith, the internet blogger?

Mendeley is integrating with ORCID, the Open Research Contributor ID non-profit, to bring your unique research identification to your Mendeley profile.

Since it’s launch in 2012, ORCID has issued over 2.5 million unique identifiers to help researchers keep the record straight on what work is whose.

The integration is already live — you can create or connect your ORCID ID with your Mendeley profile today!

Verified integration

ORCID AuhorisationYou’ll can link your existing ORCID account or create a new one, and you’ll have a choice whether to import your ORCID profile information into your Mendeley profile.

Future plans

For now, that’s a one-off import, but we are working with ORCID on how to keep your profiles in sync, so you don’t have to keep filling the same information in again and again.