Meet the team: Heather Williams

Heather Williams

Job title

Sr. Product Manager for Mendeley Careers

Introduction

I studied as a psychologist and majored in human-technology interaction (human factors). My first job was at the US DOD Human Systems Analyst Centers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Case in Ohio. Later I moved to LexisNexis, inspired by what I heard a couple of my grad school mates were doing there, I wanted to do that too. While I was at LexisNexis I learned of a User-Centered Design Group at Elsevier and I felt interested in creating designs for doctors, nurses and researchers and applied to move. I interviewed nine times and even created a prototype to get a position there, which worked. While at Elsevier, I got the opportunity to work in nearly each business unit in the company, and I’ve interviewed hundreds of our users in multiple fields and disciplines in health, science, technology and engineering.

After thirteen years, I relocated to Amsterdam from New York, still doing user understanding and design, but I moved in to an R&D group. While in this group I switched careers and moved into product management. I was now working with other designers and other disciplines. During this period, I got involved with a concept that developed into a full product launch – Mendeley Careers. I stayed with it. That launch moved me officially to Mendeley. Nearly nineteen years later, I still love working in this company.

But I also enjoy other fun stuff – making new memories with my family and friends over food and/or travel. I learned to enjoy running. I love to go to gigs. I like to ski when I can get to snow & altitude. I laugh easily and really like experiencing good design in all its forms.

When did you join Mendeley?

1 December 2016

What do you love most about your job?

I love all of it the most. I literally believe in the power of human connection to the users I serve and their connection to improvement of society and our planet.

What book did you most recently read?

The Platform Revolution. It was really good, but I should find something else to read next.

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

We believe in you. That might sound a bit cheesy, but helping others make improvements, increasing knowledge, is what motivates me so much about my role here at Mendeley.

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

I help researchers make better connections between their work and others. Hopefully it increases their chances for better collaboration and other research opportunities to help them move their work forward.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

The problems we help solve.

What keeps you awake at night?

I sleep really well. Solutions to complicated problems often get resolved in my dreams. So I like my sleep ☺

Show your love for #MyMendeley!

As Mendeley Advisors, you do a great job speaking to the researcher community on your campus about the benefits of using Mendeley. But now we’re calling on you to spread the word even further! Take part in #MyMendeley by making a short video (15 seconds or less) about why you love Mendeley, and upload it to YouTube so we can share it across the social media universe.  (We’ve also raided the marketing giveaways cupboard, so we’ll be sending backpacks and t-shirts to the makers of our favourite videos.)

So here’s how it works:

  • Upload a short video of yourself to YouTube, telling us about why you love Mendeley – maybe how it helps you with your research, your favourite feature, or why you’d recommend it to others
  • Tag your video with #MyMendeley so we can find it and share it

What’s in it for you?

  • Mendeley Glory! We’ll be sharing the videos across our social media channels, so your wisdom will travel far and wide
  • Giveaways! We’ve got new t-shirts and some other fun things to send to the makers of our favourite videos

Looking for inspiration?  Check out Mendeley team members Rachel and Daniel’s videos.

Some tips for making a good video:

  • Keep your video short and snappy (15 seconds or less)
  • Use a fun background! Maybe your lab, a sign of your university or something else that shows where you are from. We used New York City’s famous Grand Central Terminal and Elsevier’s rare book room at our Amsterdam headquarters
  • Film somewhere that doesn’t have too much background noise
  • Give your video a catchy title, and feel free to tell us more about yourself, your research and how you use Mendeley in the description
  • Don’t forget to tag your video with #MyMendeley so we can find it!

We’re looking forward to seeing your videos.

 

Case Reports Live Webinar: How to write good case reports and get them published

Good case report foldersAs a scientific documentation on a single clinical observation, case reports offer timely and valuable information of best medical practices, especially on rare diseases. They show doctors how fellow practitioners have acted in similar situations and thus aid in the decision-making process. Not only do they significantly contribute to the medical knowledge pool, but they also help add to researchers’ portfolio. For those reasons, case reports have been a time-honoured and rich tradition in medical publication.

Writing a good case report, however, requires much more than just an interesting case. In fact, the most common reason for the rejection of case reports lies in writing styles. This can be a real challenge, especially for early-career researchers who are sharing their clinical experiences for the first time. Apart from that, it is also important to take into consideration the ethical issues and the journals to publish in. As suggested by Professor Oliver Kurzai, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Mycology Case Reports, case reports are often not as well cited as other publications, and therefore, publishing your work in the right journal will ensure it is read by the right people.

Case reports may sound quite overwhelming with all the work they demand. Yet, there are a lot of resources that can help you solve this puzzle. Adding to this knowledge, Researcher Academy, is hosting a webinar on How to Write Case Reports with Oliver Kurzai and Adilia Warris, the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board member of Medical Mycology Case Reports journal. The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 28th (2pm UTC) to give researchers a chance to interact with the editors who will talk them through the process of choosing suitable subjects, setting up and writing case reports, considering ethical issues as well as selecting an appropriate journal to publish in. You can now send the speakers questions in advance by joining the Researcher Academy Mendeley group and post your queries there.

Register for free here and see you at the webinar!

The importance of interoperability

We recognize that interoperability is vitally important to Mendeley users. Our users should be able to easily integrate what they are doing on Mendeley with other applications and tools. We also want to ensure that this workflow experience is seamless: moving from our platform to one that you use for different tasks should be quick and simple to do.

To help achieve this, we’ve always had and will continue to have an open public API (application programming interface). Many companies and developers use our API, because it’s the most stable way for them to integrate their products with Mendeley. Organizations like F1000, the Centre for Open Science (COS) and Altmetric.com have been using it freely for many years. We’re committed to maintaining this open API for third party developers. It’s available at https://dev.mendeley.com/

Last year, a Mendeley update went live that had the unintentional consequence of hindering interoperability. We made a change to the Mendeley Desktop application that broke some integrations with users’ local Mendeley database, including Zotero’s import tool, which resulted in it not working with Mendeley. We’re really sorry about this — it was never our intention to break these integrations and we should have picked this up in release testing.

We’ve heard a lot from our users about this and our team has been working behind the scenes on two things.

First, we clearly heard from users that they want to be more in control of how and when they can export their PDFs, annotations and highlights directly from Mendeley. Improvements were released in Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.3 and further improvements to the export process will be released as part of Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.4.

Second, we’ll work to release a long-term stable Zotero integration. This solution will be available in the 1.19.5 release of Mendeley Desktop towards the middle of this year. We’ll let everyone know the exact dates that this will go live as soon as we can. To be clear, users can still move their libraries to Zotero, it’s just that they can’t do it using the Zotero importer tool. Click here to find out how.

I must say a big thank you to the users who’ve spoken to us in detail about these issues. They’ve helped us better understand how they’re using and interacting with our platform. We’ve updated our procedures to incorporate this feedback, including improving our Customer Support information and services; and we’ve reviewed our testing procedures for new releases. Mendeley Desktop users can also get previews of upcoming releases by signing up for development releases in Mendeley Desktop if they want to, which makes new features and updates available before we roll them out more widely.

I’m excited by the developments we have in the pipeline. Our team is working hard to deliver these as soon as we can.

Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

Meet the team: Lawrence Hall

Name: Lawrence Hall

Job Title: Product Manager

Intro 

After completing a degree in English Literature I took the seemingly logical step to become a book editor. However, I soon realised that, while I loved reading literature, I was far more drawn to the products that were being created in the publisher’s digital department.

Eight years later and here I am! Most recently I worked as a Product Manager for a music publisher, where I lead a team to create a digital music learning platform – think Guitar Hero but for real instruments. In my spare time, I attempt to play guitar in a rock band and support Arsenal FC (and invariably feel disappointment with their current form/team selection).

When did you join Mendeley?

November 2018

What do you love most about your job?

I love the varied nature of my job, from conducting user research and testing, to working with the design team on new features. It demands a wide range of knowledge but is never dull! It’s also fantastic to work day to day with a diverse and talented team.

What book did you recently read?

I just finished The Master and Margarita, it’s about the devil appearing in Russia in the 1930s – hilarity ensues. Work related, I just read Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy.

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

It’s my job to understand the main issues that researchers and academics face, then work with a team to solve them. Making sure that we solve the right problems and unifying the team behind a clear vision are key aspects of my role. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to simply build a product that you and your team feel is useful, but doesn’t really solve your users’ key problems.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

When I hear from users that I have helped to solve a problem that they had. I have only recently started, but I can see the great challenge ahead with the product and I am excited to talk with users to really understand their issues. It’s great how connected we are with our users at Mendeley, be it the weekly user sessions held by our talented UX team, or the invaluable feedback we get from our Mendeley Advisors.

What keeps you awake at night?

My Nintendo Switch. Portable Zelda is a dangerous thing.

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

That motion sickness may be your body’s automatic response to a perceived poisoning. I guess we haven’t evolved yet to deal with the disconnect of moving at 70mph while sitting still.

Mendeley advisor of the month: Eric Kunto

Eric Kunto Aribowo is an Assistant Professor in Sociolinguistics at the Universitas Widya Dharma Klaten (Indonesia). His research highlights the language phenomenon of Arab descendants in Indonesia. Between 2016—2018, he received research grants from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. His last three publications are Disparity of the Arabic name: the spotlight on children of endogamous and exogamous marriages among Hadrami-Arabs in Indonesia, Arabic, Islamic, and Economy Linking: Onomastics on Business Name of People of Arab Descent in Indonesia, Trends in Naming System on Javanese Society: A Shift From Javanese to Arabic.

Later Eric Kunto Aribowo pursued open science and became involved as a Mendeley Advisor, Figshare ambassador, and INA-Rxiv contributor. In his spare time, he writes stories and shares his ideas at www.erickunto.com/blog.

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

I am interested in Sociolinguistics, especially highlighting the language used by Hadrami- Arabs in Indonesia (Arabic descent), both oral and written. I’ve researched linguistic landscapes in Kampung Arab (like Chinatown for Arab descend), their personal name (onomastics), language spoken in religious and economic contexts, and the endogamy marriage patterns they do.

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

Most of the research I did was not in the laboratory but where the data was gathered, especially in the Arab Village in Surakarta (Indonesia). Data collection is often done by participant observation, interviews, discussions conducted in their stores, coffee shops, their homes, sometimes in mosques. The research that I did made me have to be skilled at adapting to all situations and possibilities.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I have known about Mendeley since 2014 and started actively using it a year later. I became a Mendeley Advisor in mid-2018.

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

Before using Mendeley, I used RefMe to compile a list of references. Since I was active using Mendeley, I find it easier to do research, especially in reading and reviewing references, marking research findings, finding research gaps, and composing a web of mind when composing manuscripts. First, I read and gave Mendeley’s annotations and highlights in the iPad application, synchronized, and moved to Mac when writing a proposal or manuscript. The annotations I previously did manually (by paper), will now be saved safely thanks to Mendeley.

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

Most writers and researchers in my country still use manual/traditional ways to manage references. This causes a lot of time to be spent on this work, making us less productive. I’m eager to disseminate and teach the best experiences. I manage references using Mendeley to students, colleagues, lecturers, and researchers in Indonesia. This is the reason I joined the Mendeley Advisors.

Since becoming Mendeley Advisor in the middle of 2018, I have carried out a couple of trainings attended by approximately 160 participants who are students, doctoral students, and lecturers. One or two weeks before the training, I ask the participants to read and learn the material that I have made online and written in Indonesian at https://sites.google.com/unwidha.id/mendeley. In addition, I also provided a group on social media which was attended by the trainees as a forum for consultation and question-and-answer about Mendeley.

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

I would love to work together and learn from researchers who are able to collaborate with other researchers who are outside the field and different countries, researchers who adopt technology in the research done, and most importantly, researchers who apply open science.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

The book I am currently reading is titled Citizen Science Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy by Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel & Aletta Bonn (editors), as I am now starting to apply open science in my research.

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

Open Access Week!! It is motivated me to keep research available to everyone so the people will get benefit from the research and take it further.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part when doing research is getting to meet and know new people, getting new experiences from them, contributing to the world of science, and being part of a group of people who want to make this world better.

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

The most challenging part when doing Sociolinguistic research is the stage of data collection. At this step, researchers will often dive into certain communities which researchers often are outsiders. There will be a lot of energy coming out if researchers do not have strategic ways to enter the community.

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

Mendeley is a freemium software (free but with premium features) that can help researchers to conduct research, ranging from tracing references, giving annotations and highlights, making quotes and bibliographies, collaborating with other researchers, and joining the global community in Mendeley social media.

 

Meet the Team

Name: Sally Ransom

Job title: Mendeley Marketing Manager

Intro

Having studied English Language and Literature, I have marketed academic/educational products and solutions for over 11 years – starting in academic textbook publishing, enjoying a brief stint in music education, and now here, at Mendeley. London born, but West Country bred, I’ve been back living in London for 12 years now.

When did you join Mendeley?

At the end of October 2018 (so still legitimately, I think, able to claim the “new person” label).

What do you love most about your job?

Working with people who are passionate about their job of supporting people who are passionate about their job.

What book did you most recently read?

Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. I’m currently on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Lined up is Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, having just found out it’s next up to receive the Andrew Davies treatment (and at nearly 1,500 pages, I’d better get cracking…).

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

How dedicated we all are to providing researchers with the very best tools and solutions to support them in their work, and that, to do so, we’re constantly seeking and listening to their feedback and developing our products accordingly.

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

I’d have probably played it safer with chat about the weather, but if pushed – that I market products that support researchers in doing their research. If further pushed, I’d move seats.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Getting to work on products that I honestly believe can provide real benefit to the user (which also makes the job of marketing them that much easier!). It’s great to work on something that is so loved by current users, too – the enthusiasm of our Mendeley Advisor Community, in particular, buoys me every day.

What keeps you awake at night?

The noises made by the mouse that seems to have taken up residence in my bedroom wall cavity.

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

That a sloth’s fur is covered in algae, contributing to their green-tinged appearance (and my hatred of them).