Do you have enough chairs?

  We noticed an interesting trend in the Mendeley workshops you are running.  Not only are you running more events, but they also seem to be getting bigger!  (We wanted to start sending out chairs as merchandise to help you accommodate all those extra attendees, but the mailroom guys said “Nooooo.” Apparently, the mailroom isn’t big enough!)

We think this growth is brilliant and we wanted to share the numbers with you:

As of September 10, 2019, you have run 275 events with more than 17,000 attendees this year.  Sessions have an average of 63 attendees.  In all of 2018, we had 125 events with close to 7000 attendees.  The average was number of attendees 55.

Breaking it down by month, we see that there is a steady growth in the number of attendees per event.  In January 2019, the average event had 50 attendees and by September 2019, events had an average of 78 attendees.

What’s driving the growth? Librarians!  (We always knew we loved them.)  We had virtual coffees with a few librarian Advisors to find out how you run events.  While some of you are getting 200 people in a room for a class, most of you are doing a lot of one-on-one support through the reference desk but we are counting all the drop-in sessions as one event.

Lessons we learned:  Not all events look the same! Some are a traditional class, but some are more individual coaching sessions spread out over the entire semester. We love them all, so keep at it and let us know if you need a merchandise to support your drop-in sessions.

Regardless of the form your event takes, we are happy to support it.  To get merchandise and other support, register your event on the Mendeley Advisor Community page.

So it looks like maybe we don’t need more chairs yet, just bigger boxes to mail off all the merchandise!

 

 

Advisor of the month: Ahmad Samir Alfaar

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar

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

My cousins had a home library full with science fiction stories that encouraged me to read more about science, my mother was a high school mathematics teacher that used to build models for teaching, I started to read early in biology and by the end of high school I decided to be a physician that practices medicine and does research. I entered medical school, finding no chances for practicing research for students, I decided to practice programming and by the end of medical school I decided to specialize in Ophthalmology and medical/biomedical informatics. I was called to participate in founding the research department at Children’s Cancer Hospital, Egypt in 2008. The team we built created a great environment to learn more about clinical and biomedical research, so I specialized in ophthalmic oncology research. We have gained knowledge together in many aspects and identified the areas that need development in ourselves. After three years, I have been assigned as a head of the research education unit. I have designed and organized multiple training programs for students, early graduates and hospital staff training on clinical research. After finishing my diploma of informatics, Master of science in ophthalmology and Master science of Advanced oncology, I decided to pursue my PhD in molecular medicine and integrated my informatics knowledge in that. Due to the delay in starting my PhD, I have completed another doctorate degree for physicians (Dr. med.)  and now I am conducting a second doctorate degree (MD/PhD in Neuroscience) at Charité Universtätsmedizin – Berlin and Humboldt University International Graduate School of Neuroscience. My current research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of Retinal degenerative diseases beside many other topics.

Where do you do your research? What kind of environment suits you?

I have found that the best place for production is the garden and on the train. However, I lack power supply in the garden, my laptop does not last for very long disconnected and I do not travel that often to allow myself to work on trains, so I find myself obliged to accept working at my desk.

The best environment for research, for me, is open space where I work with students, colleagues and other physicians, sharing knowledge freely, teaching and discussing clinical and biological dilemmas without limits or sensitivities. In any place I plan to work I install a big white board for describing, modelling, sharing and breeding ideas, sometimes, over years.

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

Over 10 years, since its first beta versions.

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

Before Mendeley I was using Zotero. Zotero was a great move in the field of citation management after classic ones like Endnote. However, Mendeley represented the first user-oriented, user-friendly, and of course free, software. Its learning curve was extremely steep. Before that, researchers required longer time to learn the software, build their own library, and cite within the documents. Mendeley accelerated my speed of organization, annotation and writing and submission of manuscripts. These findings were noticed also by my students and colleagues whom I taught Mendeley. Moreover, it allowed hundreds of my students to collaborate effectively on publications and scientific documents over the last 10 years. Such web 2.0 features were unique in Mendeley.

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

I was teaching Mendeley before being an Advisor. Being a Mendeley Advisor means I am updated about feature-releases early and supported with teaching materials. Moreover, it allowed me to be recognized by those who want to learn about the software. A more valuable reason was the storage space given to Advisors. This allowed me to build large number of groups during the big courses that I was organising, to evaluate participants’ progress, and to practice with them till the publications get published.

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

From the last 100 years; Alfred G. Knudson Jr, and from the last 1000 years; Ibn Al-Haytham.

Besides, many people that impressed me by their art of organised depiction starting from nominal observations.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Behave, by Robert Sapolsky. It provides a perspective of a scientist on the triggers and development of human behaviour and the potential relation to other creatures.

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

Working in research raises the threshold of signals that can be named interesting. It teaches you to doubt everything. Everything requires re-analysis even what very reputable outlets broadcast.

What is the best part about working in research?

You keep asking, diving in the space of answers, you keep mutating and breeding your questions, evaluating your question, however, no answer is satisfying, but you report your position and enjoy the game.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

To convince humans of something they cannot model (imagine) and to form holes in their conflicts of interest.

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have? 

Drag, drop, show me your paper

Biography 

Dr. Ahmed Samir Alfaar, is a physician (ophthalmologist), informatician, medical educator, patients’ advocate and clinical research expert. He was graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 2005. He received PPCR Clinical research certificate from Harvard University in 2009, Certificate of E-Learning Development from Inwent-GIZ in 2009, Diploma in Informatics from Helwan University in 2010,  Master of science in Ophthalmology in 2012, and Masters of Science in Advanced Oncology from Ulm University in 2014. Ahmed worked as a clinical research specialist in Retinoblastoma and Pediatric solid tumors between 2008 and 2014 in the Children’s Cancer Hospital – Egypt, and the head of research education unit between 2011 and 2014.

He moved to Berlin in 2015 to work in the experimental ophthalmology department, Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin and received his first doctorate degree (Dr. med.) in Ocular Oncology in 2018 and since 2017 he has been studying for MD/PhD degree in the International Graduate School of Medical Neuroscience, Humboldt University and Charité Universtätsmedizin-Berlin.

Ahmed has received multiple awards and grants for his activities in research and education.

He has been a Mendeley advisor since September 2012, one of the first advisors in Egypt, and taught referencing management using Mendeley to hundreds of students worldwide.

Further details can be found on:

Website: http://www.ahmadsamir.com/

Mendeley Profile: https://j.mp/AlfaarMEND

LinkedIn: https://j.mp/AlfaarIN

ResearchGate: https://j.mp/AlfaarRG

 

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here

Mendeley Advisors Recruit 10,000 New Users in 2019 (Wow!)

(Right photo: Yahaya Gavamukulya, Left photo: Serge Kameni Leugoue)

As of early June, Mendeley Advisors introduced a whopping 10,000 people to the power of good reference management and research workflow this year! The ever-growing Advisor Community runs around 40 events per month, averaging a combined 2,500 attendees. We’d like to give a special thanks to super star Advisors Serge Kameni Leugoue (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and University of Dschang – Cameroon.) and Yahaya Gavamukulya (Busitema University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kenya) for welcoming user 10,000 during one of their events!

Congratulations and a big thanks to all of our Advisors for your help and hard work on this journey.  Mendeley is so much more than a reference manager – it is a strong community of academics from all disciplines and career stages, committed to improving the way we do research, from end-to-end.

Why and How to be a Mendeley Advisor   

Mendeley Advisors are network of over 5,000 passionate Mendeley experts across the world. They 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 we consult when we are considering adding a new functionality to the product. But the Mendeley Advisor program isn’t just about 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: get 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 the Community Team at community@mendeley.com. 

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: Daniel Christie

daniel christe

Daniel, residing in Philadelphia, PA is our main Mendeley Advisor Community contributor.  He brings a background in mechanical engineering & materials science research, and has been a long-time Mendeley user. We took some time with Daniel to find out what he loves about his job, and of course Mendeley!

How long have you been a researcher? 

I date my start in the research world from my high school days, so that works out to about 10 years. In that time I’ve gone from microfluidics, to drug delivery systems, to functional fabrics and other forms of 3D printed material systems to understand the way they deform and fail.

What excites you about serving the Mendeley Advisor Community? 

The energy & enthusiasm of a global group of researcher from all fields imaginable…there are fantastic discussions brewing in the community each and every day.

What book did you most recently read? 

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow…it’s a riveting, data-driven look at this amazing time we currently live in and what may lie ahead in our future.

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

That it’s an awesome research productivity tool – accessible wherever you are. Mendeley is a powerful way to not only annotate, organize, and cite reference – you can also share data and discover your next career opportunity.

How would you explain your current work to a stranger on a bus?

I blend my technical background with my passion for evidence-based learning strategies to help the world’s scientists and engineers work more productively and effectively.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I love traveling out to university campuses & conferences to show researchers new, slick ways of working with Mendeley. You might be surprised how many still don’t use reference managers, even in 2018…it totally transforms their world.

What keeps you awake at night?

Netflix. Otherwise, I sleep well most nights, so the saying doesn’t exactly work for me.

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

I come across plenty of interesting things every week I look for data points that point toward the future. One thing top-of-mind this week is that Tesla outsells Lexus and BMW, and is catching up to Mercedes quickly. That is impressive.

What do you think will be the next big discovery or development in your field? 

The tools that engineers use are becoming more intelligent and powerful by the day…from ideation to fabrication.  I think we’re on the cusp of an exciting era where we blend the best of human creativity with machine-partners to make us vastly more productive. For instance, true “computer-aided” design tools are coming online now. They leverage high performance computing algorithms to take problem descriptions and algorithmically synthesize thousands of potential designs that meet the goals and constraints, in the time it’d take an engineer to manually draw one design.