Meet the Mendeley Data advisory board: Amy Neeser

In this series of interviews, we meet some of the members of the Mendeley Data advisory board and get their thoughts on the role of research data management (RDM), and how Mendeley Data can contribute to this.

Amy NeeserName: Amy Neeser

Job Title: Consulting and Outreach Lead at University California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

Bio: Amy is a data librarian working in Research IT. She coordinates the consulting efforts across the Data Management and Research Computing programs to offer a holistic approach to data and computation. She also facilitates their community, partnership, and outreach programs. She previously worked as the Research Data Management Program Manager at UC Berkeley, as Data Curation Librarian at the University of Michigan, and as a science librarian at the University of Minnesota.

What motivates you each morning?

I am passionate about research. I love that I get to help enable world changing research by helping Berkeley faculty, students, and staff address the challenges and opportunities associated with research data and computing.

What challenges do you want to see RDM fix?

There are two main things really. In terms of practicality, I would love to see RDM really focus on sensitive data needs. Currently this is often managed at an institutional level, but it would make a huge impact if there was a nationwide, or product-based solution that could address this. That would be huge.

Secondly, I think RDM is vital for reproducibility. Technologies like containers and Jupyter Notebooks enable users to share not only their data but also the software, versions, and specs to analyze it. As these types of technologies data management practices become more commonly used, it will be much easier to share and reproduce results!

What excites you most about Mendeley Data?

I like how the different modules and features available can easily interact with each other. And it’s practical, supporting the data management process.

I feel that Mendeley Data Repository can help institutions address the reproducibility crisis, and it can save the need for institutions to create a repository at a local level.

What do you think the future holds for RDM?

I don’t think RDM can or should be “owned” by one unit or department, such as the library. It’s too big an area to be managed alone, and different players bring difference expertise and experience. It calls for a combined effort.

A lot of the questions that I get are in the active phase of the research lifecycle and often include sensitive data. IT can help with these issues, but also needs the library’s expertise around the beginning (planning, finding) and end (publishing, sharing, preserving) of the research lifecycle to provide researchers with a holistic approach to their scholarship.

More researchers from across domains use data and computational resources, and I think IT must be closely aligned with the library and other important players on campus such as the office of research.

 

Find out more about Mendeley Data here.

Meet other members of the Mendeley Data advisory board here.

Bringing Papers to the Bench

 

 

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Many Mendeley users will already be familiar with Labfolder, the digital lab notebook that lets you organize your protocols and data. The good news is that all this functionality is now being integrated into Mendeley to bring scientific literature closer to the lab. This is why we invest so much on our open API, so that 3rd Party developers can integrate even more functionality right into the Mendeley platform. Here’s Florian Hauer to tell us how that works for Labfolder:

If you work in experimental sciences – biology, medicine, chemistry, physics or any other discipline where you do experiments in the lab – there are several reasons why you read scientific literature. The primary motivation might be to learn what other people did that relates to your research – and how they did it. Second, you want to know which papers describe the basis for your experiments, and you want to cite them correctly. Third, you would like to share useful papers with your colleagues.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your scientific library right in your lab notebook, where you can search, read and cite all your papers of interest? We thought it would be – and that´s why we integrated Mendeley into Labfolder.

Like Mendeley, Labfolder is a free tool to make research easier, more organised, and more collaborative. Labfolder is a digital lab notebook which allows you to collect all primary research data on a digital platform instead of a paper notebook. With mobile apps for smart phones and tablets, you can collect data and take notes anywhere, and reusable and shareable protocol templates and group functions help you to exchange knowledge and speed up your research.

With this integration, we have made another step towards bringing scientific data from different sources closer together. With the Mendeley extension in Labfolder, you can:

  • Cite any publication from your Mendeley library directly in your experimental descriptions to track which literature you need to cite in your final paper
  • Download, integrate and view any paper from your Mendeley library in your protocol description to quickly look up details right in the experimental workflow
  • Upload your Labfolder experiments to Mendeley to attach them to publications and share them with colleagues.

Watch the video to see how it works

labfolder Mendeley integration from labfolder on Vimeo.

With the integration into Mendeley, it has become a lot easier to link experimental descriptions to scientific publications. Very often, the technical details of how a scientific discovery was achieved is heavily edited and compressed, making it very hard for researchers to extract the necessary information. Linking experimental descriptions and publications, and sharing these links as well as the detailed content will help enormously to bridge this gap.

With its recommendation engine, Mendeley offers a powerful tool to identify interesting content. It provides helpful navigation in the endless sea of data and content – for publications as well as for experimental descriptions – and helps researchers to find the data they need. Thus, Mendeley is an ideal platform for sharing experimental details: You can reach an interested audience and get credit for your research. To protect privacy, however, all Labfolder uploads are private by default and marked in Mendeley as ‘unpublished work’ so nothing will be shared until you are ready for it to be.

Sharing of scientific data is becoming more and more attractive: Apart from the fact that US researchers get credit for shared data in publications, studies have shown that scientists who share their data get cited more often.

We hope you enjoy the new features in Labfolder brought to you by Mendeley! If you have more great ideas about how to improve the use of scientific literature in Labfolder – or Labfolder itself – get in touch and let us know!