Meet the team: Wouter Haak

Name: Wouter Haak
Job title: VP Research Data Management

Wouter HaakWouter is responsible for research data management at Elsevier, specifically the Mendeley Data platform. This is an open ecosystem of researcher data tools: a data repository, an electronic lab notebook, a data search tool, and a data project management tool. Aside from his work for Elsevier, Wouter is part of several open data community initiatives; for example he co-chairs the RDA-WDS Scholix working group on data-article linking; he is part of the JISC Data2paper advisory board; and his group participates in the NIH Data Commons pilot project. It is all about the ‘R’ of FAIRdata: focusing on data re-use.

Prior to Elsevier, Wouter worked in online product and strategy roles. He has worked at eBay Classifieds, e.g. Marktplaats.nl, Kijiji.it – in roles varying from business development to overall responsibility for the classified’s businesses in Italy, France, Belgium and Turkey. Furthermore, he has worked for the Boston Consulting Group.

When did you join Mendeley?

2016

What do you love most about your job?

I love speaking to researchers, about their projects and visions. Going to universities and learning about the things they do, I’m proud that I can contribute a tiny piece to this amazing world.

What book did you most recently read?

I read the Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris. Amazing how something that takes place during the Roman empire is still actual today. The main character is not Cicero but his slave: Tiro. Tiro – quietly working in the background – is actually the hero of this story.

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

That Mendeley is becoming more than a reference manager. I would like to see Mendeley grow to becoming a daily virtual partner of researchers.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

I help researchers and universities with re-using the data and measurements that they create better.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

In my direct team of about 50 people, I find it exciting that we have more than 10 nationalities. I have lost count and that is fun.

What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing keeps me awake at night. Having gone through raising young kids, I have learned that problems are best tackled during the day.

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

I learned that the European Open Science Cloud project is starting to have areas that are going to be very real and helpful for research overall. My plan is to see if we can contribute to this. Less so to the infrastructure but more likely on the ‘tools’ or ‘commons’ side.

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Effective research data management with Mendeley Data

The science of tomorrow will require the data from today

All the information underpinning research articles offers value to other researchers: raw and processed data, protocols and methods, machine and environment settings, and scripts and algorithms. Sharing and using such research data can increase the impact, validity, reproducibility, efficiency, and transparency of research.

To unlock the true potential of research data, the Mendeley Data team believe that there is a need to move beyond solely making data available and find a dependable solution that enables data to be stored, shared and re-used. So we launched Mendeley Data. When collaborating with the research community to develop Mendeley Data, we followed four guiding data principles:

  1. Data needs to be discoverable
  2. Data needs to be comprehensible
  3. Researchers should be able to take ownership of their data
  4. Research data management (RDM) solutions need to be interoperable.

Discover more about the four principles for unlocking the full potential of research data.

Empowering researchers to perform research data management

Open science benefits research and society, and drives research performance. Here are five things you need to know about RDM with Mendeley Data:

  1. Mendeley Data supports the entire lifecycle of research data: modules are specifically designed to utilize data to its fullest potential, simplifying and enhancing current ways of working
  2. Researchers own and control their data: you can choose to keep data private, or publish it under one of 16 open data licenses
  3. Mendeley Data is an open system: modules are designed to be used together, as standalones, or combined with other RDM solutions
  4. Mendeley Data can increase the exposure and impact of research: Mendeley Data Search indexes over 10 million datasets from more than 35 repositories
  5. We actively participate in the open data community: we are currently working on more than 20 projects globally

View an infographic on the five facts

Mendeley Data 5 facts

Striving for superior data management for researchers

No one can solve RDM challenges alone, nor can one business unleash the full potential of research data sharing. However, through following core data principles, and continually evaluating and improving the RDM solutions built on our Mendeley Data platform, we hope to be able to contribute to supporting researchers discover the value of their data .

Get started with Mendeley Data.

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Mendeley’s vision for supporting researchers

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

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

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

What informs that vision?

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

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

Why are those conversations so important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you very much for your time.

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Find out more about the information system supporting research here 

Store, Share and Find: Manage It All with Mendeley Data

Mendeley answers NEWYou recently learned about how Elsevier’s Mendeley Research Network can help you stay updated on the latest trends and developments in your field. But there’s another tool within Mendeley that can give you peace of mind about the data you’ve already generated in your research. Mendeley Data  is a free, secure cloud-based repository where you can store, share and find data, wherever you are. A vital part of the unified Mendeley ecosystem, Mendeley Data enables you to check if there is data out there for a new project that you are working on, as well as to execute your funding mandate and data management plans without so much time-consuming administrative overheads.

Seek and You Shall Find

When you start a new project, or apply for funding, you always check the latest research on your chosen topic and look into what has been done already previously. Why don’t you take a look at existing data on a topic as well? With Mendeley Data Search you can find related data easily, and with  over nine million datasets from over 30 repositories worldwide indexed, that’s a wealth of information readily available for you to easily preview relevant data to support  your project.  Your funder will also be impressed if you show that you’ve taken the time to ensure that you’re not duplicating efforts.

Get Credit for Sharing Your Data

An open science repository, Mendeley Data allows you to quickly and easily upload files of any type – with as many as 10GB per dataset. You can import your own folder structure, and your data is automatically tagged with subject classifications. Mendeley Data has received the widely recognized CoreTrustSeal certification, so you can be confident that your data always will be safe and accessible. Plus, your data is archived for as long as you need it by Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), the Netherlands-based institute for permanent access to digital research resources. Best of all, you retain complete control and copyright over the data, and choose the terms under which others may consume and reuse it.

Mendeley Data also supports versioning – making longitudinal studies easier to manage. All published versions of a dataset can be viewed and compared by clicking on the links in “Version” history.

There’s a vetting process to store data in Mendeley; each collection of research data files is checked by a qualified reviewer, to ensure the content constitutes research data, is scientific in nature, and doesn’t solely contain a previously published research article. Datasets also may not contain executable files or archives that are unaccompanied by individually detailed file descriptions; copyrighted content (audio, video, images) to which you do not own the copyright; or sensitive information (such as HIPPA-protected patient details or birthdates).

Could the process be any more painless?

>             Register/log in to Mendeley Data.
>             Click “New dataset.”
>             Upload data files.
>             Add metadata (including Title, Description and Contributors) for the                                          dataset.
>             Save
>             Hit “Publish.” (only when you’re absolutely ready for it to go public).

Each researcher’s dataset is discoverable, because it’s deeply-indexed in Mendeley Data’s powerful search engine. In addition, it is marked with the standard schema.org metadata markup language.

Datasets in Mendeley Data are viewed and downloaded frequently – on average once per month. As a result, we see that articles having accompanying datasets get cited more often.
Every dataset in Mendeley has a unique and permanent DataCite DOI(digital object identifier) which makes it much simpler for you, or other researchers, to locate and reference your data. When you publish your research, you can connect your paper to the cited dataset via the DOI and it will be indexed in OpenAIRE, the EU initiative aimed at improving the discovery and reuse of research publications and data.

Share Your Data – Or Not

When you use Mendeley Data, you control who gets to use your data and when. You have the option to securely share your data with colleagues and co-authors before publication, or publish your data to the world when you’re ready to do so.

With many Elsevier journals, it’s possible to upload and store your dataset to Mendeley Data during the manuscript submission process. You can also send your data directly to the repository. In each case, your data can be linked to any associated journal article on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect, making it easy for readers to find and reuse.

Mendeley Data benefits not only you, but your institution. By saving time in searching, collecting and sharing data, it prevents re-work. Mendeley showcases institutional research outputs, boosting your reputation as well as that of your employer. With quick access to so much data, institutions are able to improve collaborations internally and externally.

Let Mendeley Manage What You Generate

It’s time to get more credit for your data. Mendeley Data has the power to make this happen – enabling  your data to be citable, accessible and discoverable with  optimal data management, so you can focus on your research. Isn’t that what really matters?

Get started with Mendeley Data

 

 

Mendeley Data: Introducing Folders

We’ve introduced Folders to make organising your data easier.

At Mendeley Data, the open research data repository, we’ve just launched folders to help every dataset author group and logically organise their research data files into folders, in the same way they would organise files on their computer.

“It would be great if a folder structure would be applicable for datasets. For example, I would like to share data from a method comparison study. One folder for each dataset within this comparison would be most convenient.”

 

A folders feature was requested by our users via survey results and feedback. We will continue to listen to researchers in order to improve our service and add features most relevant to our end users.

Authors are able to drag and drop to either create subfolders, or change the order of the folders, with any data files outside the folder structure ordered alphabetically. Click ‘Create Folder’ to start organising your files.

The process of uploading data, with the ability to click or drop any file type, will remain the same. For those datasets that are already published, the ordering of files will not change. However, for those datasets which are in draft form or if another version is subsequently created, all ordering of data files uploaded will change to an alphabetical ordering system rather than the one the dataset author had previously set.

Mendeley Data: Now Available via OpenAIRE

OpenAIRE is a network of repositories, archives and journals that support Open Access policies. OpenAIRE is a Horizon 2020 project, aimed at supporting the implementation of EC and ERC Open Access policies; open access to scientific peer reviewed publications is obligatory for all Horizon 2020 funded projects. The goal is to make as much European funded research output as possible, available to all, via the OpenAIRE portal.

Every dataset published in Mendeley Data, which has an associated article or project, now becomes automatically aggregated to the OpenAIRE portal, where it can be found alongside other research. This enables researchers to discover research data from a wide range of repositories in one place. This means Mendeley Data is part of a global collaborative discourse promoting open science. With the availability of entire research projects and associated data, data reuse is supported, accelerating the pace of research.

1800 Journals Enable Data Sharing Through Mendeley Data

Use Mendeley Data to safely store, share and cite your research data.

You may have noticed that funding bodies and universities increasingly require you to share your research data at the end of your project.  This often coincides with the time when you publish papers about your research.  Therefore, journals are looking for ways to make it easier to you to share your data and comply with funder mandates. Mendeley Data can help with that.

Elsevier announced earlier this month that they are now implementing journal data guidelines for all their journals. This means that all journals will clearly explain whether you are expected to make your data available. More importantly, this means that all journals now provide the right infrastructure for data sharing.

For most journals this means that they will provide three options. First, it is possible to link to your data in a domain-specific data repository. Domain-specific repositories are often the best place for your data because they can ask for the information that is relevant in your field. However, in cases where there is no good domain-specific repository available, these journals enable you to share your data through Mendeley Data.

When you upload your data to Mendeley Data during the article submission process, a draft of your data will become available. Only you, the editor, and the reviewers have access to this draft. This gives editors and reviewers the opportunity to take a look and provide feedback. You can then still make changes to improve your dataset. By default, your dataset will only become publicly available when your article is published. If you want to analyze your data further before sharing with the world, you can also set an embargo data so that the dataset will become available at a later time.

In cases where you cannot share your data at all, you will have the option to make a data statement, explaining why your data is unavailable. Should you wish to make your data available at a later point in time, just go to data.mendeley.com and indicate that this dataset is linked to an article. We will make sure your article links back to your dataset to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.