BBC World Service features Mendeley, Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, Google Wave

The current edition of the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet has a couple of nice interviews with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Cameron Neylon on Google Wave, and me talking about Mendeley. My segment starts at 7:54mins – I haven’t listened to it because, as I explained earlier, watching/listening to myself makes me cringe like the the people in The Ring (though I don’t instantly die a gruesome death).


A shorter write-up of Cameron’s and my interview is also on the BBC News website: Strength in Science Collaboration.

Fringe Frivolous and Science Online London 2009 Pictures!

What a weekend that was! We hosted the Fringe Frivolous Blogging Unconference (organized by Jenny Rohn) on our roof terrace on Friday night, and co-organized Science Online London 2009 (with Nature Network) at the Royal Institution on Saturday. Martin Fenner has already collected a few thoughts and blog posts on the conference.

Together with Richard P. Grant/F1000 and Virginia Barbour/PloS, I also gave a talk on “Real-Time Metrics in Science” – it went rather well until, five minutes into the discussion, an iPhone alarm started to ring and its owner didn’t stop it for a full 5 minutes. All told however, it was great fun – and we’ve vowed to return with Science Online London 2010 next year!

Without further ado, here are my 30 favourite pictures of the merry proceedings. Curiously, both the FringeFrivolous and the Solo09 set end with Gulliver, the BioMedCentral Turtle.

Fringe Frivolous Blogging Unconference @ Mendeley






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A belated photo from our TechCrunch Europas Award

It just occurred to me that, because I went on vacation immediately afterward, we didn’t yet post a photo of our TechCrunch Europas Award! Two weeks ago, we won the prize for “Best Social Innovation (Which Benefits Society)”. Wonderful title, isn’t it?

Mendeley wins TechCrunch Europas Award for Best Social Innovation

A big thank you to everyone who voted for us, to the Europas jury, to event organizer Mike Butcher and Moonfruit (for sponsoring the prize), and of course our team who made this possible!

If you're near Toronto (and even if you're not), you should attend this event

I just got an invitation from Jen Dodd, whom I met last fall at the Science in the 21st Century Conference at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo (what a great conference that was!). Jen is organizing a fabulous event:

Science 2.0:
What Every Scientist Needs to Know About
How the Web is Changing the Way They Work

The MaRS Centre, 101 College St., Toronto
Wednesday, July 29, 1:00-6:00 pm, with wine and cheese to follow

Wine, cheese and a speaker list like this – who could resist:

  • Choosing Infrastructure and Testing Tools for Scientific Software Projects
    Titus Brown
  • A Web Native Research Record: Applying the Best of the Web to the Lab Notebook
    Cameron Neylon
  • Doing Science in the Open: How Online Tools are Changing Scientific Discovery
    Michael Nielsen
  • Using ”Desktop” Languages for Big Problems
    David Rich
  • How Computational Science is Changing the Scientific Method
    Victoria Stodden
  • Collaborative Curation of Public Events
    Jon Udell

Here is more information about the event on the organizers’ blog.

Ironically and sadly, even though I’ll be on the right side of the pond when this event takes place, I won’t be able to attend – Jan and I will be hosting a session at this year’s Campus Technology Conference in Boston at the same time.

However, if you’re interested in these topics, here’s a little reminder about our own Science Online London Conference taking place on August 22.

Mendeley Web redesign goes live

If you knew the old site, you’ll certainly have noticed already! The main color used to be dark blue with some red-brownish hues. Our goal with the redesign was to make it brighter, airier and less cramped, with the main colors being silver-grey and deep red. We also added better explanations and illustrations of what Mendeley actually is and does!

Here’s the new homepage (the screenshot is actually matched to each visitor’s OS – e.g. if you’re using Linux, the screenshot will show Mendeley Desktop on Ubuntu):

New Mendeley homepage

And here’s the new “How it works” page, which replaces our old “Tour” page.


The redesign isn’t completely finished yet – we’ll be updating many more parts of the site soon, while also adding new features. Please let us know if you catch bugs or design niggles we’ve missed!

What do you think of the new look? Is it pretty enough to want to make you kiss your screen?

Ologeez Founder joins Mendeley / Changing the Journal Impact Factor

Exciting news: Jason Hoyt, the founder of Ologeez (a semantic frontend for PubMed), is joining Mendeley! Jason holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University. At the moment, he is still based in Palo Alto, but once the visa issues are sorted out, Jason will be joining us here in London as our new Research Director. TechCrunch broke the story today with a headline that made our geek hearts beat faster, comparing us to a Klingon battle cruiser de-cloaking in London.

To get started, Jason wrote up his reasons for joining us, and how Mendeley can help change the Impact Factor. Over to him:


Changing the Journal Impact Factor

Right, so the first thing I had to ask myself was “Why on earth would I move from San Francisco, leaJason Hoytving behind a cushy life for London, and work for a reference management start-up?” Surely any rational person would find this a bit odd.

Well, I’m not going to answer by talking about how great the team is or how enthusiastic the founders are about improving research, which is certainly all true. Rather, let’s take a real-world example of how the “tech” behind Mendeley is already making a difference with how we view the impact factors of research.

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One million articles uploaded to Mendeley!

articles-uploadedWe passed a landmark today: As of 16.50h GMT, our users have uploaded one million articles to their Mendeley accounts! Including the cited references which Mendeley also extracts from research papers, we now have over 14 million metadata sets in our database. Even we were surprised by the speed in which this has happened!

For the record, the millionth article added to our database was “The somatic marker hypothesis: A critical evaluation by Dunn et al. (2006) in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews – as luck would have it, that’s a topic related to my personal research on the role of emotions in decision making! The closest publication by one of our users, Joaquin Rivera, was added at 17.01h – a maths paper titled “On the exact multiplicity of solutions for boundary-value problems via computing the direction of bifurcations”, available for download on Joaquin’s Mendeley profile.

90% of these one million articles have been uploaded since January 2009, and our database is currently doubling in size every 6 weeks. For comparison, venerable PubMed – the largest database of biomedical literature – contains 18,813,527 records as of today. Assuming we managed to keep up our growth, we could surpass the size of the PubMed database within the next 6 months!

Roughly 43% of the papers in our database are in the biological and medical sciences (even though only about 27% of users are working in these academic disciplines). Computer and information science comes in second with roughly 11% of all papers, followed by engineering with 7%, and chemistry, physics, psychology and other social sciences with 4-5% each.

As we’ve said before on this blog and elsewhere (e.g. see my talk at the Plugg Conference), we’re not hoarding all that data just because we can, no Sir! Our vision is to create the largest open, interdisciplinary and ontological database of research – as crazy as that sounds, remember that (whose former chairman and COO are our co-founders and investors) pulled it off in the space of music within just three years, using the same user data-aggregation model that Mendeley is built on.

We’ve already begun to report real-time “usage-based” research trends – a nice discussion of Mendeley statistics showing the most-read journal in the biological sciences can be found here (we’ll be writing more about this soon!). Analogous to, we will provide APIs to let others mash up the research statistics we’re generating. Moreover, our database will be the basis for our upcoming collaborative filtering recommendation engine: Based on the articles in your Mendeley library, we will be able to tell you about articles you don’t know yet, but which have been read and recommended by researchers with similar interests. You can read more about these plans in our recent IEEE e-Science paper.

A big thank you to our wonderful users who have been helping us improve Mendeley with their constant feedback. After celebrating the millionth article upload tonight, we’ll get back to work on our next two releases, packed full with exciting new features!

Be afraid… it's the Attack of the Zombie Coders!

Yesterday we posted a photo of the Mendeley Team on our roof terrace, trying to jump simultaneously to celebrate our win:


Always vigilant, our very own Dr. Ridout said he “noticed something creepy” about the photo. Thanks to his keen perception and a few very subtle, barely noticeable image enhancements, he was able to uncover the harrowing truth! Here is the unsettling evidence, not suitable for minors: