Mendeley Advisor of the Month: May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

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

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

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

What is the best part about working in research?

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

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

Funding. No explanation needed.

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

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

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.
duncasey
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.

img_6325
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.

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!

sobolewski2

 

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.

IMG_0233 1120x

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.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 12.27.46

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!