Mendeley Advisor of the Month: July 2018

Mendeley july advisor of the month

Mendeley advisor of the month: Gabriel de Oliveira Ramos is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Artificial Intelligence Lab from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). He obtained his PhD (with highest honours) and MSc degrees in Computer Science from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) in 2018 and 2013, respectively. Ramos’ research focuses on multiagent reinforcement learning and game theory, especially in the context of complex scenarios, such as traffic and smart grids.

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

I started to write my first computer programs at 14 and developed, since then, my passion for Computer Science. Not much later, during my bachelor’s first year, I got in contact with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time and decided that AI would be my research field. In the following years, I developed my research on different AI topics, including machine learning, game theory, and planning. In all cases, my research has always been motivated by real-world problems, like traffic, electricity grids, and logistics. Moreover, the theoretical properties of my methods have always played a role in my research.

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

Any environment where I can balance insightful discussion sessions (with my peers) with silent study sessions. Good computer resources are also extremely useful, together with the traditional paper-and-pen combination.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I started using Mendeley in June 2013, just after I finished my masters, to organize the mess of my references at that time.

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

Keeping track of the literature is fundamental in science. Before using Mendeley, I had all my references grouped by topics into folders of my computer. The main problem, however, was to efficiently store my annotations and conclusions about such references. With Mendeley, I could finally store all my notes in an efficient and reliable way. Together with the nice search mechanism, it became easier for me to focus on my research.

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

I have been a Mendeley enthusiast since I started using it (indeed, it has considerably increased my productivity on specific tasks). As such, I always spread the word about it. Moreover, I contributed to Mendeley by suggesting important improvement several times. In this sense, I always felt as an informal advisor, which became a formal status in May 2015.

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

My work has been inspired by so many brilliant researchers that I could not mention all of them here. Among them, I should definitely highlight Prof. Avrim Blum (TTI-Chicago), Prof. Michael Bowling (UAlberta), and Prof. Tim Roughgarden (Stanford), whose works motivated (and shed light on) my PhD research.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The second edition of Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction, by Sutton and Barto. It is always important to refresh such fundamental topics.

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

I attended some of the world’s most important conferences on Artificial Intelligence (ICML and AAMAS), and I enforced to myself the belief that, as a researcher, you should always be open-minded and eager for learning new things.

What is the best part about working in research?

You are always learning new ways of solving problems that could potentially improve people’s lives.

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

Sometimes (almost always, in fact) the answer is not the one you would expect. Although challenging, that is what moves science forward (and actually, that is one of the most exciting parts of doing science).

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

Mendeley really makes your reference management easier.

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: June 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

number of workshops in Malaysia and Pakistan.

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

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

 What book are you reading at the moment and why?

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

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

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

 What is the best part about working in research?

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

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

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

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

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

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

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

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

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

What is the best part about working in research?

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

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

Funding. No explanation needed.

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

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

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.

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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