Mendeley advisor of the month: Sunday Linus Makama (DVM, MFS, PhD, ERT)

makamaSunday Makama is a researcher with interest in Food and Environmental Health and safety, and currently works at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, Nigeria. He is a Chief Veterinary Research Officer (CVRO), Toxicology in the Biochemistry Division of the NVRI. He has researched into various aspects of Emerging Food borne viruses, Food and Environmental Toxicology, Nanotechnology, Ethnoveterinary medicine, and Antimicrobial and other chemical residues. Before his current position, Sunday has worked as a private Veterinary practitioner, then as a Sales and Technical representative of an Agro-allied Company. His research works were conducted in several institutions at different times including the Netherlands Food Safety Institute (RIKILT) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and Alterra, the Institute for Environmental Research, WUR.

Sunday holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He also holds a Master’s degree in Food Safety (MFS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in toxicology from the Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. Sunday is also a certified European Registered Toxicologist (ERT).

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

Towards the end of my Bachelors program in Veterinary College, I contemplated what I wanted to do with my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Clinical practice, especially surgery fascinated me; so did issues of food safety and security as well as public health and environmental health and safety. I love finding answers to very intriguing questions, especially those that have significant impact on public health and environment. The research field provided a good opportunity to be involved in all these interests in a meaningful way. Afterall, multidisciplinarity is the spice of both fundamental and applied research. Now when I realized research and development was going to be the core of my career path, I wanted to be involved in doing something novel. The emerging (or re-emerging) fields in science like emerging technologies (nanotechnology) and emerging infectious diseases therefore, became my primary interests.

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

A nice, clean and comfortable environment with lots of nature and a soft music (including those from nature) is a perfect setting for me. The only addition would be some tea.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

Officially, I have been on Mendeley since January 2015

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

I used EndNote mostly and once in a while the Microsoft Word citations & bibliography. Mendeley has now become my main reference manager and with so much interactive and simple user interface, it is safe to say Mendeley plays a significant role in my research.

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

Working in a research environment with the inherent requirement of dissemination of your findings means lots of reading and writing. Finding a tool that is well amenable to your reading, writing and networking needs is a great relief that it will be inconceivable to ignore such an excellent support. Now, when you find a helpful tool that has aided your research work, it is only proper to share the good news. Being a passionate advocate for sharing of useful knowledge and seeing the enormous need around me, I decided to contribute my quota by transferring Mendeley knowledge to those that need it; and what a blessing it has been! I could liken my experience to that of the three Samaritan lepers (in Biblical times) who found food in the time Samaria was under siege and told themselves, “we do not well!” by not sharing the good news.

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

Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I think it will be Prof. dr. Marcel H. Zwietering of Wageningen University.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

I am actually reading two books:

  1. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
  2. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (Read it several times).

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

The fastest person does not necessarily win the race.

What is the best part about working in research?

Getting to work in a multidisciplinary environment and overcoming the challenges of deciphering the unknown.

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

The weight of responsibility laid upon you by the fact that many depend on your findings to guide sometimes very critical decisions and policies.

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

Mendeley is a sweet medley; a researcher’s best friend.

Meet the Team- Sahil Sennik

Name: Sahil Sennik

Job title: L2 Service desk specialist

sahilIntro bio: The best way to describe myself would be pretty nerdy.  I enjoy playing around with technology, whether it be consistently specing my PC or making my home as smart as possible with sensors triggering coloured light bulbs to turn my room into a disco or EDM night club!  In my opinion, there’s nothing better to come home to.  Aside from that, I am a huge football fan and support Arsenal.  Come on you gunners!

 

When did you join Mendeley?  I joined Mendeley October 2016

What do you love most about your job? I really enjoy being a liaison between our customers and developers.  The way I see it, it’s a two-way street – on one hand, getting those really annoying or experience damaging bugs fixed and seeing our users enjoy the product and seamlessly use it is always a win.  On the other hand, delivering positive feedback and constructive criticism to our developers always helps us learn and grow stronger.  Being a part of that is invaluable.

What book did you most recently read? Cat and Mouse by James Patterson.  My favourite of the Alex Cross series so far!

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?  I don’t just see Mendeley as a reference management software.  It is an extremely powerful collaboration tool too.  As someone who may just want to meet people in the Scientific/research community, publish their work, or be part of a group where you can share ideas, Mendeley caters to that extremely well.  In summary, think of Mendeleyans as one huge family, where you can meet so many like-minded people and be a part of such a great community.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus? Quite simply put – My job is to ensure your issues are mine.  You have a problem with the product I represent and I will do whatever I can to get it fixed, even if it takes days weeks or months.  It may be technical or something as simple as a spelling mistake.  If it bugs you, it bugs me, and therefore, it will bug our developers!

What’s the most exciting part of your job? It may seem quite trivial, but I’d have to say my weekly team meetings.  This is a meeting all about us and how we can help each other help our customers as effectively as possible.  The brainstorming and discussions held during the meetings really motivate me to start working on ideas as soon as possible.  Seeing them succeed and witnessing the positive outcomes really keeps me driven.

What keeps you awake at night? Cliffhangers from my favourite shows.  Why must we suffer this way!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?  I recently helped one of my closest friends find a job after almost three months without one.  The whole experience really showed me how even the slightest intervention in a person’s life can mean the world to them.

 

Become a Mendeley Advisor!

advisors
Students at the University of State of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) who attended a workshop lead by Carlos Filomeno, Mendeley Advisor

If you are a Mendeley lover who wants to share the benefits of good reference management and the value of Mendeley groups, now’s your chance. We are expanding the Mendeley Advisor community and we’d love to have you join us!

Thousands of your peers around the world have already become Mendeley Advisors and helped us the get the word about Mendeley out on their campuses.  The Mendeley Advisors serve as the Mendeley representative on campus and help us keep the user community thriving.

What Mendeley Advisors do:

They spread the word about Mendeley and good reference management in any way that makes sense. Here are some of the things that our current Advisors do:

  • Put up posters in the library, their offices and the student centre
  • Run informal one-on-one trainings
  • Host Mendeley drop in sessions through the library
  • Run Mendeley workshops
  • Include Mendeley in their curriculum
  • Wear Mendeley t-shirts
  • Post about Mendeley on social media like YouTube or Twitter
  • Anything else you can think of!

Essentially, Mendeley Advisors are our hands on the ground, helping potential users connect with the platform. We also consult with Advisors to understand the needs of users and to beta test new features.  You’re the first group of users we consult when we are considering adding a new functionality to the product.

But the Mendeley Advisor program isn’t just making Mendeley famous—there are also  some nice perks for you:

  • Be the Mendeley representative on your campus (a nice thing to add to your CV)
  • Get a special Mendeley Advisor account with more groups and increased storage
  • Connect with the team behind Mendeley
  • Be the first to know what we are working on and get early access to new features
  • Get access to the exclusive Mendeley Advisor forum
  • Receive free Mendeley giveaways for events
  • And most importantly: a flashy Advisor badge for your Mendeley profile so the whole world can see you’re a Mendeley guru!

Want to learn more about Advisors?  Read our Advisor of the Month column or apply on our Mendeley Advisor webpage.

Have questions?  Reach out to Daniel and Rachel from the Community Team at community@mendeley.com.

Meet the Team: Matt Stratford

Name: Matt Stratfordmatt

Job title: Senior Product Manager

Intro bio

I’ve had rather a lot of jobs, from teacher to barista to salesperson to conference organizer. I found a way into technology and that led to consulting and from there I was able to make a start in product management.

When did you join Mendeley?

I worked on account for Mendeley from May 2015, but I liked it so much I joined as a full-time employee in September 2016.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that product management is so wide-ranging in terms of what it demands you know about.

What book did you most recently read?

Usually, I have a small handful on the go at any one time. At the moment I’m on a user experience design kick. I finished UX for Lean Startups by Laura Klein last week and I’m part-way through Sprint by Jake Knapp. Away from work, I’ve just started The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell and I can tell already it’s going to be excellent.

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

I read all the feedback you send through the feedback widget on Mendeley Feed, even if I can’t respond to everything individually.

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

I work as part of a team which makes tools to help academic researchers discover and access information. My job is to identify problems that researchers have and to set the direction and priorities for the solution. But the thing about product management is that actually it involves a bit of everything. I talk regularly with customers and users, conduct user research, write software acceptance tests, evaluate web analytics, help out with interaction design, contribute to technology choices, support marketing campaigns, establish operations requirements, conduct analysis for business strategy… the list goes on! And the only way I can possibly do all this is to be super-organised and super-flexible and to invest lots of time in making day-to-day team processes work really effectively. It certainly keeps me busy!

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I’m a pretty excitable person so there’s usually something most days that gives me some energy. But the most satisfying part of the job is when you hear first hand from someone that you’ve made their lives better by solving a problem they had. That feels worthwhile.

What keeps you awake at night?

Work doesn’t keep me up at night. I compartmentalize pretty well.

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

I learned that depending on how market demand is structured, it is theoretically possible that copyright holders profit from some levels of piracy. For instance, the existence of pirate copies of Microsoft Word helped it to become a de facto standard, which created more demand for legitimate purchases.

 

 

 

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: Chandrashekhar Vithal

Chandrashekhar is currently working as a University Librarian at AURO University, Surat, Gujarat, India. Prior to this he was associated with TEEAL-Cornell University project ((The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library.)  He was involved in implementing the project and provided training programs in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. He has been working in libraries for over three decades and has conducted over 40 training programs on Database search techniques, managing citations using reference management tools, especially  Mendeley as a user since 2015.

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

I still remember the days of my tenure with the Department of Atomic Energy, assisting the scientist in developing a bibliography on Gyroscopes, which was a game changer in my professional career. Since then I have been assisting people in developing referencing and bibliography lists. Three decades of experience is huge and now I am involved in providing training sessions on referencing tools, and other library promotion programs.

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

My preference sounds strange; people prefer silence, I love to be surrounded by people. I enjoy working with people, maybe my job demands that!

How long have you been on Mendeley?

Honestly, I was not very familiar with Mendeley until 2015, when I started working for TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library) a project at Cornell University. As a coordinator for South Asia, I have been involved in conducting training sessions on TEEAL for students, scholars, and Faculty. In addition, I conducted training sessions on reference management using Mendeley.

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

I am fortunate in the sense that with three decades in the profession I have witnessed technological interventions in libraries. For my master’s dissertation work I still remember I used to record all my references on bibliographic cards, which is tedious and time-consuming. Mendeley is like a divine gift to all researchers enabling referencing with one click and saving time.

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

Sharing information to all is in the DNA of librarians! TEEAL-Cornell Project has given me the opportunity of conducting training programs for academia which I have enjoyed throughly. I am happy to say that over 40 training programs on Mendeley have been conducted in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.

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

For me, the invention of radio transistor is something like a miracle! In my childhood days, I used to wonder how this small radio transistor transmitted music!! I really wanted to meet Guglielmo Marconi who is an all time favorite scientist for me.

What book are your reading at the moment and why?

There are too many to list! But currently, I am reading “Life’s Amazing Secrets: How to find balance and purpose” by Gaur Gopal Das. The book explains how to conquer your daily battles, align yourself with your purpose and win at life.

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

People are still not aware of referencing tools available to them, I noticed this during my recent training program on Mendeley.

What is the best part about working in research?

Research and learning are a never-ending process both contribute a lot to empower society.

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

The sense of invention, collaboration, learning from others is the best thing about research and the worst is when the outcome/findings of research is sometimes challenging.

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

Mmmmm…. That’s a tricky question to answer! Mendeley as a whole has several features to make the life of a researcher easy.  For me the “Watch Folder” option is really handy for anyone and helps in building my library.

Mendeley Advisor of the Month: Narendra Kumar

narendra

Narendra Kumar is an Assistant Professor at The Institute of Technology Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand (India). He teaches Technical Communication. He is also enrolled as a PhD student at The Language and Cognition Lab, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (India). He obtained his M.A degree in Linguistics from Banaras Hindu University Varanasi (India). Kumar’s research work focuses on the Neurophysiological correlates of semantic prediction during language comprehension.

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

 The question ‘how the human brain knows, what it knows?’ has always intrigued me. Here when I say the term ‘know’, I specifically mean ‘information’, not in the sense of knowledge as a whole in human beings. It is quite apparent that the prime carrier of information is natural language. In our everyday life, we comprehend a sentence so easily and smoothly that no one questions how the human brain processes various linguistic information viz. phonological morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic etc. of every word in milliseconds. I started my PhD in 2013 to explore similar questions on the basis of electrophysiological (Event-Related Potentials) evidence from Hindi, a split-ergative and verb-final language. My research is focused on investigating the processing of semantic information during on-line language comprehension of Hindi sentences. The neurophysiological studies on processing syntactic information in typologically different languages have exhibited substantial differences. So, my research work aims to explore if the processing of semantic information also exhibits neurophysiological differences cross-linguistically.

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

I love to work in the lab or the library. I need a peaceful environment to work dedicatedly. Indeed, I enjoy working in a creative and challenging environment where I can push myself beyond the comfort zone to learn new things.

How long have you been on Mendeley? 

I have been using Mendeley since October 2014. I learnt about Mendeley when I was learning inserting Bibliography in LaTeX from the youtube channel of Chandra Has.

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

In the first year of my PhD, I used Endnote but didn’t feel comfortable using it, within few months I came across Mendeley. After using Mendeley once, I realized it was a one-stop solution to organize every research activity. Infact, Mendeley saved a lot of time which I used to waste in renaming and keeping PDF files in different directories according to their use.  Mendeley organizes all these PDF files in a library format and helps to retrieve them easily. Apart from citation and reference writing, I use Mendeley as a tool for reading as its PDF viewer allows me to highlight texts, adding notes and tags which has helped me keeping notes organized in the article itself. Moreover, I love two other features of Mendeley the most, they are Mendeley Web Plugin and the suggestion of article based on the documents in my library.

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

 I believe in the philosophy of sharing and spreading of knowledge and information, as mentioned in the following Sanskrit shlok (couplet):

अपूर्व: कोऽपि कोशोऽयं विद्यते तव भारति !

व्ययतो वृद्धिमायाति क्षयमायाति सञ्चयात् ॥ (सुभाषितानि)

[Translation: O Bharati (Goddess of learning)! This indescribable treasure of yours is unique – by expending it grows and by hoarding it diminishes! – Subhashitani (Sanskrit: dated back 5000BC)]

Once realised Mendeleys importance for a research student, I started sharing its features with my PhD pursuing friends. Within a few months of joining Mendeley, I attended a Mendeley event in a nearby institute and as a result decided to become an advisor to organize workshops myself. I have organized a number of workshops in my institute and nearby institutes.

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

In today’s world every linguist has a dream to meet Noam Chomsky at least once. He is a living legend as the “father of modern linguistics” and one of the “makers of twentieth century” (London Times 1970). In addition, I would like to meet Steven Pinker (Harvard University), Marta Kutas (University of California-SD), Angela Friederici (MPI, Leipzig), Peter Hagoort (MPI, Nijmegen), David Poeppel (NYU) and Ray Jackendoff (Tufts University) whose works have contributed a lot to the discussion of language, mind and brain.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

These days I am reading two books Neurosemantics (2016) by Plebe & Cruz and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.

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

This week, I reviewed research articles based on the prediction approach of language comprehension. Prediction is one of the essential attribute of language comprehension system, yet researchers do not agree on what prediction is or what constitutes evidence for it.

What is the best part about working in research?

As a researcher, I have started believing in the philosophy of Albert Einstein: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” What I like the most about working in research is that one can enjoy his/her whole life as a student/learner where there is always something new to learn and new problems to solve.

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

The most frustrating thing for a researcher is when you do not get the results as expected after spending months/years on a problem. In such case also, supervisors/PIs don’t look at your hard work/labour, instead they start criticizing your potentials and working styles.

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

Mendeley is the best on-stop solution for all research activities. Every academician/researcher should use Mendeley as it makes the life of a researcher organized and smooth.


Biography in Brief

Narendra Kumar is an Assistant Professor at Institute of Technology Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand (India). He teaches Technical Communication to the students of B.Tech. Along with he is also enrolled as a PhD student at Language and Cognition Lab, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (India). He obtained his M.A degree in Linguistics from Banaras Hindu University Varanasi (India). Kumar’s research work focuses on the Neurophysiological correlates of semantic prediction during language comprehension.


Meet the Team: Adrian Raudaschl

Name: Adrian Raudaschl

Job title: Product Manager

adrian

Intro bio (background): I originally trained and worked as a doctor in the NHS before transitioning into a product role for a medical start-up. My love of solving hard problems in the world of medicine and academia led me to my current role at Elsevier.

When did you join Mendeley? I joined in August 2017

What do you love most about your job? The opportunity to work with smart and talented individuals from a range of background on valuable problems in academia.

What book did you most recently read? Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley? Many people at Mendeley come from or are connected with people from academic backgrounds. We care deeply about the work we do here, and really want to help make things better in academia. This is not only limited to reference management, but also helping people find a job, build their professional network, discuss the latest research and store research data easily and securely. It is all part of a bigger picture of trying to make researcher lives better.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus? I try to understand what the biggest pain points people are experiencing and build things to make their lives better. After defining what is important, it is about working with a team of engineers and designers to build out something which aims to solve the problems you have identified in the simplest way possible. If it works you iterate and make the solution better, if not we go back the drawing board and question our assumptions.

What’s the most exciting part of your job? Getting to meet and speak with academics about their profession and understanding their problems is a great part of my job. I also enjoy the challenge of taking a bunch of ideas and trying to work with my team on how best to apply our knowledge and resources to solve these problems. When it works well its incredibly satisfying.

What keeps you awake at night? Questioning myself that we are working on the most valuable problems for our users.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week? That we may be able to prevent cavities by colonising a genetically engineered variant of Streptococcus mutans. Interesting paper (https://www.mendeley.com/papers/modification-effector-strain-replacement-therapy-dental-caries-enable-clinical-safety-trials/).