Mendeley Advisor of the Month: June 2018

Mendeley advisor of the month: Waris Ali Khan, PhD Scholar in Business Management, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Waris Ali Khan comes from the small town of Kasur (Punjab, Pakistan). Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Management from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia as a full time PhD Scholar. Waris is a founder of WarSha Intellectual Consultancy based in Malaysia (offering academic services to scholars). Moreover, he is extremely dependent on Mendeley as a research tool.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

Learning about business and commerce is one of my key targets. I studied commerce since college as I was very clear about my field of interest and gained a Bachelor of Commerce and then went on to gain an MBA. However, my PhD journey started in 2015. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship from the Universiti Malaysia Sabah.  Fortunately, due to one of my friend’s recommendations, I signed up for Mendeley. Since that day, I love to do my work/research using Mendeley as it keeps every single article of mine in a very well managed state. I have heard that people find research very difficult. Maybe they are right, but I think they have probably never used Mendeley.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

I like to do my job in a relaxed, creative environment with people who also have the same interest for Business.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

Since, 2016. Luckily one of my friends from India recommended it. Thanks Mr. Ken.

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

The inbuilt MS Word References tool. Mendeley boosted my research by allowing me to annotate and quickly save papers to a place where I can easily retrieve them anytime and anywhere.

It’s also made a huge difference in terms of creation of my citation and bibliography as well – this used to be such a headache and wasted a lot of time but now no more headaches with Mendeley.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

I decided to become an advisor because of my ever-increasing interest in the tool to the point of using it quite easily. I thought, why not show it to others? Perhaps they will benefit from the features as I do. From then, I asked Mendeley and was accepted. It made me very happy. Since I became a Mendeley Advisor, I have organized

number of workshops in Malaysia and Pakistan.

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

I would love to meet the team who developed the SmartPLS software for data analysis as it’s very useful and important for PhD scholars specifically in social science.

 What book are you reading at the moment and why?

I read several books at once related to my PhD work, and many, many scientific papers as well. But I like books related to scientific research method. However, currently I am reading Research Methods for Business (Seventh Edition) by Uma Sekaran and Roger Bougie.

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

Recently, I was assisting my wife, who is also a PhD scholar at  Universiti Malaysia Sabah in chemical engineering. So, I learned how to do extraction of plants and their analysis using different instruments like HPLC. I was happy to learn about it as it is totally different from my field.

 What is the best part about working in research?

The best part is the opportunity to travel and contact people around the world that, no matter the language, religion, race, etc., share passion and enthusiasm! I am excited about my upcoming conference in Singapore. I hope I will be able to meet with other experienced researchers.

 And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?

The most challenging is to overcome the challenges of publication in scientific journals of high impact. Competition is very strong and there are other influences besides the scientific merit that one not should mention. But the joys are greater still.

 What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

I am quite sure if one uses Mendeley then he/she is going to handover his/her many headaches to Mendeley and, of course for Mendeley, it’s a Mickey Mouse job to deal with your research headaches. Mendeley is the key permitting to open the door to discover the existing research world, no matter the topic you are interested in.

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: May 2018

Mendeley advisor of the month: Dr Jordan Steel, Assistant Professor Cell Biology, Molecular Virology, Colorado State University.

Colorado State University-Pueblo faculty member Dr. Jordan Steel received the 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award for his highly innovative project- and team-based learning approach to his courses. A native of Albuquerque, NM, he has lived in Colorado since 2008 and enjoys spending time with his family hiking, biking, fishing, playing games, and going on adventures together to discover the amazing world we live in.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?

I have always been interested in microbiology and have been fascinated with the molecular basis of life. From 2005-2007, I lived in the Philippines and experienced first-hand the devastation caused by mosquito-borne viral infections. Upon returning to the US, I applied and started graduate school at Colorado State University’s Arthropod-borne Infectious Disease Lab (AIDL) to study viral pathogens such as Dengue virus and West Nile Virus. My Ph.D. dissertation worked primarily with alphaviruses and modifying the viral genome to develop reporter systems within cell lines and genetically modified mosquitoes to enhance our detection of viral infection. Near the end of my Ph.D., I worked on a project on how viral infection induces oxidative stress during infection. I fell in love with this project and later moved on to a Postdoc position to study viral manipulation of host cell metabolic pathways during Dengue virus infection. I am now an assistant professor and have my own research group and we are actively working to understand how viruses modify cellular physiology in order to create an optimal environment for viral replication.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Away from home! (I have 4 kids at home and I always joke around with my colleagues that I can’t get any work done at home).  Honestly, I work well in fast-paced environments with lots going on.  I enjoy the thrill and the pressure of working with lots of projects and trying to keep on top of all the demands. It can be hectic and busy, but the productivity that comes from groups with lots happening is very exciting.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I can’t remember the date exactly, but I can remember how it has changed my life. It was probably 2011 or 2012 and I was working to finish my Ph.D., I was unhappy with the other citation/reference managing software available and then a friend showed me Mendeley and it has changed my life! I use it almost every day since then!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?

I was using Endnote before I found Mendeley, but now I am a convert and advocate for everything Mendeley! Mendeley is the one-stop shop for all things research. It manages all of my references, allows easy annotations, helps me quickly find papers and notes from the past, and even finds and suggest articles that I should be reading! I love it!

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?

I actually contacted Mendeley and asked to be an advisor. I teach lots of classes in our biology department and one of the first things I teach in my courses is about Mendeley. Every student and person working in biological sciences needs to know about Mendeley. I asked Mendeley if I could become an advisor and help share the good news about Mendeley and they were kind enough to accept me.

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

So many great people to choose from, but I would love to meet Jonas Salk- the developer of the poliovirus vaccine. As a virologist myself, I have always been impressed and fascinated with his work and commitment to the research that he was doing! He even injected the vaccine on himself before it was fully approved. His work has saved millions of lives and it would be an honor to meet and talk virology with him.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (remember that I have 4 kids at home), other than that I have been reading my Mendelian Genetics textbook because I am teaching genetics this semester and, well, it has been a long time since I took a genetics class.

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

From reading my genetics textbook- Laron Syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder that results in a short individual (due to a mutated growth hormone receptor) and also makes them resistant to certain types of cancer and diabetes.

What is the best part about working in research?

I love that each day is something different. We are always working on new problems and new questions. I also love the quality of people that I get to work with. I have decided that scientists are the best kind of people. I love my colleagues and the always changing research environment.

And the worst/most challenging part of working in research?

Funding. No explanation needed.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

Mendeley is the best. It is literally the answer to all of your problems and will make your life easier and better immediately. Everyone needs to know about Mendeley and use it in their research endeavors!

Scientific research is hard …so you have to enjoy it!

Today we’re talking to Tim Donohoe, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and Editor of Tetrahedron Letters.

What are your research interests/describe a typical working day
“I research organic chemistry in the broadest sense, but am particularly interested in total synthesis and catalysis.” Tim leads a research team of 16-20 people, a mixture of graduates/undergraduates plus postdoctoral researchers. “My job is to support them and together do the best research possible.” As well as this, Tim is also responsible for teaching and has various administrative duties. What’s more, he’s also an editor for Tetrahedron Letters! 

How do you measure success in your work?
“One thing that gets my fist pumping is when we get a really nice piece of work accepted for publication. Or when a grant gets funded – we can then do more research! Another thrill is when a member of the group gets a job (especially if it’s in chemistry!).”

Do you have any particular advice for younger researchers?
“Scientific research is hard”, says Tim “…so you have to enjoy it! The opportunity to have a job you enjoy is a privilege. If you enjoy it, work at it to be best you can be. Read widely. Make sure you are good at communicating science – presentations, writing at the board and that sort of thing.”

What drove you to become an Editor?
“I was invited!” Tim started his editorial work with the journal in January 2014. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of editorial work for you and what do you find difficult about the role?
In terms of reward, Tim finds it pleasing to be able to “help get great science published”. He sees his job to help the journal and grow its reputation. He also likes helping researchers around the world. “It’s great to see a manuscript coming back with helpful referees’ comments, then see the improvements in the revised version.” What’s not so good is having to make difficult decisions. Sometimes papers are “in the middle” – which way to go? Occasionally referees’ comments are short and unhelpful to both the author and the editor – so then one’s left in a quandary. 

What professional use (if any) do you make of social media and/or scholarly collaboration tools like Mendeley?
Tim does make use of some tools. Not much social media though. Tim finds Mendeley helpful to share ideas with other editors and Elsevier staff: the group discussion aspect is useful. “At the TET conference in Budapest – we had a virtual poster symposium. You could join the [Mendeley] group and look at the science that was being presented. You could comment and interact, even from home. That was great as it gave those unable to attend a chance to participate.” Tim doesn’t use Twitter as an active user but browses journals’ feeds.

If we could build a tool/device to help you most in your career or editorial work; what would it be?
If we’re looking at a scientific demand then something that would help organic chemistry research, in particular catalytic reactions. “There’s a lot going on in a catalytic reaction. If a particular reaction doesn’t work, we don’t know why. What we need is a simple way of working out WHY: some way of interrogating unsuccessful interactions!”

Have you any particular interests in what remains of your time apart from university and editorial work?
“Family! Squash. And I go to the gym to keep fit.”

Tim was interviewed by Christopher Tancock

Don’t do whatever everyone else is doing

Today we’re talking to Rob Field, Professor of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre and editor-in-chief of Carbohydrate Research.

What are your research interests/describe a typical working day

“Generally a lot of it is spent on a train somewhere!” As well as working at the John Innes Centre, Rob is active as CEO of Iceni Diagnostics, which develops diagnostic tools for examining and/or diagnosing infectious diseases e.g. influenza or the norovirus. If that wasn’t enough, Rob has also recently taken over a role as President of the chemistry-biology interface division with the Royal Society of Chemistry! Rob spends much of his time nowadays doing managerial or strategy work but was trained as a chemist and is active with his research teams.

How do you measure success in your work?

The academic markers of success are clearly important, but Rob also looks to the question of impact. For example Rob and his team got involved after anglers on the Norfolk Broads complained of finding large numbers of dead fish. Working with them – and the environment agency, Rob discovered that the issue was down to algae which had been infected by a virus. Rob’s team had similar experiences with their work on influenza so they worked out a method of tracking and neutralizing the algae as well as implanting measures to keep an eye out for reoccurrence. This was hugely important for the local community.

Do you have any particular advice for younger researchers?

“Don’t do whatever everyone else is doing” is Rob’s motto! It’s a very competitive environment, so you have to be distinctive. To Rob’s mind; there is a “growing realization that chasing the Impact Factor is not the best way to do the best science”. More important is to hit the right audience – by e.g. targeting a specific journal. At the same time, it’s important to note that there is a lot of pressure on researchers and corruption that needs to be tackled.

What drove you to become an Editor?

Rob got gradually involved with his journal as a handling editor then in time became editor-in-chief. In doing his editorial work, Rob recognizes that science is “never static” but nonetheless some traditional journals occasionally stay still. Rob is keen to ensure that Carbohydrate Research leads from the front and maintains its edge and usefulness to the community.

What is the most rewarding aspect of editorial work for you and what do you find difficult about the role?

Workflows and timings are the difficult issues for Rob. Getting c.150 emails a day makes for a huge workload! On the plus side, Rob enjoys the position of being able to determine which research progresses into the journal. Whereas he sees some journals as taking in everything – and in doing so losing focus; Carbohydrate Research maintains selectivity and thus rejects c. 2/3 of submissions.

What professional use (if any) do you make of social media and/or scholarly collaboration tools like Mendeley?

“This really depends on whom I am working with – everyone has their own pet approach.” Part of the difficulty, Rob says, is that there is no standard format or tool at the moment – even for data sharing. It can be Dropbox for one project, Mendeley for another or something from Google for the next! More and more young people are coming in though and they are even more IT savvy than those in their 30s. There is an obvious and increasing use of Twitter or Facebook to access information. One big change that Rob has observed is the shift away from Web of Science type database searches to simple Google searching. Generally, there is more and more need to share data as part of collaborative work and have access to literature as well as documents and reports. “I sit on lots of funding bodies. In the past, you would have got a suitcase of hard copy – now there is a web portal!”

If we could build a tool/device to help you most in your career or editorial work; what would it be?

For Rob, one frustration dealing with primary research papers is dealing with different formats between publishers. Therefore, access to a central bank which smoothed out formats would be great. “Some formatting is overkill”, he says.  Another thing would be more streamlined access to research papers. “The move to OA makes sense but it is nightmare to get there.” Finally, quality control is getting more and more difficult. Younger people don’t have experience to navigate the huge number and variety of journals and sources. They often take everything at face value.

Have you any particular interests in what remains of your time apart from university and editorial work?

When he’s not wearing one of his many work hats, Rob enjoys fishing, watching rugby and travel.

Rob was interviewed by Christopher Tancock

Mendeley Bootcamp for German-speaking researchers

MENDELEY BOOTCAMP 2016

All scientists have one thing in common: The passion for our research. But growing requirements require fast and efficient cooperation, access to literature from anywhere, timely synchronization of laboratory results and to be in contact with other researchers worldwide. That sounds like a challenge, right? No more! With Mendeley you can easily optimize your everyday work and devote your time what actually really matters: your research.

Developed by scientists for scientists, Mendeley connects you worldwide with 6+ million users.

Join Mendeley Bootcamp 2016 for German speaking. An exclusive webinar series aimed to German speaking researchers focused on how Mendeley can help you manage your references, understand the impact of your research and showcase your work.

The webinar series will cover the use of Mendeley as:

* A powerful Reference Management Tool to Store, read, annotate and cite literature both individually and collaboratively anywhere on any device.

* A Scholarly Collaboration Network with a global community of 6+ mill researchers across all scientific disciplines to connect, collaborate and showcase their work.

* A personal analytics dashboard enabling researchers to evaluate the performance and societal impact of their publications via a concise and comprehensive collection of key performance metrics.

* A discovery tool with personalised Recommenders, Alerts, and media updates, enabling researchers to stay up to date in their fields.

* A data repository to securely store datasets online so they can be cited and shared.

BOOTCAMP SCHEDULE

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Register now!
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RR7VP8G

Academic services made easy – Mendeley integrates with Peerwith

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The very nature of research means academics become experts in their fields. But what happens when they need services outside of their field of research, such as translations or artwork for their paper or book? They rely on author services, which are often delivered by other academics; For example, by PhD students that edit papers as a freelance job. Performing these services can not only be an way to earn some extra money, it also allows people to gain experience and grow skills in effective scholarly communication.

But academics and service providers often have difficulties finding each other directly and often depend on middlemen to get the work done. This means that services are more expensive than needed, and that people most of the time have no idea who actually performs the work.

p-eerwithPeerwith wants to change this. Launched in beta in October 2015, the platform brings academics directly in contact with experts to take their academic work to the next level, increasing transparency and making these services more affordable.

Academics don’t like creating another profile on yet another platform, so Peerwith wanted to integrate with a social network that is popular with clients as well as experts. Going for Mendeley integration was the obvious choice. What we have done so far is Mendeley authentication, which means that Mendeley users can sign-in using their Mendeley username and password. In the next few weeks, we hope to allow Mendeley users to import their full Mendeley profile, allowing users to showcase their full profile on Peerwith.

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On Peerwith, clients can directly select the freelancer or supplier, assuring that the work will be done by the right expert with the right background and expertise. On Peerwith you can find experts in many areas, such as for editing and translations, artwork, statistics, to printing theses. Together clients and supplier determine the rates and terms of the project, and payment transactions are secure.

Based in Amsterdam, Peerwith was founded by Joris van Rossum, PhD and Ivo Verbeek, MSc, both with many years of experience in academic publishing, IT and product development.

We are excited with the integration with Mendeley, and warmly invite users to sign up when they need an expert to get their work to the next level, or if they want to offer their services as an expert. Simply sign-in with your Mendeley account!

 

 

 

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).

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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)