On Mendeley Careers: Brexit & Science – Brexit Means What?

As the United Kingdom departs the European Union, what is the future of British science and research?
As the United Kingdom departs the European Union, what is the future of British science and research?

On Mendeley Careers, we’ve just published an interview with Dr. Anne Forde of Cambridge University; we’re trying to get to the bottom of the complex issue of Brexit and Science in the United Kingdom:

“Brexit means Brexit” according to Prime Minister Theresa May; however, this statement masks a series of complex questions. For example, what will be the future relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union? Will Britain participate in European funding programmes such as Horizon 2020? Will researchers from the European Union still flock to Britain’s globally renowned universities to do their work? How are the universities adjusting to these seismic changes?

Click here to read the full interview.

Why we (need to) celebrate Ada Lovelace Day

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Happy Ada Lovelace Day! It’s been seven years since it was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson. While that is an eternity in the tech world (think how many new iPhones have been released since!), there are things that move more slowly in tech than an app release schedule.

Our Mendeley Mobile Apps Product Manager shares her thoughts on why we still need to celebrate Ada Lovelace, and by association, all women in STEM.

A little history

Before we discuss why we still (should) celebrate Ada Lovelace day, let’s first look at who was Ada Lovelace.

Ada became countess of Lovelace through marriage, but before that she was educated in mathematics and logic. This was unusual for girls in her time, but her mother promoted her interests in these subjects. Through her interest in math, she met Charles Babbage, known as the ‘father of computers’. In the early 1840s, Ada wrote a set of notes on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, which were later recognised as being the first algorithm to be carried out by a machine. As such, she is known as the world’s first computer programmer. Not just the world’s first female programmer (how she is often referred), but the first programmer. Full stop.

In addition, her vision included the capability of computers going beyond just number-crunching, which is what many others including Babbage focused on at the time. She was a visionary beyond her time. She was also a woman, in a period where it was uncommon for even wealthy women to have enjoyed education that included mathematics or science. A more common pursuit for women in that time was to study more feminine subjects, such as music.

(Of course now we know there is a relationship between music and mathematics, and there are studies suggesting music can help with mathematics education.)

Today, women have far more opportunities than in Ada’s time. Though the gender ratio in technology and engineering is below 50-50, a considerable number of women work in tech these days. Yet, they are still under represented at tech conferences and in technology itself. Combine this with the varying statistics around salary disparities between men and women (in similar roles), and we are still facing different gaps that need to be closed.

Ada Lovelace Day is meant to bring awareness to great work done by women in STEM fields. Why? Because despite science education being available to girls and boys equally, we do not see the same number of men and women in these jobs. There are various unconscious biases we all have, and each of them may contribute to this disparity.

Computer Science as “Women’s work”?

History rarely goes in a straight line, and when it comes to women in tech, there have been a few interesting detours. Today, you imagine the typical dev team to be mostly men. The pendulum swung another way once upon a time. In the 1940s women were hired to work on the ENIAC machine, one of the world’s first computer. By the 1960s, Cosmopolitan magazine published an article showcasing “Computer Girls” and programming as a great career option for women. In fact, programming was considered a mostly feminine endeavour. Unfortunately, not for the right reasons. Employers expected programming to be low-skilled clerical work similar to typing and filing. The Cosmopolitan article even refers to it being akin to “planning a dinner party”. Developing hardware was considered the more difficult, and thus masculine, aspect of computers. Nonetheless, women continued to be hired even as the industry started to change and become more biased towards men, simply because there was such a demand for programmers.

Changing the discussion

The fact that we still need reminders about bias in STEM jobs favoring men over women says the discussion on this topic is far from done. Although it is definitely a gender discussion, it is also one of ability. I’d like to suggest a challenge and a change of perspective in that discussion. Perhaps if we stop thinking of classically STEM fields as “hard” versus for example the arts as “easy/easier”, or specifically feminine/masculine, then we may change the discussion for the next generations. I remember growing up being told that “Math is for boys”. Followed by “Math is hard”. It is universally known that our culture and societal expectations greatly influence our career choices. Ada Lovelace pursued math at a time when it was highly unusual for women. There is no way to know if and how much resistance she was met with along the way. We do know her family was well off, which certainly helped her in her studies and scientific pursuits.

The discussion should really not be about gender at all, even if today we focus on women’s achievements in STEM. Instead, let’s start opening up the conversation to say nursing and teaching are great careers for boys, and studying physics is just as exciting as linguistics. Then perhaps we do not only see more women in STEM fields, but more men in the arts and social sciences. When we are all pursuing careers where we can make a difference, and careers we love, these fields become a better place for everyone, regardless of gender.

Christine Buske received an HBSc in Biotechnology & Economics, and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience, from the University of Toronto. Since completing her PhD, she has left academia for a career in technology and loves all things mobile. You follow her on Twitter. Have you checked out the Mendeley mobile apps yet?  Mendeley is available on both iOS and Android.

 

 

 

Mendeley Bootcamp for German-speaking researchers

MENDELEY BOOTCAMP 2016

All scientists have one thing in common: The passion for our research. But growing requirements require fast and efficient cooperation, access to literature from anywhere, timely synchronization of laboratory results and to be in contact with other researchers worldwide. That sounds like a challenge, right? No more! With Mendeley you can easily optimize your everyday work and devote your time what actually really matters: your research.

Developed by scientists for scientists, Mendeley connects you worldwide with 6+ million users.

Join Mendeley Bootcamp 2016 for German speaking. An exclusive webinar series aimed to German speaking researchers focused on how Mendeley can help you manage your references, understand the impact of your research and showcase your work.

The webinar series will cover the use of Mendeley as:

* A powerful Reference Management Tool to Store, read, annotate and cite literature both individually and collaboratively anywhere on any device.

* A Scholarly Collaboration Network with a global community of 6+ mill researchers across all scientific disciplines to connect, collaborate and showcase their work.

* A personal analytics dashboard enabling researchers to evaluate the performance and societal impact of their publications via a concise and comprehensive collection of key performance metrics.

* A discovery tool with personalised Recommenders, Alerts, and media updates, enabling researchers to stay up to date in their fields.

* A data repository to securely store datasets online so they can be cited and shared.

BOOTCAMP SCHEDULE

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Register now!
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RR7VP8G

Mendeley Brainstorm: Augmented Reality — Here and Now

 

IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage
IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage

 

“Pokemon Go” has made Augmented Reality wildly popular; this month, we’re asking in our latest Brainstorm competition – what Augmented Reality innovation do you think will be the next “killer app”? 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 September 6th.

It’s usual to see people constantly staring at their mobile phones; it used to be that they were just texting friends or awaiting the latest post on social media. However, there is now a burgeoning tribe of gamers who squint, peer, then shift their phone around; they’re hunting for virtual creatures which are visible only to the eye of augmented reality. This craze has become so widespread that even the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spent part of his time on a Sunday political programme hunting for virtual creatures rather than expounding on his policies. (Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go, 2016)

AR is nothing new; in 2012, Google launched “Google Glass”, a headset which integrated Google information with what users could see in front of them. In turn, users could take photographs and video. It wasn’t a commercial success; it broke the First Rule of Wearable Technology as described by the inventor of the NFC Ring (www.nfcring.com), John McClear: “Wearable technology shouldn’t be ugly!” Furthermore, users were also concerned that they were in effect sharing their lives with Google. Finally, there were safety concerns: a person paying attention to a virtual object may not take sufficient notice of real ones.

Despite the setbacks, augmented reality is becoming increasingly prevalent in the fields of medicine, architecture, education, and tourism. For example, AR is rapidly becoming a valuable tool for surgeons: while minimally invasive procedures have made patients’ lives easier, nevertheless, these “techniques bring up new difficulties for surgeons by greatly reducing their usual abilities” such as touch and depth perception. (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 190) Though utilizing AR in this scenario has limitations (such as the fact that living beings aren’t rigid in their positioning), it was concluded “interactive augmented reality is a relevant approach to provide intra-operatively additional information to surgeons. This information usually can help for port positioning and give them confidence by showing them hidden structures at some steps with an accuracy which seems sufficient to them.” (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 196)

Mobile Augmented Reality applications are also being tested in Greece to enhance the tourist experience; an application called “CorfuAR” “supports personalized content provision and navigation features to tourists on the move”. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 72) The user journey can be personalized on the phone app according to interest: business, culture, religion, shopping, nightlife, gastronomy, nature study, tripping and water sports. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 77).

With these and other applications, it seems that AR is here to stay; but where else will it show up? Tell us!

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

Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go (2016), BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36820874 [Accessed July 18, 2016]

KOUROUTHANASSIS, P., BOLETSIS, C., BARDAKI, C. and CHASANIDOU, D. (2015). Tourists responses to mobile augmented reality travel guides: The role of emotions on adoption behavior. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 18, pp.71-87.

NICOLAU, S., SOLER, L., MUTTER, D. and MARESCAUX, J. (2011). Augmented reality in laparoscopic surgical oncology. Surgical Oncology, 20(3), pp.189-201.

Beginners guide to writing a manuscript in LaTeX

Interactive course available now.

LaTeX is a document preparation system for the communication and publication of scientific documents that include complex math expressions or non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Sanskrit and Chinese. It is widely used in many fields in academia, including mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, economics and political science. In LaTeX the writer uses plain text and uses mark-up tagging conventions to define the general structure of a document (such as article, book, and letter), to stylise text throughout a document (such as bold and italic), and to add citations and cross-references.

After having followed this interactive course you will be able to work with LaTeX for your manuscripts. Topics addressed are:

* Downloading the software;

* Using the software for scientific manuscripts;

* Adding equations, figures and tables;

* Output of data and documents;

* Rules, common mistakes and troubleshooting.

Understanding of all topics is checked during the course.

Webinar Thursday 23 June – Creating a good research data management plan

Thursday 23 June, 2016 – 15.00 CET, 14.00 BST, 09.00 EDT
Duration: 45 min

Increasingly, funders require researchers to submit a data management plan – a document describing how data will be acquired, treated and preserved during and after a research project – when they apply for a grant.

Beyond funding, good research data management helps researchers save time and efforts whilst running experiments. It is also of value to the wider scientific community, as well-organised data can be further analysed by other researchers.

This online lecture, produced in collaboration with the Dutch TechCentre for Life Sciences will address the following topics:

What is a data management plan?
When do you need a data management plan?
Why is research data management important?
What are the FAIR principles?
Attending this lecture will equip you with the knowledge to start your own research data management plan and get the most out of your data. The presentation will be followed by a Questions & Answers session.

Sign up here!

Congratulations April Advisor of the Month!

Sofia BlazevicCongratulations and thank you to Advisor Sofia Blazevik! Sofia is a PhD at the Department of Animal Physiology in Zagreb, Croatia. Sofia joined the Mendeley Advisors exactly two years ago and since then has hosted a “Blaze” of seminars and workshops on Mendeley (forgive the pun!)

Sophia works on animal models of neurobiological disorders and also on bioethics.  “I enjoy this field of research and most of all I enjoy sharing this with my students,” she said. “I love transferring knowledge, empowering people with it.”

What is the one thing she’d like people to know about Mendeley?

“Mendeley lets you concentrate on what research really is about: discovering more new phenomena while wasting the least time writing about it.”

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
I do my best research working with a group of people, interchanging ideas, big open spaces suit me best. When I have to write a paper I have to isolate completely, but the rest of the time I work best with a team.

How 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 7 years already! I had tested Endnote and Zotero prior to Mendeley but for a very short time. I was at the beginning of my research career and wanted to make things easier. Why would I do the work a program on my computer could do for me, and do it better?! I was decided to find the appropriate program that would take the hours out of reference writing. After trying other programs, I loved the way Mendeley was so user friendly and easy to use, and at the same time adaptable and flexible (go ahead write your own .csl file!).Kulturni centar Harmica

As time goes by I like it more and more, because it keeps getting better and better. The students at my last workshop smiled at my enthusiasm at the begging: “you are in love with Mendeley” they said, and I answered “I am and at the end of the workshop you will be too”, when they started inserting the inline citations and creating the reference lists they sighed “Now, I am in love too!”

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I really enjoy teaching, and I find it very fulfilling giving people the tools to make their work easier. I always say that if there were a working position called “the problem solver,” I would love to have it. Mendeley is a research problem solver. Being an Advisor allowed me to spread the word, get it to as many people as I can, make people’s research life easier, more enjoyable.

To date I have mostly given workshops to small groups (I prefer smaller groups). I do an introduction in which I give an overview of the whole program and then we get to work step by step, we literally go through every option on the program. I ask everyone to bring their own devices, the ones they will be using later. We go from zero to master, so that the participant goes home with his/her own Mendeley library started. This way I know that they will use it and I often get emails soon after with questions on troubleshooting.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?IMG_5394
I would love to meet two dead researchers: Jérôme Lejeune, because he was an honest researcher putting people first; and Santiago Ramón y Cajal, his histological work was amazing! I would love to learn from him how to approach a scientific problem. And two that are alive: Michael Gazzaniga and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran both are neuroscientist that have fun learning about the processes of the brain, just watching them work would be a great school for me.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I am reading two books right now, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” by Oliver Sacks, an interesting account on several psychiatric disorders described in a way everyone can understand. I am reading it because it gives me new insights into how the brain works, and it’s a classic for neuroscience researchers. And “Amoris Laetitia” by Pope Francis because it gives practical lessons on how to love everyone around us and live a more fulfilling life.

What is the best part about working in research?
Workshop_Zagreb_20160419_2The best part of working in research is the never ending ability to wonder. Discovering the beauty of things and the logical answer to why a phenomenon occurs, which was not known before and makes complete sense, that “aha” moment is incredible!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
I would say that the most challenging part of working in research today is getting the whole picture. At least in the field of biology, we go very deep on a specific receptor or molecule but we sometimes forget that it is only one bit of an enormous picture. It takes a lot of effort to see the whole picture, it is easier to focus just on a picometer of it but then it does not reflect the whole reality. I must admit it is sometimes easy to feel demoralized when there are so many articles on the same field of research and each only adds just a little of knowledge…

 

 

*Answers edited for length and clarity