Mendeley Data is FAIR2

The FAIR side of Mendeley Data

Mendeley Data is FAIRMendeley hosts a Hack Day aimed at making Mendeley Datasets accessible by FAIR

Earlier this year we launched Mendeley Data, an open data repository where researchers from all disciplines can deposit their datasets. Because we want to support all fields of science, we allow all file formats, and are flexible in the kinds of metadata researchers have to provide. However, we still want to ensure that it is easy for others to find the data, access the data, and work with the data.

That’s where FAIR comes in. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable and is an approach for data developed since January 2014 by a wide range of scientific and research data organisations including the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL), and which Elsevier and Mendeley and others support strongly.

In the FAIR Data approach, data should be:

  • Easy to find by both humans and computer systems, with metadata that allow the discovery of interesting datasets;
  • Stored for long term such that they can be easily accessed and/or downloaded with well-defined license and access conditions, whether at the level of metadata, or at the level of the actual data content;
  • Ready to be combined with other datasets by humans as well as computer systems;
  • Ready to be used for future research and to be processed further using computational methods.

Community organizations and funding agencies are starting to recognize the importance of data being FAIR; for example the European Commission is providing researchers that receive funding through Horizon2020 with FAIR data management guidelines.

Mendeley Data wants to support researchers making their data available in a FAIR manner and so we’re delighted to be able to collaborate with the DTL, who are developing FAIR tools.

Mendeley Data is FAIR2

Hacking the data

Last Friday developers from DTL joined the Mendeley Data developers for a Mendeley hack day. The goal for the hack day was to extend Mendeley Data API, to be able to expose the FAIR metadata, which allows researchers to discover datasets in Mendeley Data based on detailed metadata attributes.

The end goal is that a researcher using a FAIR-enabled tool can carry out a detailed search operation (for example search for datasets about a particular disease condition) and find relevant results from a range of repositories, including Mendeley Data.

In order to enable this, ultimately, we need to create an endpoint which exposes detailed metadata for our datasets. We knew this would be a tall order for our hack day, so we created a proof-of-concept endpoint which exposed this metadata for some static/hardcoded instances of collections and datasets.

This was enough to show the FAIR Data Point in action, starting off accessing Mendeley Data, and then drilling down into these example catalogues and from there finding the example datasets.

By the end of the hack day we had:

  • Mapped our datasets’ metadata to the FAIR metadata layers of the FAIR Data Point, including W3C’s DCAT spec;
  • Implemented the proof-of-concept FAIR Data Point-compatible endpoint providing metadata which can be consumed by FAIR-enabled tools;
  • Demoed the Mendeley Data FAIR Data Point in action, navigating through the layers of FAIR metadata including the data repository (Mendeley Data), catalogue, datasets and data files.

The outcomes of the hack day were: a much better understanding of how to make our datasets available as FAIR resources, so they can be found, integrated and reused by researchers along with other FAIR datasets; and creation of an endpoint which is only a few steps away from being productionised and available to use by the community.

We really enjoyed working closely with Luiz, DTL’s CTO, and developers Rajaram and Kees to concretely and tangibly make progress towards making Mendeley Data datasets more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable!

Follow Mendeley Twitter to hear when we launch this capability!

Mendeley Brainstorm: Climate Change – Too Little, Too Late?

Difficult decisions lay ahead if our planet is to avoid environmental catastrophe
Difficult decisions lay ahead if our planet is to avoid environmental catastrophe

2016 is set to be the hottest year on record. Rising sea levels have already forced out entire communities; melting permafrost may have unleashed an anthrax epidemic in Russia.  In response, the United States and China have promised to curb their carbon emissions.  However, is this a case of too little, too late? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research!  The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth £50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes October 19.

2016: The Hottest Year on Record?

According to NASA and the United Nations, 2016 promises to be the hottest year on record.  This past June was, according to the UN, the “14th month for record heat” on land and sea.  This change represents a 1.3 degrees Celsius increase on the temperatures of the pre-industrial era.

The consequences of climate change have already been severe.  In August, the coastal village of Shishmaref, Alaska voted to relocate itself due to rising sea levels.  Elevated temperatures have been linked to melting of the permafrost in Russia, which may have sparked an outbreak of anthrax.  More extreme weather events and their follow on consequences have been widely predicted.

The World Responds

At the recent G20 summit, the two nations which emit the most carbon, China and the United States, agreed to make significant reductions.  In August, the Netherlands discussed banning petrol and diesel fueled cars. President Obama also promised $40 million to island nations in order to help them cope with the effects of climate change.

Too Little, Too Late?

The nations of the world are finally grappling with the reality of climate change, but are these efforts too little, too late?  Tell us!

Try Mendeley Data!

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Climatologists already use Mendeley Data to store their findings; it’s handy, easy to use and offers a broad variety of licensing schema so that your data can be distributed, embargoed and utilised in any way you choose.  It also interlocks with the wider Mendeley ecosystem for added convenience.  Visit http://data.mendeley.com

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research.  We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

Bogado, A. (2016) Alaska native village votes to relocate in the face of rising sea levels. Climate Desk. Available at: http://climatedesk.org/2016/08/alaska-native-village-votes-to-relocate-in-the-face-of-rising-sea-levels/ (Accessed: 6 September 2016).

Luhn, A. (2016) Did climate change cause Russia’s deadly anthrax outbreak? Climate Desk. Available at: http://climatedesk.org/2016/08/did-climate-change-cause-russias-deadly-anthrax-outbreak/ (Accessed: 6 September 2016).

Parkinson, J. (2016) Obama, Chinese president ratify landmark climate deal ‘to save our planet’. ABC News. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/International/obama-chinese-president-xi-ratify-climate-change-agreement/story?id=41842303 (Accessed: 6 September 2016).

The Guardian. (2016). 2016 set to be world’s hottest year on record, says UN. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/21/2016-worlds-hottest-year-on-record-un-wmo [Accessed 6 Sep. 2016].

Sheppard, K. (2016) Obama to announce new climate change help for island nations. Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-climate-change_us_57c855dee4b0e60d31dda9bd (Accessed: 6 September 2016).

Staufenberg, J. (2016) Climate change: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars. The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/netherlands-petrol-car-ban-law-bill-to-be-passed-reduce-climate-change-emissions-a7197136.html (Accessed: 6 September 2016).

Introducing Elsevier DataSearch

Elsevier takes the next step in making researchers’ lives easier with the new DataSearch engine.  You can search for research data across numerous domains and various types, from a host of domain-specific and cross-domain data repositories. It’s available at (https://datasearch.elsevier.com/) – please join our User Panel to help improve it!

More Focused Searching

Mass search engines are ubiquitous and useful; however, when it comes to specific information tailored to the needs of the modern researcher, a more focused application is required.  In response to this need, Elsevier has created DataSearch.  Drawing on reputable repositories of information across the internet, researchers can readily find the data sets they need to accelerate their work.

DataSearch offers a new and innovative approach.  Most search engines don’t actively involve their users in making them better; we invite you, the user, to join our User Panel and advise how we can improve the results.  We are looking for users in a variety of fields, no technical expertise is required (though welcomed).  In order to join us, visit https://datasearch.elsevier.com and click on the button marked “Join Our User Panel”. Please detail in your e-mail the following:

  • Your Name
  • Institution
  • Research Interests

We look forward to working with you and improving the research experience.

Putting data in the hands of researchers with Hivebench

Lab notebook tool Hivebench will be integrated with Mendeley to help researchers enrich and manage their data

Hivebench

Research data is the foundation on which scientific, technical, social and medical knowledge is built. That’s why enabling access to, sharing and reuse of data is tremendously valuable to everyone involved in advancing science.

Of course, making research data manageable for researchers and their colleagues is not always easy. Proper data management requires solutions that help researchers not just store, but also share, discover and re-use their data. That way, authors receive credit for their work while the wider research community benefits from discovering and using research data.

Using research data to its full potential requires consistency in the way it is collected and stored. Hivebench provides an essential first step in this process. It is a digital laboratory notebook that helps researchers prepare, conduct and analyze experiments, methods, and protocols in one place, saving them valuable time. Hivebench has thousands of registered users who position it in the center of their research process. Importantly, Hivebench allows researchers to link data and metadata without requiring them to change the way they work. This avoids making data collection feel like an administrative overhead.

On Wednesday 1 June, Elsevier acquired Hivebench to help further streamline the workflow of researchers – putting research data management at their fingertips. The added value of the integration lies in linking Hivebench with Elsevier’s existing Research Data Management portfolio for products and services. The research data that researchers have stored in the Hivebench notebook are linked to the Mendeley Data repository, which will be linked to Pure. This way, the research data is linked with metadata such as the DOI, the published article, controlled data versioning, and the methodology, which adds instant value to the datasets because they become far more suitable for reuse.

Researchers will benefit in a number of ways. Many funders these days require insight into the research design, process, and data sets. This becomes easier with the help of an electronic lab notebook. Research also shows that articles that are linked with their underlying data get cited more. In addition, well-described data sets can sometimes be more useful than an article itself. Sometimes when doing research, the number of articles to read and digest can be overwhelming – it can be hard to determine what to read and what not to read. Data can provide more information, provided of course that the right metadata are linked to it so the data sets are adequately described. And that’s exactly what we’re doing by linking Hivebench to Mendeley Data.

“Saving researchers time by providing them with a user-friendly way to store and manage their data has been our focus until now,” said Dr. Julien Thérier, CEO and founder of Shazino, the Lyon, France-based company that launched Hivebench. “But we knew that if we wanted to scale up our activities and create additional added value, our product would need to be integrated with a chain of tools that catered to the need of researchers to share and reuse data sets as well. We’ve been collaborating with Elsevier’s Mendeley for the past two years and already enable Hivebench users to export their results to Mendeley Data.”

The integration with Elsevier will enable Hivebench to make its services available to many more researchers, making sharing and reuse possible on an unprecedented scale – and unlocking the full potential of research data.

Mendeley Data is out of beta

Starting today, Mendeley Data is out of beta. We’re extremely happy with all the great datasets people have been submitting, and we now think that the product has reached the level of maturity where it has all the features people need to publish their research data online.

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If you haven’t heard of Mendeley Data before, it’s a new product that allows anyone who has data from experiments to publish it online and get a DOI for it so that it is citable. We launched the beta version 6 months ago. We’ve released many new features over those months, in fact we’ve had 80 releases. So now we’re leaving beta, as a vote of confidence for Mendeley Data being stable, robust and fully featured. We think that Mendeley Data is now the best place to store research data online.

Some of the new things we’ve introduced over the last few months are an expanded category selection (we now have over 4,000 categories to choose from!), the ability to embargo a dataset so that the files are only available after a certain period of time, and some new fields such as “steps to reproduce” which allows you to explain how to re-create the dataset. We’ve got lots more in store, but we think now is the best time for you to try uploading your datasets.

We like to make sure that our service is available 24/7, so that you can use it day or night. Over the past three months, Mendeley Data has been online 99.993% of the time, or to put it another way, we have been down for just 9 minutes. Below is a graph showing our stats over the last three months.

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We’ve got some exciting new features around the corner, the biggest of which is a new search functionality that will make it easier then ever to find datasets which you are interested in.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at the datasets people have already published or create your own. We always appreciate feedback, so get in touch if there’s anything you want to say.

Mendeley Data API launched!

Just over a month ago at the Mendeley Open Day, we launched Mendeley Data, and the number one requested feature has been to allow people to create and retrieve datasets via an API.

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In the spirit of this festive season, we’re offering the community a gift – now you can use a REST API to create, manage, publish and find datasets. This means anyone can integrate it with their Apps and tools. In fact the Mendeley Data website is entirely powered by the API, which means that you have access to the same API capabilities that we use to develop our web app.

If you’re interested in working with datasets via our API, you can read our documentation here. If you’re new to the Mendeley API, you can get started by visiting our developer website, where you will find information about the API including authentication, documentation and examples.

But wait, we’ve got one more festive present for you! An early adopter of the Mendeley Data API is Hivebench. Hivebench is a digital lab notebook (DLN), which helps to plan and run experiments. Thanks to the Mendeley Data API, any data or observations can easily be shared to Mendeley Data from the Mac, iPhone and iPad apps.

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This post can also be found on our Mendeley API blog feed – so head over there for more API news and updates

We’re excited to see what you will make with our API. If you have any questions, or have created something cool, let us know at api-support@mendeley.com or on Twitter.

Put your research data online, with Mendeley Data!

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There’s an increasing drive in the scientific community to do more with the data that comes out of research. As funding bodies and governments begin to mandate that all research outcomes must be made available, researchers are looking for ways to publish their data, share it, and make it available for other researchers. The new Mendeley Data repository is designed to help them do exactly that.

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If you think about it, the output from scientific research hasn’t changed in the last 500 years or so,” said Joe Shell, Head of Research Data Management at Mendeley, “It’s always been about the research article, the meta of the experiment if you will, and takes the form of ‘we asked this question, here’s the answer’. What we want to do is enable researchers to show their working, and most importantly get credit for that.

citationsThe platform allows researchers to upload the raw data from their research, and give it a unique identifier (a versioned DOI), making that research citable (please see our FAQs to find out what a DOI is, and how this works in Mendeley Data). For partnering journal websites (so far ScienceDirect, Cellpress, and others in future), the article links to the research dataset on Mendeley Data, enabling readers to quickly drill down from a research article to the underlying data; while the dataset also links to the article.

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Researchers can also “privately” share their unpublished data with collaborators, and make available multiple versions of the data relating to a single research project, creating an evolving body of data. As science increasingly moves towards longitudinal studies, which involve repeated observations of the same variables over long periods of time, this will be invaluable.

Mendeley Data has been developed in close collaboration with the research community, to ensure it addresses their needs. “Since we kicked off the project we’ve been having a few users come in every week to test it out,” Joe said. “We’re getting really good feedback on usability”. The Mendeley Data team has been working closely with Mendeley Advisors, and other scientists and publishers to ensure the product serves their needs.

In line with that, and the Mendeley ethos, Mendeley Data is a free service and datasets are licenced under a choice of open licences. Research datasets are permanently archived with DANS (Data Archive and Networking Services) based in the Netherlands. Further, all the features of the web App will be available via a publicly available API (Application Programming Interface) enabling other Apps to build on top of, and interface with, the research data repository. The API will be released in the next few weeks, and you can find out about it first by following the Mendeley API on Twitter.

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We’re also proud to announce that Mendeley Data will be collaborating with the Hivebench Electronic Lab Notebook, in the aim of helping researchers to capture and archive data from their experiments, as they collect it in the lab, providing a truly end to end data management solution. This integration is a great example of how one can use the Mendeley Data API.

Do you collect, share or consume research data? We want to make something that serves your needs – we would be delighted to hear your feedback and ideas for Mendeley Data! Please follow the feedback button on the bottom of the Mendeley Data page, comment on this blog or write to support@mendeley.com.