Advisor of the Month: Juliana Soares Lima

What is your name and job title?

My name is Juliana Soares Lima. I am a Reference Librarian at the Human Sciences Library of the Federal University of Ceará, located in the Northeast region of Brazil. I have graduated in Librarianship and completed my master’s degree in Information Science at the same institution that I work.

How did you get into your field?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and I love researching many things. I was also very happy to help other people get the information they needed, especially to exercise their rights and citizenship, so it’s not hard to deduce that this ‘curiosity’ would lead me to Librarianship and Information Science. From the day I discovered that I could work with books, information and knowledge to help and support in academic/scientific research, and somehow make a difference in people’s lives, then I decided that I wanted to be a librarian.

Where do you do work the best?

I feel fortunate to work in the Humanities area, as it is a field that is usually related to other areas of knowledge. So, I work better in an environment that allows me to live with the diversity of knowledge and people, that is, an environment in which open access to scientific knowledge is discussed; or about technology but without leaving aside what makes us human; and discuss politics and progress without forgetting the poverty and social problems that afflict Brazil and other countries.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I’ve been using Mendeley for 6 years. Since 2017 I have been a Mendeley Advisor.

Which solutions were you using prior to Mendeley?

I used to make references manually. Then I discovered some reference builders online and started using them, but I missed something that would allow me to go beyond building references, I wanted to manage them using some software. As a librarian, I usually use and research these tools and after a long search I found the reference managers Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero and others. I usually offer training in all three (Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero), but Mendeley is quite successful during training sessions because of the variety of functions and resources, as well as storage space has been an essential factor when comparing three software.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

First, the nature of my work in the reference service, I usually teach, organize courses and other training courses that help the institution’s researchers to be successful in their research in databases and in the use of resources offered by the library, as well as the reference managers.

From the huge acceptance and the increase in the use of Mendeley in the institution, I decided to become Mendeley Advisor to always be aware of the news about the software and to be able to better assist the public served in the library. So that this objective could be reached, at the time, I led a series of actions to expand Mendeley’s reach at the Federal University of Ceará. I invited two more librarian colleagues (Edvander Pires and Izabel Lima) from the institution to help promote Mendeley in each Campus and increase the number of training and users. Together, we held face-to-face training sessions on Mendeley and then we developed tutorials that were posted on the library’s institutional website. During all the courses I also created a badge for students who want to help promote Mendeley to use it in their photos on Facebook or Twitter profiles. After that, we decided to create video classes and I did some tests before using Google Classroom to teach people how to use Mendeley. Each of us recorded the lessons and I edited them. All video lessons are available on YouTube.

Currently, during the month of May and June 2020,  I am teaching Mendeley for two classes in the Google Classroom, each class there are 250 students.

Video lessons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSaJUgnz0jg&list=PLOhWAljyF7ro5h0nMSA38Jj9en04JO3X6

Twibbon #ILoveMendeley: https://twibbon.com/support/ilovemendeley

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

Dead: 1) Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan, (born August 9, 1892, Madras, India — died September 27, 1972, Bangalore), Indian librarian and educator who was considered the father of Library Science in India and whose contributions had worldwide influence; 2) Aaron Swartz, he was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the Markdown publishing format and the Creative Commons Licenses.

Alive: I am lucky to know and have worked with my advisor in the master’s degree, Professor Giovanna Guedes, but there are still so many good people that I wanted to meet in person! Antonio Agenor Briquet de Lemos (Retired professor at the University of Brasília); Professor Murilo Bastos, Michael Buckland, Tim Berners-Lee, Alice Meadows (NISO’s Director of Community Engagement), Christine Borgman (Distinguished Research Professor Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles), Luciano Floridi (Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford), Peter Suber, Lawrence Lessig.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Habibi, authored by Craig Thompson. It is a graphic novel set in a fictional landscape of Islamic fairy tales that describes the relationship between two slave children on the run.

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

In Brazil, we are going through a difficult period in which we have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and with government conflicts. It has been difficult; I can say that every week I learn something new even working from home. I have more and more faith and certainty that the sharing of information, scientific knowledge and the intense work of researchers can bring a global solution in the fight against COVID-19. Meanwhile, during this week, I am learning to balance household chores and work activities better than the previous month. Also, this week I’m learning to be resilient.

What is the best part about working in research?

There are many wonderful things in the development of research. I believe that there is no single best part, as it is a set of steps that complement each other: a) from the conception of the idea of a study; b) the search for scientific literature that supports the study; c) experiences from field research; d) the surprises that occur during the research; e) the discovery and exploitation of results, etc.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

There is no easy search! This is the good and the bad part at the same time.

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

I want users to know how they can take advantage of Mendeley and explore all the available functions: managing references, building a profile on Mendeley online, depositing research data in Mendeley Data, using Mendeley to make systematic reviews and more.

Do you have any advice for young researchers? 

My advice is to keep studying and updating, especially nowadays when everything changes very quickly and we need to be prepared to obtain new knowledge and skills that we didn’t have before. Always adapt, renew and reinvent yourself. Don’t settle. Life is movement and we need to keep up with trends, however, without ever forgetting to value the classic and universal knowledge that remains current even after so many years. Be curious. Research and try to be critical: not everything written in a book, article or other material represents an absolute truth because in all knowledge there is a limit, a strength and a weakness.

 

Find out more about Juliana by viewing her Mendeley profile.

 Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here.

Advisor of the month: Giscard Wilfried Koyaweda

Editor’s note: Giscard hosted our first Advisor event in the Central African Republic!

What is your name and job title?

My Name is Giscard Wilfried Koyaweda.

Job Title – Research Assistant.

Where do you work?

I work as a Research Assistant at the National Laboratory of Clinical Biology and Public Health of Bangui, Central African Republic, in the Molecular Biology Department.

How did you get into your field?

Since childhood, I have always been fascinated by biological sciences and always chose that particular line. When I got to the University in 2012, I studied the Life and Earth sciences in my 1st year, Life Science during the 2nd year and Biochemistry in the 3rd. Immediately after my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, I got an Internship at Institut Pasteur de Bangui in the Viral Hepatitis Laboratory. This has enabled me to develop more interest in research specifically health sciences.

In 2017, I was awarded the Pan African University scholarship to study a Master’s of science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. During my Master’s, I worked on molecular virology of the hepatitis B virus in the Central African Republic. After successfully finishing my Master’s degree, I joined the Scientific Team of National Laboratory of Central African Republic.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in 2018.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

Before, I used to make my references manually.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

I have realized that Mendeley (an automated reference manager) is very helpful for research report writing and many students are not aware of this resourceful software. I attended an Advisor training session organized by the Advisor Dr. Yahaya Gavamukulya in 2018, which made me skilled in the software. As a person, I am very passionate about sharing knowledge with others in need. With that background, I have decided to become a Mendeley Advisor so that I can organize official training sessions about the usage of Mendeley to researchers and students who don’t have any knowledge in any reference manager in the Central African Republic and elsewhere.

(Editor’s note: Giscard is the first person to organize a Mendeley event in the Central African Republic! A big congratulations from Team Mendeley.)

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

I would like to work with Professor Anna Kramvis, a  Research Professor and Director of the Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. I really appreciate her scientific skills and work on the hepatitis B virus. Her primary research interest is the molecular virology of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), especially of uniquely African strains of the virus, which differ from those found in other regions of the world.

What is the best part about working in research?

In research, I enjoy the part of data analysis.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

From my experience conducting research in the area of biology, sample collection is the most challenging part.

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

I believe that Mendeley is more than a simple reference manager because it offers the Mendeley Careers and Funding Opportunities.

Do you have any advice for young researchers? 

My advice for young researchers is that doing excellent research is not enough to grow scientifically. The results need to be shared with other scientists and in the research community. That will make you grow scientifically.

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Find out more about Giscard by viewing his Mendeley profile.

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here.

 

Advisor of the Month: Emiliano Jozami

What is your name and job title?

Emiliano Jozami.
Teaching assistant and Auxiliary Researcher at the Research Council of the National University of Rosario (CIUNR) in Argentina.

Where do you work?

Parque Villarino, Zavalla
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Rosario, Argentina
https://fcagr.unr.edu.ar/

How did you get into your field?

As a student, I started working in research and collaboration in biology. This is a subject for first year students of Agriculture Engineering and the Bachelor of Natural Resources.

What are you currently working on?

I am researching two different lines:

  • Second generation biofuels and their sustainability using life cycle assessment methodology.
  • Climatology, teleconnections such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and its effects in crops yields.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in 2014. I was looking for a reference manager that could reduce the stressful work of organizing my bibliography. Mendeley had everything I required from a reference manager (i- easy and versatile ways of adding citations; ii- well-ordered bibliography; iii- it allows you to create your own tags along your library; iv- it allows you to find text within your files).

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

To aid my colleagues in being more efficient in the time dedicated to the management of their library and its use in a manuscript/thesis or any type of writing that requires references.

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

Dead: Charles Darwin.

Alive: C. Donald Ahrens. I love his books “Meteorology today”.

What book are you reading at the moment?

“Geopolítica y alimentos” by Juan José Borrell, a colleague from the CIUNR.

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

This week was particularly happy for me as I have obtained a scholarship at National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) to finish my PhD.

I have learned how to repair a leak at my bath with a brand-new sealer I have never used before.  (Editor’s note: Sounds like amazing work from Emiliano. Leaky bathtubs are terrible!)

What is the best part about working in research?

I love doing research. Since I was an undergraduate student, I have been passionate about it as well as explaining subjects to my fellow students at university. Both activities make me feel good with myself. It is really gratifying when I receive positive feedback from a student or when passing a selection processes; i.e:  obtaining a scholarship, an award, publishing an article in a prestigious journal or obtaining funding for research in high competition calls.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Unfortunately, in Argentina, salaries are very low and the procedures to grow in this profession are not what one would expect.

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

It really can make your work easier!! It is worth learning to use Mendeley and is really a user friendly software. It is also a great social network of researchers all over the world.

Do you have any advice for young researchers? 

Although the scenario can be adverse sometimes and things do not go always as you wish, keep trying it. Perseverance is essential to achieve your objectives.

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Find out more about Emiliano by viewing his Mendeley profile.

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here.

Explore mindfulness to improve your research–life balance

The human mind can be trained to cope with and relieve stress. This training is called mindfulness. By increasing awareness of thoughts and emotions in a given moment, it helps to avoid getting carried away. Mindfulness is proven to improve mental and even physical health – and now Elsevier’s Researcher Academy is bringing mindfulness to researchers in a brand-new module.

See the new Mindfulness module

Elsevier-ResearchersAcademy-August2019-1_10-v2C

Why is mindfulness important to researchers? The work of a researcher can feel overwhelming. The pressures associated with funding, competition and deadlines can affect a researcher’s wellbeing and peace of mind. In turn, this can mean a poorer work–life balance, reduced work efficiency and burnout. Mindfulness can help researchers take charge over their own lives.

The new Researcher Academy module will explore the practice of mindfulness in coping with stress as well as improving mental health and overall wellbeing. It will include an exploration of the scientific background of the practice and step-by-step guide to mindfulness in daily research routines.

The Mindfulness module will go live on 14 November at 11:00 a.m. (UTC). Register today!

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Get more career guidance from Elsevier’s Research Academy here

Find out how to unlock your research potential with Elsevier’s Researcher Academy here

Would you like to become a certified peer reviewer?

 

The process of peer reviewing is associated with certain challenges. Editors often struggle with finding reviewers for their next articles. Reviewers want to demonstrate their expertise but have no way of getting noticed. It happens that reviewers decline requests due to lack of familiarity with the subject matter, or because they think they are not competent and experienced enough to review someone else’s work. In the mission of overcoming these challenges, potential reviewers can gain ground skills on peer reviewing by participating in The Certified Peer Review course developed by Elsevier Researcher Academy. Becoming a certified peer reviewer will allow potential reviewers to publicly demonstrate their expertise as referees and contribute to the integrity of academic.

What is happening?

For the past few months, the Elsevier Researcher Academy team was working on a new crash course. The course has been specifically designed to give those who have not yet reviewed – or who feel they would like additional training in this area – the skills and confidence to accept a request to review. The course content is delivered via directed self-learning in the form of webinars, podcasts and questionnaires and can be tackled at the desired pace of the participant. Completion is recognised by a certificate. We hope that the course will help to tackle the reviewer shortage issue that so many of you and your peers face.

Why is this important?

The integrity of scholarly communications depends heavily on the peer reviewing process. 82% academics agreed “without peer review there is no control in scientific communication” and 74% agreed that reviewing significantly raises the quality of published papers (full report here). Therefore, it is crucial for science to expand the reviewer pool and to ensure that proper training is received for producing trustworthy and high-quality peer reviews.

Researchers agree that there is a general ”lack of guidance about how to perform a good review, and reviewers are expected to ‘learn on the job’” (read more here).  Therefore, 77% of reviewers would be interested in receiving specific peer reviewing training. Those who are interested are early researchers (with experience of 5 years and less) but also established career researchers.

What to expect?

The course is divided into 4 major sections.  Each section features complex subthemes to assure that every aspect of the procedure is covered, establishing skills and confidence in the process.

When is it happening?

The course will launch during Peer Review Week on 17th September. Register for free via this link: https://researcheracademy.elsevier.com/navigating-peer-review/certified-peer-reviewer-course/introduction-certified-peer-reviewer-course

Peer review week is a global event, organized to emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication. On 16-20 September 2019, individuals, institutions and organizations devoted to the mission of maintaining a high quality of science participate in this event to share research, highlight the latest innovation and advance best practices.

Advisor of the month: Ahmad Samir Alfaar

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar

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

My cousins had a home library full with science fiction stories that encouraged me to read more about science, my mother was a high school mathematics teacher that used to build models for teaching, I started to read early in biology and by the end of high school I decided to be a physician that practices medicine and does research. I entered medical school, finding no chances for practicing research for students, I decided to practice programming and by the end of medical school I decided to specialize in Ophthalmology and medical/biomedical informatics. I was called to participate in founding the research department at Children’s Cancer Hospital, Egypt in 2008. The team we built created a great environment to learn more about clinical and biomedical research, so I specialized in ophthalmic oncology research. We have gained knowledge together in many aspects and identified the areas that need development in ourselves. After three years, I have been assigned as a head of the research education unit. I have designed and organized multiple training programs for students, early graduates and hospital staff training on clinical research. After finishing my diploma of informatics, Master of science in ophthalmology and Master science of Advanced oncology, I decided to pursue my PhD in molecular medicine and integrated my informatics knowledge in that. Due to the delay in starting my PhD, I have completed another doctorate degree for physicians (Dr. med.)  and now I am conducting a second doctorate degree (MD/PhD in Neuroscience) at Charité Universtätsmedizin – Berlin and Humboldt University International Graduate School of Neuroscience. My current research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of Retinal degenerative diseases beside many other topics.

Where do you do your research? What kind of environment suits you?

I have found that the best place for production is the garden and on the train. However, I lack power supply in the garden, my laptop does not last for very long disconnected and I do not travel that often to allow myself to work on trains, so I find myself obliged to accept working at my desk.

The best environment for research, for me, is open space where I work with students, colleagues and other physicians, sharing knowledge freely, teaching and discussing clinical and biological dilemmas without limits or sensitivities. In any place I plan to work I install a big white board for describing, modelling, sharing and breeding ideas, sometimes, over years.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

Over 10 years, since its first beta versions.

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

Before Mendeley I was using Zotero. Zotero was a great move in the field of citation management after classic ones like Endnote. However, Mendeley represented the first user-oriented, user-friendly, and of course free, software. Its learning curve was extremely steep. Before that, researchers required longer time to learn the software, build their own library, and cite within the documents. Mendeley accelerated my speed of organization, annotation and writing and submission of manuscripts. These findings were noticed also by my students and colleagues whom I taught Mendeley. Moreover, it allowed hundreds of my students to collaborate effectively on publications and scientific documents over the last 10 years. Such web 2.0 features were unique in Mendeley.

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

I was teaching Mendeley before being an Advisor. Being a Mendeley Advisor means I am updated about feature-releases early and supported with teaching materials. Moreover, it allowed me to be recognized by those who want to learn about the software. A more valuable reason was the storage space given to Advisors. This allowed me to build large number of groups during the big courses that I was organising, to evaluate participants’ progress, and to practice with them till the publications get published.

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

From the last 100 years; Alfred G. Knudson Jr, and from the last 1000 years; Ibn Al-Haytham.

Besides, many people that impressed me by their art of organised depiction starting from nominal observations.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Behave, by Robert Sapolsky. It provides a perspective of a scientist on the triggers and development of human behaviour and the potential relation to other creatures.

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

Working in research raises the threshold of signals that can be named interesting. It teaches you to doubt everything. Everything requires re-analysis even what very reputable outlets broadcast.

What is the best part about working in research?

You keep asking, diving in the space of answers, you keep mutating and breeding your questions, evaluating your question, however, no answer is satisfying, but you report your position and enjoy the game.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

To convince humans of something they cannot model (imagine) and to form holes in their conflicts of interest.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have? 

Drag, drop, show me your paper

Biography 

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar, is a physician (ophthalmologist), informatician, medical educator, patients’ advocate and clinical research expert. He was graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 2005. He received PPCR Clinical research certificate from Harvard University in 2009, Certificate of E-Learning Development from Inwent-GIZ in 2009, Diploma in Informatics from Helwan University in 2010,  Master of science in Ophthalmology in 2012, and Masters of Science in Advanced Oncology from Ulm University in 2014. Ahmed worked as a clinical research specialist in Retinoblastoma and Pediatric solid tumors between 2008 and 2014 in the Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt, and the head of research education unit between 2011 and 2014.

He moved to Berlin in 2015 to work in the experimental ophthalmology department, Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin and received his first doctorate degree (Dr. med.) in Ocular Oncology in 2018 and since 2017 he has been studying for MD/PhD degree in the International Graduate School of Medical Neuroscience, Humboldt University and Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin.

Ahmed has received multiple awards and grants for his activities in research and education.

He has been a Mendeley advisor since September 2012, one of the first advisors in Egypt, and taught referencing management using Mendeley to hundreds of students worldwide.

Further details can be found on:

Website: http://www.ahmadsamir.com/

Mendeley Profile: https://j.mp/AlfaarMEND

LinkedIn: https://j.mp/AlfaarIN

ResearchGate: https://j.mp/AlfaarRG

 

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here

Mendeley Advisors Recruit 10,000 New Users in 2019 (Wow!)

(Right photo: Yahaya Gavamukulya, Left photo: Serge Kameni Leugoue)

As of early June, Mendeley Advisors introduced a whopping 10,000 people to the power of good reference management and research workflow this year! The ever-growing Advisor Community runs around 40 events per month, averaging a combined 2,500 attendees. We’d like to give a special thanks to super star Advisors Serge Kameni Leugoue (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and University of Dschang – Cameroon.) and Yahaya Gavamukulya (Busitema University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kenya) for welcoming user 10,000 during one of their events!

Congratulations and a big thanks to all of our Advisors for your help and hard work on this journey.  Mendeley is so much more than a reference manager – it is a strong community of academics from all disciplines and career stages, committed to improving the way we do research, from end-to-end.

Why and How to be a Mendeley Advisor   

Mendeley Advisors are network of over 5,000 passionate Mendeley experts across the world. They are our hands on the ground, helping potential users connect with the platform. We also consult with Advisors to understand the needs of users and to beta test new features.  You’re the first group we consult when we are considering adding a new functionality to the product. But the Mendeley Advisor program isn’t just about making Mendeley famous—there are also some nice perks for you:

  • Be the Mendeley representative on your campus (a nice thing to add to your CV)
  • Get a special Mendeley Advisor account with more groups and increased storage
  • Connect with the team behind Mendeley
  • Be the first to know what we are working on and get early access to new features
  • Get access to the exclusive Mendeley Advisor forum
  • Receive free Mendeley giveaways for events
  • And most importantly: get a flashy Advisor badge for your Mendeley profile so the whole world can see you’re a Mendeley guru!

Want to learn more about Advisors?  Read our Advisor of the Month column or apply on our Mendeley Advisor webpage. Have questions?  Reach out to the Community Team at community@mendeley.com. 

Mendeley’s vision for supporting researchers

Gaby-Appleton-at-MendeleyGaby Appleton is the Managing Director for Mendeley and Researcher Products at Elsevier. She leads an expert product management team in a mission to support millions of researchers with better digital information systems. The aim is to help them have more impact with their work and effectively demonstrate that impact, to stay up to date, to organize and share their knowledge, and to advance their career. She brings over 15 years’ experience to her role along with a passion for the world of research. We met with her to discuss the development vision for Mendeley.

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the development vision for Mendeley. How would you define that vision?

Our vision for Mendeley and indeed for all the Elsevier solutions is to contribute to improving the information system that supports research — an ecosystem of tools and data that addresses real challenges in researchers’ daily reality.

What informs that vision?

Above all, it’s informed by conversations with researchers, which is something I spend a lot of time on. Not that it is a hardship! Spending time with them is truly one of the highlights of my job. Hearing about ground-breaking research from people who are so enthusiastic about what they’re doing is inspirational.

But it’s also essential. The Mendeley team that is responsible for defining our vision needs that open, honest contact with researchers.

Why are those conversations so important?

Because our development strategy has to focus on the problems we can solve for users. If we were doing something because it was exciting technologically but it didn’t address real challenges, then we’d be completely missing the point. We need to ground our development in researchers’ needs.

That’s why we start by listening to gain insight into their challenges, then look at what the technology can do, and finally design solutions to those challenges.

What is the vision for Mendeley’s development that has come out of conversations with researchers?

Based on all the challenges researchers have talked about, we’ve adopted four principles to guide our development strategy: source neutrality, interoperability, transparency, and user control.

Source neutrality means that researchers can use this information system to retrieve, store and disseminate information regardless of the publisher. An unbiased view is the essence of good research and we want to ensure that our platforms and tools are open to content beyond Elsevier’s. Mendeley users can receive recommendations on what to read next (Mendeley Suggest) based on what they’ve already added to their library, and funders-imagethese recommendations are not limited to Elsevier – they can be from any publisher. And we don’t restrict that to papers. Researchers have talked about challenges with staying abreast of funding opportunities, so we’ve worked to provide one of the largest aggregations of funding information, maintaining source neutrality and transparency. The same applies to career postings.

Interoperability is about ensuring that applications, tools and data sets from different providers can work together. The Mendeley API represents our commitment to interoperability with any tools that researchers need.

Transparency is vital to researchers. If they receive an alert or recommendation, they need to know what prompted it. Otherwise, they can’t know if it’s relevant without spending time assessing it. If they are looking at search results, it’s great if they can see how their search string relates to those results. That helps with filtering and refining the hit set. An example of how we maintain transparency is in the functioning of Mendeley Suggest. It makes recommendations for further reading based on what a user and their colleagues are reading, but crucially, it includes information about why that article is relevant.

Control is all about giving researchers control of their own data, where it’s shared and how it’s used by the system. If they don’t want their data to be visible beyond a select group of users, or they don’t want their behavior to provoke recommendations, they should be able to opt out of those features. User control is all about making it easy for an individual to find the settings for preferences. A good example in our system is Mendeley Data, which makes it easy for users to define exactly who sees their data. Similarly, the organization, privacy and recommendation settings of researchers’ reference manager library are easy to control. What displays in a Mendeley Profile is entirely at the user’s discretion.

That’s where our development team constantly strives to take Mendeley: to keep it open to content from any source; to make sure its application programming interface is compatible with multiple tools and platforms; to give users insight into how its features make recommendations; and to ensure that it’s easy for users to set their preferences.

You’re currently developing a new reference manager, now available in BETA, which is a completely re-platformed and updated version of Mendeley’s core reference management function. How does it align with this vision for Mendeley?

I’ll leave it to my colleague Laura Thomson, our Head of Reference Management, to talk about the new Mendeley Reference Manager in more detail in her upcoming interview. Briefly, reference management tools are what we’re best known for. Mendeley Desktop is now ten years old and, while it’s developed incrementally over that time, to really act on users’ feedback and make some big improvements, we felt we needed to take a new RNS_963_a.General version image (2)approach and take advantage of new technologies that have become available since the original Mendeley Desktop was built.

The new Mendeley Reference Manager remains free-to-use and publisher agnostic. The Mendeley API remains open, allowing researchers and developers to create interoperability with multiple tools. We’ve ensured that the settings for the library, recommendations and so on are transparent and in researchers’ control. It’s unique in satisfying those four aspects of the vision for an information system supporting research.

Every aspect of Mendeley follows the same principles and is informed by real-world conversations: from reference management through data sharing to showcasing impact.

We would never pretend that we have all the answers, but we listen. We’ll continue to communicate with researchers as we work on each application of Mendeley. Our goal at Elsevier is an information system that supports research, and Mendeley aims to remain a core part of that.

Thank you very much for your time.

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Find out more about all-things Mendeley here

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Mendeley advisor of the month: Eric Kunto

Eric Kunto Aribowo is an Assistant Professor in Sociolinguistics at the Universitas Widya Dharma Klaten (Indonesia). His research highlights the language phenomenon of Arab descendants in Indonesia. Between 2016—2018, he received research grants from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. His last three publications are Disparity of the Arabic name: the spotlight on children of endogamous and exogamous marriages among Hadrami-Arabs in Indonesia, Arabic, Islamic, and Economy Linking: Onomastics on Business Name of People of Arab Descent in Indonesia, Trends in Naming System on Javanese Society: A Shift From Javanese to Arabic.

Later Eric Kunto Aribowo pursued open science and became involved as a Mendeley Advisor, Figshare ambassador, and INA-Rxiv contributor. In his spare time, he writes stories and shares his ideas at www.erickunto.com/blog.

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

I am interested in Sociolinguistics, especially highlighting the language used by Hadrami- Arabs in Indonesia (Arabic descent), both oral and written. I’ve researched linguistic landscapes in Kampung Arab (like Chinatown for Arab descend), their personal name (onomastics), language spoken in religious and economic contexts, and the endogamy marriage patterns they do.

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

Most of the research I did was not in the laboratory but where the data was gathered, especially in the Arab Village in Surakarta (Indonesia). Data collection is often done by participant observation, interviews, discussions conducted in their stores, coffee shops, their homes, sometimes in mosques. The research that I did made me have to be skilled at adapting to all situations and possibilities.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I have known about Mendeley since 2014 and started actively using it a year later. I became a Mendeley Advisor in mid-2018.

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

Before using Mendeley, I used RefMe to compile a list of references. Since I was active using Mendeley, I find it easier to do research, especially in reading and reviewing references, marking research findings, finding research gaps, and composing a web of mind when composing manuscripts. First, I read and gave Mendeley’s annotations and highlights in the iPad application, synchronized, and moved to Mac when writing a proposal or manuscript. The annotations I previously did manually (by paper), will now be saved safely thanks to Mendeley.

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

Most writers and researchers in my country still use manual/traditional ways to manage references. This causes a lot of time to be spent on this work, making us less productive. I’m eager to disseminate and teach the best experiences. I manage references using Mendeley to students, colleagues, lecturers, and researchers in Indonesia. This is the reason I joined the Mendeley Advisors.

Since becoming Mendeley Advisor in the middle of 2018, I have carried out a couple of trainings attended by approximately 160 participants who are students, doctoral students, and lecturers. One or two weeks before the training, I ask the participants to read and learn the material that I have made online and written in Indonesian at https://sites.google.com/unwidha.id/mendeley. In addition, I also provided a group on social media which was attended by the trainees as a forum for consultation and question-and-answer about Mendeley.

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

I would love to work together and learn from researchers who are able to collaborate with other researchers who are outside the field and different countries, researchers who adopt technology in the research done, and most importantly, researchers who apply open science.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The book I am currently reading is titled Citizen Science Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy by Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel & Aletta Bonn (editors), as I am now starting to apply open science in my research.

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

Open Access Week!! It is motivated me to keep research available to everyone so the people will get benefit from the research and take it further.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part when doing research is getting to meet and know new people, getting new experiences from them, contributing to the world of science, and being part of a group of people who want to make this world better.

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

The most challenging part when doing Sociolinguistic research is the stage of data collection. At this step, researchers will often dive into certain communities which researchers often are outsiders. There will be a lot of energy coming out if researchers do not have strategic ways to enter the community.

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

Mendeley is a freemium software (free but with premium features) that can help researchers to conduct research, ranging from tracing references, giving annotations and highlights, making quotes and bibliographies, collaborating with other researchers, and joining the global community in Mendeley social media.

 

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.