Congratulations to our Advisor of the Month, Duncan Casey!

Congratulations and thank you to Duncan Casey! Duncan is one of the Mendeley Advisors who showcased his research work through a hands-on demonstration at Mendeley’s booth at New Scientist Live! Duncan and his colleagues from Imperial College brought along their laser tractor beam and challenged attendees to race a polystyrene ball around a track! Yes, we said tractor beam.

While at New Scientist Live, Duncan also helped answer questions about science, which we posted on Twitter under the hashtag #MendeleyWall, and appeared on BBC Radio 5 answering callers’ questions live at New Scientist Live!

Learn more about Duncan and why he thinks Mendeley is great even for technophobes:

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
Mine’s been less a career path and more a random walk. I started out my scientific career expecting to be a drug development chemist but once I actually got to try it, I found I didn’t like it much. From there, I started investigating drug transport around the body, ended up developing techniques and tools to analyse cell membranes and almost accidentally picked up some experience in laser optics along the way. My research now revolves around mixing the three skill-sets together – in using lasers and surface chemistry to do biology experiments on a very small scale.
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Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
Creative anarchy! When everything is working well, there’s a lot of excited shouting going on as a room full of smart people bounce ideas off each other. Some ideas are ridiculous, some are inspired, and a few are both.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I’ve been using Mendeley since about 2008, I think – I was asked to review it for a newspaper article, and found it a huge improvement on any of the reference management platforms I’d encountered up until that point. At the time it didn’t quite do what I needed, but clearly had a lot of potential, so I got involved as an advisor and helped a little with the development and testing of Mendeley Groups.

My research involves lots of people with widely differing areas of expertise spread across several countries, and everyone’s learning at least one new science. Being able to keep a body of both our own work and a core package of reference texts in one place has helped hugely when bringing new members up to speed, while being able to discuss and debate new papers or ideas in a single platform has been a lot of help.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
When I first started using Mendeley it was only really suitable for small groups of researchers – it was more a reference manager than an out-and-out collaboration tool. At the time, I was working on my Ph.D. at Imperial’s Institute of Chemical Biology, and we needed something with a bit more breadth that could handle 30-40 researchers attacking a problem at the same time. That fed into what became Mendeley Groups, and my team became the pilot project for Imperial College’s use of the system as it became an increasingly integral part of the way we worked. I now use the same system to work with my team of engineering students at LJMU, as I try to turn them into physicists and instrument designers.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
Richard Feynman. He was a seriously, seriously smart man with a pointy sense of humour, and a side-line playing bongo drums in strip clubs.

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Attendee at New Scientist Live attempting to steer a particle around a laser beam track created by Casey

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
Depressingly, I’m trying to teach myself a couple of programming languages as I’m getting tired of being shown up by my students – that’s taking up a fair bit of my time. Outside of that, though, I’m slowly working my way through Jody Taylor’s novels about time-travelling historians. You wouldn’t necessarily accuse them of being high literature, but the enthusiastic chaos and cobbled-together hardware she describes makes me think she’s spent some time in academic R&D.

What is the best part about working in research?
I work in an expensive, dangerous toy shop making lasers do things they aren’t supposed to. What’s not to like? What’s really good fun is when you see something dreamt up on the back of a beer mat turning into a real experiment, instrument or product. The very best ones are those that are glaringly obvious to everyone exactly one second after you’ve made the first prototype – those are the ideas you know are going to be successful.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
It’s about 99% frustration to 1 part exultation. If you aren’t comfortable with (or at least able to tolerate) really great-sounding ideas failing because of either accident, oversight or just some weird interaction with something that no-one had seen before, it’s not a game for you. When it’s good, though, it’s the best job in the world.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
Just about every function it has is exactly where you’d expect to find it – someone clearly spent a lot of time and effort making the thing intuitive to use, and even my old technophobe supervisors got to grips with it pretty quickly.

Mendeley Presentation in Iran

Congratulations February Advisor of the Month!

Mohammad Khorsand-GhayeniCongratulations and thank you to Mohammad Khorsand-Ghayeni, our February Advisor of the Month. Mohammad is a Researcher at Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) in Mashhad, Iran, where he regularly hosts Mendeley trainings.

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

I studied experimental science in high school and after that I did a BSc in Applied Chemistry, after which I did and MSc Polymer Science and Technology. I was eager to use all my knowledge, recently I have been working on preparation of polymeric scaffolds in tissue engineering.

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

I like to work in a multidisciplinary fields and do team work in the field of human health.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley? How does Mendeley influence your research?

I start using Mendeley in Spring 2012. Before that, I was working a little with Endnote. When you have a good instrument, you can work very quickly and very effectively. Now I have a big Mendeley Library that I consult every day!

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?آموزش مندلی_0002 copy

Mendeley worked very well for me, so I decide to speak about it with my colleagues, coworkers and every researcher. I wanted to be an Advisor because I liked making research methodology easier for others.

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

I like to work with countryman Ali Khademhosseini. He is alive and works at Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and Associate Faculty at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

Principles of Tissue Engineering (2014) it is one of the best books in the field of my interest.

What is the best part about working in research?

Achieve something that make people’s lives easier.

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

Trying to start up something or go on a path where others do not want to take the risk to do it.

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

This software can change the way you do research very fast. You can see your achievements in the first year of using Mendeley.

REIsearch

Connecting Science and Society

REIsearch

Research doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The greatest impact of research has always been how it connects science and society and helps us understand the world we live in. Mendeley was started to “change the way we do research” by making it easier to disseminate these ideas through publication and to create a way for researchers to connect with one another.

But it can sometimes feel there is a disconnect between research and researchers and policymakers and fellow citizens — the dreaded Ivory Tower affect. How do we bridge the perceived gap between scientific knowledge and those that set direction for our world?

Mendeley, as part of Elsevier, is supporting a new initiative with Atomium — The European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy, that seeks to increase collaboration and cooperation between policy makers, scientists, communicators, educators, and other people. The REIsearch platform officially launches today in the EU and is available in six languages: French, Italian, English, Polish, Portuguese, and German. The platform asks researchers and others to answer short weekly questionnaires on five different topic areas on a weekly basis. Though the launch is in the EU, researchers from all parts of the world are encouraged to join the conversation.

Our Mendeley Advisors are also participating in the conversation. Over the next five weeks, we will publish guest blog posts by Advisors on each of the five topic areas, alongside an exclusive art by science illustrator Claudia Stocker. The five subtopics are:

  • Prevention is the better cure (week of 15 Feb)
  • New technologies and innovation (week of 22 Feb)
  • Citizens’ rights and responsibilities (week of 29 Feb)
  • Diabetes and nutrition (week of 7 March)
  • More and better data (week of 14 March)

Learn more about the REIsearch project and its background (republished with permission from Elsevier Connect):

The recent announcement by President Obama of the so-called “cancer moonshot” to cure cancer is a prime example of the importance of collaboration among policy makers, scientists, communicators and educators. These are the very pillars behind the new REIsearch platform created by Atomium – European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy(EISMD) and supported by Elsevier.
“Innovation and new scientific discoveries are improving people’s lives and making our economy more competitive,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “Science should be open and freed from its traditional ivory tower to be discussed, submitted to critique and fed with new perspectives. That’s why I warmly welcome efforts such as the REIsearch initiative to get Europeans engaged in the debate about science and research and inspire fresh ideas about how to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems.”
The platform aims to:

  • Create a responsible and informed multi-stakeholder debate on an issue affecting. millions of European citizens, researchers, policymakers and stakeholders.
  • Create and promote access to reliable information on the issue.
  • Increase international, inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorial debate.
  • Bridge the gap between science, society and policy, also by involving the media.
  • REIsearch seeks to connect the experience of European Union citizens with the expertise of EU researchers to support policy makers with decisions that affect society.

“To win such an ambitious challenge,” said Valéry Giscard d’Estaing Bonvicini, Honorary President of ATOMIUM (EISMD). “Together with our partners, we have opted for a gradual approach, aiming at developing initiatives linked to specific scientific topics starting with those of greatest impact, limiting the platform’s functions to the essential. In the coming years additional functionalities will be available, allowing citizens to directly interact with experienced researchers at both national and European level.”

The platform will function as a discussion hub on global societal issues. The first topic is chronic disease; discussions on aging, climate change and energy will follow. As the world’s population ages, the treatment, cure and prevention of chronic disease and its priority as a global challenge prompted its selection as the first initiative. The scope of the problem is enormous. In Europe, chronic disease affects more than 80 percent of Europeans over 65, and 10 percent of GDP is spent on health. Solutions need support from all sectors to be successful.

REIsearch’s ambition is to bridge the gap between research, policy and the public by providing a place where these members of the community can engage with each other and where the general public is given an opportunity to be part of the conversation about how chronic diseases should be managed. The public voice should ideally be a highly influential one when it comes to policies that impact local, regional and international issues such as chronic disease management.

The platform, which is currently receiving the majority of its funding from the European Commission, will be launched today in Austria, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Luxembourg. It will be available in six languages: French, Italian, English, Polish, Portuguese and German.

Elsevier has been a key player in supporting the initiative, helping with funding and the platform itself, which has benefited from the use of Mendeley. Elsevier will help in the sharing of information to the public as well as driving researcher traffic to the REIsearch platform.

“Elsevier has a responsibility to support the research community,” said Elsevier CEO Ron Mobed. “In this case, we can serve by facilitating ways in which viewpoints and information about pressing global issues can be shared. It will be especially important to encourage researchers to participate in the dialogue with the public on the subject of chronic disease.”

While REIsearch is being launched in the EU, researchers from all parts of the world are encouraged to join the conversation. When the platform is live, short weekly questionnaires will encourage visitors to share their knowledge on key issues related to five subtopics. These five subtopics are:

  • Prevention is the better cure (week of 15 Feb)
  • New technologies and innovation (week of 22 Feb)
  • Citizens’ rights and responsibilities (week of 29 Feb)
  • Diabetes and nutrition (week of 7 March)
  • More and better data (week of 14 March)

Researchers and the general public who would like to participate in REISearch forums on chronic disease can do so by visiting the platform: reisearch.eu

Congratulations January Advisor of the Month!

Gratulacje to Peter Sobolewski, our January Advisor of the Month! Peter, an Assistant Professor in Biomaterials and Microbiological Technologies at West Pomeranian University of Technology in Poland, is a regular contributor to our Advisor forum, helping other Advisors guide themselves and users they support. Peter comes from a lineage of scientists and thinks Mendeley is like a second brain!

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How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to work in research, since both of my parents were scientists. However, I was always interested in biology, so when it was time for college I chose Biomedical Engineering, which was a hot field at the time. As an undergrad at Duke University, I had a chance to work with Prof. Laura Niklason, a pioneer in vascular tissue engineering. This was extremely exciting and not only confirmed my passion for research, but also ignited a keen interest in the vascular system. Finally, this experience led me to pursue my PhD in bioengineering, at UCSD. I’ve been working in the field of vascular bioengineering ever since.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
This is a hard question, as it really depends. When I’m working in the lab, I find I make most of my progress or breakthroughs after hours, when I’m alone and have the ability to completely focus on the problem at hand. However, I find that a collaborative environment is very important and I very much enjoy brainstorming with colleagues at a white board and, of course, get much help in the lab from students and colleagues as well.
In terms of writing, I like having some music on and big blocks of time, such that I can stream as much text out as possible. Then, I work on editing and adjusting it to a more final form. At this stage, I find it extremely valuable to have colleague in the office to bounce ideas/phrases, etc.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I’ve been using Mendeley since December 2010. I previously used EndNote, Reference Manager, and briefly Zotero. I’ve been using reference management software since 1997 or so, thanks to the influence of my parents. Initially, my main goal was managing citations while writing. Mendeley has brought a true paradigm shift for me, thanks to the full text searching of stored documents/abstracts/etc. It’s like a second brain. I conscientiously use the web importer to throw any and all interesting papers or book chapters into my database, knowing I can always find them. Further, the iOS app is also fantastic when on the go, in the lab, or at a conference.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I’ve been an unofficial advisor or advocate or whatnot since 2011, because my experience with Mendeley has been so fantastic. It’s easy to get excited about it and want to share, and I’m a naturally chatty person. When I became a faculty member last year, I decided I may as well see about becoming an Advisor. As a teacher, I have access to the “soap box,” so to speak, allowing me to directly expose my students to Mendeley, which I think is invaluable to students working on papers, thesis projects, etc.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
This is an impossible question for me as I have a great interest in the history of science and scientific discoveries. I can not choose one person, so I will cheat and offer 2, a preeminent biologist and a preeminent engineer: Charles Darwin, preferably during his voyage, and Nikola Tesla.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I’m presently about half-way through The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. This is a long overdue reading of a classic. Next on tap is Steven Pinker’s book Sense of Style. I am also always hunting for inspiration by (re)reading chapters from Alan Lightman’s book The Discoveries, a wonderful collection of anecdotes, history, and original scientific works of some of the most important discoveries of the 20th century.

What is the best part about working in research?
Trying something truly new and the sense of excitement that goes with it. Closely followed by the sense of accomplishment when something really works and you can explain why.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
I think it’s the trend to marginalize methods and techniques in research publications. It makes it harder and harder to repeat things and also harder to use recent papers for teaching students.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It’s not just a reference manager, it’s a full text document searcher–a second brain!

Selamat! October Advisor of the Month – Muhammad Basri Jafar

basri cropWe’re very pleased congratulate Muhammad Basri Jafar on being our November Advisor of the Month – Basri completed his Bachelors in English Education at the State University of Makassar, Indonesia, and continued with the Master Degree in Early Childhood Education at The Ohio State University, USA. He followed up with a PhD in Communication, Culture, and Languages at Victoria University, Australia.

Basri recently came to visit us at Mendeley HQ in London and told us about his research investigating students’ perception of Mendeley in academic writing, and of his amazing plans to organise the Mendeley International Symposium in Education (MISE) in Makassar next year.

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
I get into my field in billiteracy development through the extensive reading and research over years and years. My current research on the Exploring Indonesian students’ perception on Mendeley reference management software in academic writing has been presented in the The 2nd International Conference on Information Technology, Computer, And Electrical Engineering (ICITACEE 2015) indexed by IEEExplore.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
Doing research with the community development looking at the literacy program under the UNESCO Project on National Literacy Building for Timor Leste and the UNESCO program on education for all is an exciting work for the my latest work experience as a UNESCO consultant of education for all for Timor Leste.

unm gedung2How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I have been on Mendeley for more than two years after experiencing using Endnote in my PhD work. Mendeley is a simple reference management software and easy to use in academic writing.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
Since experiencing Mendeley easy to use in the academic writing then I decided to incorporate Mendeley in writing article, research paper and other publication.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
Nancy Hornberger, a Professor in Pensylvania University, USA who pioneering the continua model of biliteracy.

Basri workshop cropWhat book are you reading at the moment and why?
Language Ecology authored by Dr. Mark Garner, the Roehampton University since this book inspired my research on ecological perspective on language use in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

What is the best part about working in research?
The best part of working in research is the way we find the most up to date, and futuristic topics, as well as finding the dynamic of the data in the field to put into a comprehensive output of the research.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
The most challenging part of research is working with the participants who are quite difficult to reach and communicate with for data collection.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
One thing that I want people to know about Mendeley is the way Mendeley help authors in citing and referencing simultaneously as well as highlighting feature for easy revision.

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Congratulations October Advisor of the Month – Sanjeev K Sunny

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Audience during my first presentation on Mendely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations August Advisor of the Month – Ruth Harrison

2015-08-28 12 08 41_resizedCongratulations to our August Advisor of the Month: Ruth Harrison, who is the Head of the Scholarly Communications Management team at Imperial College London, meaning that she leads the development researcher and education support services and activities provided by the Library Services, particularly those related to open access, research data management and information literacy teaching, including study skills support.

Ruth studied Politics and History at University of Newcastle upon Tyne and then completed her Masters in Information Services Management while working as a library assistant at Imperial College London. Several jobs later, she is still based in the Library Services department at Imperial, and is now Head of Scholarly Communications Management, working primarily to enable researchers and students to communicate and disseminate their work, whether they are an undergraduate or senior member of academic staff.

We at Mendeley are very thankful to Ruth, as she has been an avid and enthusiastic usability tester for our development team and is often in the Mendeley office trying out our new ideas, giving us honest and constructive feedback!

How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
I don’t have a research field, although I briefly dabbled with the idea of doing a PhD in education a few years ago. If I did, I think now it might be how the impact of research can be communicated…

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you? 
I work in an open plan office, which suits me most of the time, despite being an introvert – I don’t like complete silence and it’s good to have work colleagues around. That said, I do crave a quieter space occasionally so hide when I can!

How long have you been on Mendeley?
I started using Mendeley very soon after it was launched after meeting Jan and Victor at an event for librarians; I was intrigued to know what researchers would want to use and would be using.

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How does Mendeley influence your research?
The nature of my job is that I try to check out as many researcher orientated tools as possible.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
It seemed a good way of being recognised for all the consultation and advice I provided in the early days, and that I hope I continue to provide. Other colleagues in our Library are now more involved in providing information to our researchers on a daily basis about Mendeley.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
I have never thought about that! Ada Lovelace or any of the early female scientists and researchers. We need more now.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 12.23.20What book are you reading at the moment and why?
David Crystal’s ‘The story of English in 100 words’ – because I love language!

What is the best part about working in research?
Finding things out – that’s why working in the information profession appealed.

And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
If I were a researcher, I’d probably say the admin. Explaining policies is definitely a current challenge for those of us in research support.

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
That it was developed for researchers by researchers!