How to recover your files and annotations in Mendeley Desktop – July 2018 

 Update on the resolution of the bug that resulted in files and annotations being deleted from users’ Mendeley libraries in May 2018. 

The recent bug that caused some users’ files and annotations to be marked as deleted has now been resolved and the deleted files and annotations have been restored to users’ accounts. If you have been affected by this bug, you can restore your files and annotations to your Mendeley Desktop by following the steps below:

  1. Upgrade to Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.1 or later, on every machine on which you have Mendeley Desktop installed. If you are on an earlier version (1.19 or earlier), the problem may reoccur. If you are not automatically prompted to upgrade then, from the Help menu select ‘Check for upgrades’ and then ‘Check now’ to upgrade to the latest version.
  2. Ensure ‘Synchronize attached files’ is enabled on all instances of Mendeley Desktop that you use. You can check this by selecting ‘Edit settings’ for All Documents and ensuring the check boxes are ticked.
  3. For most users, when you have upgraded you should sync your Mendeley Desktop and the files and associated annotation will be automatically restored.
  4. For users who are using Mendeley Desktop on more than one machine AND did not sync on one or more machines after 24th May you may need to follow a slightly different process in order to restore your files and associated annotations on your Mendeley Desktop. Before you do this you must perform the following checks:

i) Log into Mendeley Web Library . Check that you can see your restored files and associated annotations here. If you do not, do not proceed. If your files and associated annotations are present in Web Library then you can reset the database on your Mendeley Desktop.

ii) Resetting the database on Mendeley Desktop: If your resorted files and associated annotations are available in Mendeley Web Library, then you can reset the database on Mendeley Desktop. To do this, select ‘Reset Mendeley Desktop’ from the Help menu and follow the instructions.

If your files and annotations are not restored in Web Library (step 4i) then please do not proceed with the database reset but contact support.

We are sorry that many of you had to wait a very long time to find out what had happened to your files, and for the stress that may have caused. For more information on what caused the issue and the steps we have taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again, please see this blog post.

If you are still experiencing issues that are not covered in this post please contact Mendeley Support.

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.

Update on the recent problems users have experienced and how we’re fixing them – July 2018

Update on the recent problems users have experienced and how we’re fixing them – July 2018 

Message from Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

We know it’s been a difficult time for a number of users who experienced problems as a result of finding some of their PDFs missing from Mendeley. Many of the team here at Mendeley have been researchers ourselves, so we understand the concern losing PDFs and annotations must have caused. We apologize unreservedly. Below you will find an update of what happened and the steps we’ve taken to restore users’ files.

What happened?

Two incidents happened around the same time that affected users’ files and annotations, which meant that some users could not see or access their files and annotations. Firstly, some files that were added to Mendeley before 2012 were accidentally moved from our live storage system to our archive system.  Secondly, a separate bug caused files and annotations to be flagged as deleted in certain circumstances.

What’s the solution?

Our developers have been working full time on fixing these issues since we identified them, with the aim of being able to restore all users’ data as quickly as possible. It has taken us longer than we would have liked to address all the issues, for which we apologize. The following is a summary of the steps we have taken:

For the archiving problem:

  • We’ve identified and stopped the root cause of the problem, so that older files are no longer moved from live storage to archive storage when they shouldn’t be.
  • For users affected by this problem, we’ve restored all but about 3,500 files, and users should see these the next time they sync. Active users who had one or more unrecoverable files in their library will be contacted individually by us via email.

For the bug:

  • We’ve recovered the files and annotations from our backup systems, and restored them to users’ accounts, along with the relations between them. In most cases, your files and annotations will be restored after a sync. If you are using Mendeley Desktop on more than one machine, then additional steps may be required. Please see this blog post for further instructions.
  • We have fixed the root cause issue causing files and annotations to be deleted, and the fix was included in our 1.19.1 release of Mendeley Desktop.

In both cases, we’ve worked with individual researchers who took the time to give us detailed information on the problems they experienced, and tested solutions for us. We are very grateful to those individuals, and all the other researchers who provided us with feedback and insights to help address these issues.

What are we doing to avoid the situation happening again?

We have put in place several measures to make sure that errors of this kind are prevented from happening in future. These include stricter controls around archiving of data, and additional monitoring and alerting across our products and systems to detect problems earlier.

One thing we’ve learned is that recovery from this situation took us too long. Partly this is to do with having very large volumes of user data to deal with. We are sorry that many of you had to wait a very long time to know what had happened to your files, and for the stress that may have caused. While we’re pleased that we’ve been able to restore most files, we are reviewing back-up procedures with the goal of enabling us to recover data much more quickly than we were able to do this time.

What to do if you are still having problems with missing PDFs:

If you are still experiencing issues that are not covered in this post please contact Mendeley Support. Please check the blog and our social media accounts for any further updates.

Supporting and recognizing your peer review activity

The vital role of reviewers in the academic publication process

The peer review process has existed in different forms for centuries, and continues to underpin research validation today. Although not without its flaws, many of which were raised in a 2016 survey of researchers by Elsevier, it’s still viewed as the fairest way to evaluate research quality.

However, reviewer contributions often go unseen, despite the critical role that they play in the system. With this in mind, we’ve been working on an initiative to help acknowledge the reviewer contributions of Mendeley users, in addition to what Mendeley already has to offer reviewers.

How Mendeley helps you as a reviewer

  • A private view on your reviewed publications

Mendeley users get a private view into the impact made by articles they have reviewed that were published in Elsevier journals, including how often the article has been viewed, cited and read. Their anonymity as a reviewer is maintained, as their reviewed publications are not visible to others.

Mendeley pic 1

  • Public recognition of your peer review activity

We’re also excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Open Researcher Contributor Identification Initiative (ORCID) to allow our users to import peer review records from their ORCID profile into their Mendeley profile, by connecting their ORCID ID to their Mendeley account.

We spoke to Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement and Support at ORCID, who said:

“We are delighted that Mendeley users can now connect their peer review activities in ORCID to their Mendeley records. Helping researchers get recognition for all their contributions, including peer review service, is at the heart of what ORCID does; this is a valuable step towards achieving this goal.”

As of 18th June 2018, 2,770 Mendeley users had made the connection with ORCID and are showcasing their reviewing activity on their profiles (with a total of 72,135 peer review entries), see for example

If you are interested in adding your own reviewing activity to your profile, please look out for the link to connect with ORCID at the left hand side of your profile page.

Mendeley pic 2

  • What’s next?

Mendeley will continue its efforts to recognize and support reviewers. We are therefore working to ensure peer review information from the majority of Elsevier journals can also be added to your public profile and we hope to roll out this functionality in the near future. Of course, reviewer anonymity will continue to be preserved, since the particular articles you have reviewed will not be disclosed.

Reviewers play a pivotal role in the academic publication process and without their valuable time and knowledge, the peer review validation system could not function.  Whilst universal recognition of review activities as a research output is a distance away yet, there’s been a growing number of initiatives supporting reviewer acknowledgment. At Mendeley, we are doing our part, working closely with our Elsevier colleagues whose pioneering efforts led to the launch of the Reviewer Recognition Platform in 2014. More about what Elsevier does to give reviewers due recognition can be found in this article.



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.

Update on the missing PDF issue

Message from Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

Update 6 July 2018

Our team continues to work round the clock to fix the issues experienced by affected users however, this is a complex issue and it is taking us a little longer than we anticipated. We expect to have a solution deployed by the end of next week for most users, but it is likely it will take us into the week after (week starting 16 July) to fully implement the fix for all users.

Thank you for bearing with us, we appreciate your patience. We will keep you updated via this channel and our social media accounts. 

We know it’s been a difficult time for some users who experienced problems with missing PDFs and issues related to the recent Mendeley Desktop update. Most of us have been researchers ourselves, so we understand the concern that losing PDFs and annotations has caused. We apologize unreservedly.

As you might expect, we’ve been working round the clock to fix the issues experienced by affected users. Our team has now identified the reasons behind these issues and are working to resolve them.

If you had missing PDFs: most users should see these re-appearing in your library over the next few days. Please sync your library to check if your PDFs are restored. This process may take some time so do not worry if you do not see all your PDFs re-appear straight away. If by the end of next week (week of July 2nd) you still have missing PDFs, please contact Mendeley Support.

We recommend that you update to the latest version of the Mendeley software, which is version 1.19.1. You can start an update manually, go to Help and Check for Updates in the Mendeley Desktop.

If you have missing annotations: we can reassure you that these are not lost. To enable us to restore them for you, please upgrade to Mendeley Desktop 1.19.1 or later. Once you have upgraded, your annotations should be restored by the end of next week (week of July 2nd). If this issue is not resolved by then, please also contact Mendeley Support.

You may see your PDFs restored before your annotations reappear.

Finally, we know that we have more to do. We know that some of you are still experiencing crashes when working with certain PDFs and we will work to fix this in a later release. If you are experiencing other issues, please contact Mendeley Support.

Thank you for bearing with us over the past couple of weeks. We especially thank those researchers and Mendeley Advisors who gave us detailed information on the problems they experienced, which helped us to address them for the whole user community. We really appreciate your constant feedback and insights to help us improve Mendeley and serve you better.

We also appreciate that it’s taken us some time to get this information to you – this was because we wanted to be as certain as we could that the information we were providing was correct, and to do that, our developer team worked in detail with a group of individual researchers to make sure we had fully diagnosed and understood the problems they saw. We will keep providing updates through this channel and our social media accounts.

Meet the team: Elizabeth Chesters

elizabeth chesters

Name: Elizabeth Chesters

Job title: UX Specialist

Intro bio (background): 

I’m Elizabeth, a user experience designer at Mendeley! My background is in Computer Science, and I’m a developer turned designer after studying Human-Computer Interaction. I’ve worked as both a developer and designer in a range of companies, moving from the agency and start-up life to in-house. Originally, I’m from the North of England, Manchester and have been braving London for the last 3 years.

When did you join Mendeley?

I joined Mendeley on the 18th December, 2017. It was definitely an interesting point of the year to join with most people on holiday!

What do you love most about your job?

I love the constant challenges of being a designer. There are so many ways to solve even the smallest of problems, which could actually have a huge impact on our users’ lives. Being a part of Mendeley, I’m beginning to understand the impact my design has on people’s lives and careers and how important my work is. I may not be finding a cure for cancer or training the next generation of ballerinas, but it feels amazing to be supporting those out there who are doing amazing work.

What book are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m studying how to be more inclusive with my designs, so, I’m reading A Web For everyone by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery. It’s fascinating how much it expands your thinking. For example, designing for someone only capable of using your product with one hand, whether that be because of a permanent loss of limb, they’ve broken their arm or they’re a parent holding a child. Anyone can be impaired at any moment!

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

The feature I want people to know about is the Watched Folders feature. This is where can setup a folder on your computer to be ‘watched’, in your Mendeley settings. Mendeley then automatically syncs every document you put into the folder. This means you can download documents onto your machine and you don’t have to manually drag and drop everything into your Library.

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

I always explain my job as “making the web and technology less rubbish and more friendly for people.” I try to understand why people become frustrated because Alexa doesn’t understand them or discover how products should look at night when people are up late.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

My users are probably the most exciting part of my job because of how varied they are. Working with new people every week keeps me on my toes. Every week we invite 8 users into the office, where we ask users to show us how they use Mendeley and gather feedback on our new products and designs. Each user has such unique research topics and intricate ways of using the same tool, which is fascinating to see.

What is your hidden talent?

I love learning languages and I can welcome and introduce myself in over 10 languages, including Arabic, British Sign Language, Sinhalese and Portuguese! My favourite part of coming into work in the morning is greeting each team member in their native language. People really appreciate the effort and it also helps break the ice when users come in for user research sessions.

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

Every day I’m learning how screen readers work. Some screen readers actually pay attention to the visuals on the page. So, VoiceOver for Mac will group elements based on their visual style and if they look similar, like 5 words which look like 5 tags.