Advisor of the Month: Yahaya Gavamukulya

Editor’s note:  We’d like to congratulate Dr. Gavamukulya on finishing his PhD and inspiring a new group of Mendeley Advisors!

What is your name and job title?

I am Dr Gavamukulya Yahaya (PhD), a Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University, Mbale – Uganda. I am also a dynamic Global Mendeley Advisor.

How did you get into your field?

Quite a very long story, but to sum it all up, passion led me where I am and has helped me stay here.

Where do you work the best?

In an environment with people who not only take me as a colleague, but get to learn and understand each and every one as an individual yet moving together as a team. Reciprocally, I really enjoy knowing everyone in my work environment as a person rather than just knowing them as colleagues, students, peers among others.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I have been using Mendeley for 6 years, 4 of which have been as an Advisor.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

It’s quite embarrassing, but I was adding references manually without any reference manager.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

With resources on the website, I taught myself how to use Mendeley and it took me some time before perfecting it. Once I perfected and became experienced in all the features, and with the gaps analysis in the communities I was living in, I decided to enroll as an Advisor in order to help train and enroll as many people as possible in order for them not to go through what I used to go through prior to discovering Mendeley. Additionally, research being at the core of our training, having a resource person with interest and expertise in guiding learners through Mendeley becomes an added advantage to the Institutions. I have so far recruited, enrolled and trained more than 1,700 Mendeley users globally.

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

Prof Kary Banks Mullis (December 28, 1944 – August 7, 2019), just to thank him for the revolutionary technology of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

What is the best part about working in research?

Navigating uncharted waters and eventually creating a trail…

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Uncertainty…

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

Mendeley is here to accompany them through the entire research journey.

Do you have an advice for young researchers? 

Passion, Passion, Passion, Patience, Perseverance and the correct team… It shall keep you there even when the going gets tough.

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Find out more about Dr. Gavamukulya by viewing his 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.

Advisor of the Month: Felix Oke

Felix Oke: Anchor University, Lagos, Nigeria 

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

I undertake research in linguistics with a focus on media studies. Recently, I have got a deep insight into an emerging field called digital humanities.

My research career began while I was working on my final year project as an undergrad. I enjoyed the affordances there are in carrying out field work in linguistics. Next, I engaged with a robust and more detailed research project in medical linguistics. Recently, my research activities have revolved around media discourse and digital humanities with special interest in digitising images of cultural heritage in Nigeria.

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

As a faculty staff member, I make use of my office in Lagos, Nigeria and sometimes in the library. I enjoy the serenity of my workplace. In a few occasions, I take a research retreat.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in 2016.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

Due to my passion for referencing, I engaged in the manual way of documenting sources judiciously. Since the time I came across Mendeley, my research experience has changed tremendously.

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

I was surprised by the wonders of Mendeley, so I decided to learn and master the software. Also, I have passion in reaching out to researchers who don’t have the knowledge of any reference manager in my country.

I love referencing generally. I was part of a team of developers put together to work on the style sheet for referencing online data. I have taught that aspect of referencing with graduate students as part of their requirements for a course in methodology. I have also taught Mendeley in our Summer School on Digital Humanities, to the ICT staff of University and to other faculty and doctoral researchers.

Which researcher would you most like to work with, dead or alive?

The researcher I would like to work with is James Cummings, Newcastle, UK. He is a digital humanist who specialises in coding, mining and visualising humanities data.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Currently, I am reading Goals by Brian Tracy. I would like to learn more about attaining to one’s life goals.

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

Teaching referencing to graduate students of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria, who have no prior knowledge of a reference manager like Mendeley.

What is the best part about working in research?

What I enjoy the most in research is the aspect of data interpretation or discussion.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The most challenging part of research is data gathering.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?

I have discovered, over the years in Mendeley, the intricacy of what is called the “metadata”.

Biography

I am a doctoral candidate from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a lecturer in the Department of Languages and Linguistics from Anchor University, Lagos, Nigeria. My research interest borders on the intersection between language studies and digital software.

In my ongoing doctoral thesis titled “Construction of Identity and Ideology in Nigerian News Reports on Boko Haram Insurgency”, I have been able to show the trajectory of news discourse, critical discourse analysis and multimodal digital humanities in terrorism discourse. Recently, I have undertaken a research project on digitisation of cultural heritage in Nigeria.

Editor’s Note: Felix is too modest to say it here, but he has been working with his university to set up a Mendeley learning lab! We think this is pretty cool.

Find out more about Felix by viewing his Mendeley profile.

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

Advisor of the month: Merceline Obwaya

 

Merceline is a Library Assistant at the Kenyatta University Post Modern Library. Merceline grew up in a small village called Nyansara in Kisii County, Kenya. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Kenyatta University in December, 2014. She is passionate about providing timely and quality services to the community she serves.

 

How did you get into your field?
I love reading, but that’s not the reason I became a librarian. I love connecting people with the information they need to change their lives for the better. I love the hunt and the power of having the right information at the right time and teaching others to gain the skills too. I chose to pursue a degree in Library and information Science to accomplish all these through serving library/ information centres’ clients. I joined Kenyatta University Post Modern Library a few months after graduating and it has been exciting serving the University Community. It is amazing to work in a library!

Where do you do work the best?
In a relaxed and clean environment with people who are committed to their work and are self-driven.

How long have you used Mendeley?
I was first introduced to Mendeley in 2015 by my supervisor, who is currently the Deputy University librarian at Kenyatta University. Thanks Mr. Thuku!

What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
Microsoft Word citations & bibliography. Mendeley is a one-stop solution when it comes to research. It makes referencing and citation so easier, allows one to read the saved PDF documents, make notes and add comments and even search the web catalog for more related reference documents and suggests more articles for further reading. It is an amazing tool.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor, and how are you involved with the program?
When I joined Kenyatta University, I realized most of the users I served had issues with citation and referencing. I took the challenge to learn more about Mendeley, so that I can help them rather than giving them several referrals to the reference experts. I joined the Librarian certification program in 2017 and I learnt and sharpened my skills in using Mendeley. I am involved in the library Information Literacy training sessions and one of the key issues addressed in the trainings is use of the reference management tools. I am the Mendeley expert in my library! I train the students and staff how Mendeley can make their research more enjoyable and easier.

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
No one in particular, but I wish to meet the Mendeley team. They have done so much to make referencing such an easier task, providing all the support and resources needed by the users to learn more about Mendeley. The people behind this magic.

What book are you reading at the moment?
In addition to the many articles I read while working, I am currently reading “Doors of opportunity: issues in personal development and achievement” by Sebuye Livingstone.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
Learning is a continuous process. There is always something new to learn each day.

What is the best part about working in research?
Always learning to solve problems scholars face to make their research life better and interesting.

And the most challenging part about working in research?
When people assume that as an information professional you know everything, and that you can solve all the challenges they face in the research world.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?
All the Mendeley features are just where I exactly need them. The new Mendeley web importer is an amazing development! I can now save the subscribed articles without going through the long process of downloading them to my desktop folders first.

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

Advisor of the month: Virginia Ballance

Virginia BallanceVirginia Ballance is the Nursing and Health Sciences Librarian at the University of The Bahamas. She works in the Hilda Bowen Library at the nursing school campus in downtown Nassau Bahamas.

How did you get into your field?
I loved studying and working in the library while I was at university and after graduate school studies sort of moved seamlessly into librarianship.

Where do you do work best?
In the library.

How long have you been using Mendeley?
I set up an account several years ago mostly to try it out. Last year the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research suggested I offer a workshop on reference management – we selected Mendeley because of the great features.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?
Years ago I used EndNote but in recent years, embarrassed to say, I wasn’t using anything…

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
The Mendeley Advisor programme encouraged me to really learn to use the product and exploit all its features as well as providing me with the training materials (presentations that could be customized, posters and certificates) needed to run a workshop. Being an Advisor puts you in contact with a fabulous group of Mendeley users all over the world to share experiences using Mendeley. There are other great benefits such as having a larger account size and greater number of Mendeley groups.

Which researcher would you most like to work with, dead or alive?
Hard question – to be honest, I really enjoy working with the students and faculty here at the University of The Bahamas.

What book are you reading at the moment?
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and about 10 other books…

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
I discovered Google Crisis Maps. This is a special project which gives access to satellite images and maps specifically for emergency situations. I was amazed to see details of the extent of the devastation on the two islands in the Bahamas that were hit by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019. https://www.google.org/crisismap/weather_and_events

What’s the best part about working in research?
Seeing your name in print! Getting cited!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
Procrastination. Making time in the day or the week to work on writing especially when there are so many distractions.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
It can make your scholarly writing so much easier…

Do you have any advice for young researchers?
Absolutely – be brave, go to conferences, present your ideas, network, work with your colleagues, and let the librarians in your institution know what you are working on.

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Watch Virginia give advice on the best methods and tools to effectively collect, organize and retrieve a personal knowledge base as part of Elsevier’s recent Build My Knowledge webinar

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

Advisor of the Month: Robin Pertz; science librarian, NASA Glenn Research Center

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

I started at a library in Gahanna, Ohio (Columbus Metropolitan Library) as a homework help center coordinator. As a former middle school science teacher seeking a new venue for my talents it was the library where my passion for teaching and my enthusiasm for learning collided. It was there I was encouraged to go to grad school where I earned my MLIS from Kent State. During my last semester at KSU I was assigned a project in which I interviewed the manager of the library at NASA Glenn. In a twist of fate, I was asked to complete my practicum, a culminating experience at a place I pined over as a child growing up in the Cleveland area. NASA was always a dream of mine. So it happened that a position became open while I was there and one thing led to another, the rest is history! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I’d be the science librarian at NASA.

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

My best work is done in the morning, outside of my building at a picnic table. With the sound of wind tunnels and jet engines in the background with a cup of tea out of my NASA mug is when I’m doing my best work!

How long have you used Mendeley for? 

I have been on Mendeley since January 2017, I was actually the first person to “graduate” from the librarian certification program!

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

I was using NOTHING! Mendeley helps me save time and lean my research process. Saving me time, therefore saving the government time!

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

I guess it goes back to the need for teaching and learning. You can take a teacher out of a classroom but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher. I host all of our Mendeley demos here at our lab and encourage folks to lean their research process as well!

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

After having been afforded the opportunity to have lunch with legend astronauts and personal heroes like Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Walt Cunningham, and Frank Borman…I cannot answer this question. I’ve already met some of the most wonderful humans that ever walked this earth and who have been to space.

 What book are you reading at the moment?

Secret time. I’m the librarian that doesn’t read as much as “most” librarians. I go through so much research everyday all day long that by the end of the day I’d rather go to the gym, go for a walk or work in the garden.

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

That someone actually wants to play football for the Cleveland Browns. Welcome to Cleveland OBJ.

What is the best part about working in research?

Seeing things grow from the ground up. I’ll get a research request, 8 months later see NEW research published that used the research that I found and culled together months ago!

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The misconception that I know everything that NASA publishes because I’m the librarian. (a humorous challenge)

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?

Using the “search” feature to find research that spans across multiple disciplines of research that I’ve saved over the years. That is usually my starting point to a new research project.

Biography

Robin grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Always wanting to be a teacher she ventured to central Ohio for her undergraduate degree in middle childhood education. While in college she was a supervisor of summer day camps for kids. After college graduation she stuck around central Ohio and was teaching until finding her love of libraries with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It was there where she was encouraged to attend grad school where she could advance her career and passion for libraries and learning. Fate would have it that she landed an experience at the NASA Glenn Research Center where all her passions would collide into the perfect dream job! As the science librarian for one of 3 research centers that NASA has, her day to day is filled with many typical librarian tasks like cataloging, collection maintenance, promotion and outreach as well as citation verification, in depth research and reference. Robin also hosts various demos and workshops for the NASA Glenn staff of 1,500. As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Moon landing and the 60th anniversary of the Agency she hopes to be around to see many more anniversaries in the future and not for one moment takes for granted the esteem that comes for working with someone of the brightest people and most iconic Agencies in the world.

You can follow Robin’s Mendeley profile here

Shameless plugs…

https://www.instagram.com/tv/BlT1z7PghHU/

Follow me on twitter @glennlibrary

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Find out more about the Mendeley Advisor Community here