CiteULike and Mendeley collaborate – it’s live!

Roughly three and a half months after our announcement that we would plan to collaborate with CiteULike it’s even better news to announce that the first step is live – Mendeley users can now access their CiteULike data from within Mendeley. As we said in our previous blog post,

Your CiteULike account will show up as a “Document Group” in our Mendeley Desktop software, thus making your CiteULike metadata available to you in a desktop interface – from where you can manage them offline or insert citations and bibliographies into Microsoft Word, for example.

Follow these steps to activate the integration of CiteULike with Mendeley:

  • On your settings page, scroll to the bottom and enter your CiteULike username. Then click OK, and allow any pop-up blocking messages displayed by your browser — if any.
  • You will be taken to an activation message on CiteULike’s site — confirm this action.
  • This will take you to your Edit Profile page with a check-box displayed next to Enable Mendeley. You will find this at the bottom of the form, highlighted. Click Update Profile to save this.
  • You will now see your CiteULike profile page. Don’t worry if you don’t see any confirmation — this is normal. The synchronization is now set up successfully.

You can enable, or disable, Mendeley synchronization by going to your Edit Profile page on CiteULike, and checking, or unchecking, the check-box labelled Enable Mendeley. If you don’t login to Mendeley once every 30 days, this sync will be disabled. You can re-enable it by re-checking this box.

This is obviously just a first step – together with the guys at CiteULike we are now working on a two-way synchronization. Our reference manager Mendeley Desktop now already offers a wide selection of import/export options (plus a Web Importer to grab citations off the web), and if you have any additional suggestions or comments, have your say on our feedback page.

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William Gunn joins Mendeley as Community Liaison

Hurray! William Gunn has joined us as Community Liaison! Ricardo Vidal became our first Community Liaison two weeks ago, so with William we have now doubled the brains and talent behind our outreach efforts. William has just completed his Ph.D. on adult stem cells and bone biology at Tulane University. On his blog Synthesis, he has also been writing about open science and social research software. Here’s the story (re-posted from Synthesis) on how he came to join us, in his own words:

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'Taft in a wet t-shirt contest is the key image here.Reference managers and I have a long history. All the way back in 2004, when I was writing my first paper, my workflow went something like this:

“I need to cite Drs. A, B, and C here. Now, where did I put that paper from Dr. A?” I’d search through various folders of PDFs, organized according to a series of evolving categorization schemes and rifle through ambiguously labeled folders in my desk drawers, pulling out things I knew I’d need handy later. If I found the exact paper I was looking for, I’d then open Reference Manager (v6, I think) and enter the citation details, each in their respective fields. Finding the article, I’d select it and add it to the group of papers I was accumulating.

If it didn’t find it, I’d then go to Pubmed and search for the paper, again entering each citation detail in its field, and then do the required clicking to get the .ris file, download that, then import that into Reference Manager. Then I’d move the reference from the “imported files” library to my library, clicking away the 4 or 5 confirmation dialogs that occurred during this process. On to the next one, which I wouldn’t be able to find a copy of, and would have to search Pubmed for, whereupon I’d find more recent papers from that author, if I was searching by author, or other relevant papers from other authors, if I was searching by subject. Not wanting to cite outdated info, I’d click through from Pubmed to my school’s online catalog, re-enter the search details to find the article in my library’s system, browse through the system until I found a link to the paper online, download the PDF and .ris file (if available), or actually get off my ass and go to the library to make a copy of the paper.

As I was reading the new paper from the Dr. B, I’d find some interesting new assertion, follow that trail for a bit to see how good the evidence was, get distracted by a new idea relevant to an experiment I wanted to do, and emerge a couple hours later with an experiment partially planned and wanting to re-structure the outline for my introduction to incorporate the new perspective I had achieved. Of course, I’d want to check that I wouldn’t be raising the ire of a likely reviewer of the paper by not citing the person who first came up with the idea, so I’d have some background reading to do on a couple of likely reviewers. The whole process, from the endless clicking away of confirmation prompts to the fairly specific Pubmed searches which nonetheless pulled up thousands of results, many of which I wasn’t yet aware, made for extraordinarily slow going. It was XKCD’s wikipedia problem writ large.Read More »