100,000 users and 8 million articles

In piphilology, one hundred thousand is the current world record for the number of digits of pi memorized by a human being (well, that’s according to Wikipedia). So, as happy as we are at Mendeley to have 100,000 users onboard, we regret to say that it is now beyond our limits for us to remember every single user on our site (but good to see that you keep on writing and helping to improve Mendeley). In the same week we crossed a second milestone of 8 million research articles uploaded to our database in less than a year. Currently Mendeley’s article database continues to expand as researchers, students and scientists from around the world upload, collaborate and share their research using Mendeley. In April 2009 we reached the 1 million article mark, which means the number of articles in our database has doubled in size every ten to twelve weeks. To give a little context: the world’s largest online research database by Thomson Reuters took 49 years to reach 40 million articles.

A big thank you to Techcrunch’s Sean O’Hear who wrote: “Mendeley could be the largest online research paper database by early 2010” and James Glick from The Next Web who wrote: “Mendeley ‘the last.fm of research’ hits new heights”.

And congratulations to our growing community of users!

Attributed to Jorel314

Image by Jorel314

One million articles uploaded to Mendeley!

articles-uploadedWe passed a landmark today: As of 16.50h GMT, our users have uploaded one million articles to their Mendeley accounts! Including the cited references which Mendeley also extracts from research papers, we now have over 14 million metadata sets in our database. Even we were surprised by the speed in which this has happened!

For the record, the millionth article added to our database was “The somatic marker hypothesis: A critical evaluation by Dunn et al. (2006) in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews – as luck would have it, that’s a topic related to my personal research on the role of emotions in decision making! The closest publication by one of our users, Joaquin Rivera, was added at 17.01h – a maths paper titled “On the exact multiplicity of solutions for boundary-value problems via computing the direction of bifurcations”, available for download on Joaquin’s Mendeley profile.

90% of these one million articles have been uploaded since January 2009, and our database is currently doubling in size every 6 weeks. For comparison, venerable PubMed – the largest database of biomedical literature – contains 18,813,527 records as of today. Assuming we managed to keep up our growth, we could surpass the size of the PubMed database within the next 6 months!

Roughly 43% of the papers in our database are in the biological and medical sciences (even though only about 27% of users are working in these academic disciplines). Computer and information science comes in second with roughly 11% of all papers, followed by engineering with 7%, and chemistry, physics, psychology and other social sciences with 4-5% each.

As we’ve said before on this blog and elsewhere (e.g. see my talk at the Plugg Conference), we’re not hoarding all that data just because we can, no Sir! Our vision is to create the largest open, interdisciplinary and ontological database of research – as crazy as that sounds, remember that Last.fm (whose former chairman and COO are our co-founders and investors) pulled it off in the space of music within just three years, using the same user data-aggregation model that Mendeley is built on.

We’ve already begun to report real-time “usage-based” research trends – a nice discussion of Mendeley statistics showing the most-read journal in the biological sciences can be found here (we’ll be writing more about this soon!). Analogous to Last.fm, we will provide APIs to let others mash up the research statistics we’re generating. Moreover, our database will be the basis for our upcoming collaborative filtering recommendation engine: Based on the articles in your Mendeley library, we will be able to tell you about articles you don’t know yet, but which have been read and recommended by researchers with similar interests. You can read more about these plans in our recent IEEE e-Science paper.

A big thank you to our wonderful users who have been helping us improve Mendeley with their constant feedback. After celebrating the millionth article upload tonight, we’ll get back to work on our next two releases, packed full with exciting new features!

Ricardo Vidal joins Mendeley as Community Liaison

ricardo-vidal

Today we can announce another bit of news that makes us very happy! For a while, we’ve been looking for help in better engaging the academic community, involving it more in our roadmap decisions, and also understanding the needs of life scientists better. Consider this: We’re all social scientists, computer scientists and engineers here at Mendeley HQ, and we couldn’t pick this guy PubMed out of a police lineup.

Ok, I’m exaggerating (our next release of Mendeley Desktop, due next week, will enable manual PubMed ID lookups, and the next release after that will do PubMed lookups for all your PDFs automatically). However, the help we’ve been looking for has now arrived in the congenial, talented and Portuguese shape of Ricardo Vidal, author of My Biotech Life! You can see his picture on the top right, and his “silly microbe” design down on the left.

microbe_yellow_192x128Ricardo will become our first “Community Liaison”. While continuing on with his graduate studies, he’ll also devote a few  hours each week to interacting with other researchers on the blogosphere, Twitter, and other social media on Mendeley’s behalf.

I first came across Ricardo’s blog around June last year, because he had written an article about his research paper management needs. So I left a comment pointing him to Mendeley, and he asked for a few invitation codes to the then-ongoing private beta for his readers. We were happy to give him twenty, which were gone only hours after Ricardo offered them on his blog! We loosely stayed in touch ever since and were grateful for the continued support he’s given us over time.

For this announcement, I asked Ricardo to briefly introduce himself and describe why he decided to join us as a Community Liaison and what his hopes for Mendeley were. Here are his answers:

Introduction
Let’s see… I’m currently concluding my Master of Engineering degree in Biological Engineering at the University of Algarve, in Southern Portugal. I’ve been blogging since 2006 at My Biotech Life and am also the co-founder of the DNA Network, a leading network of DNA-related blogs.  I also produce (sometimes silly) biotech graphics and logos from time to time.

Why I joined
Besides the fact that I am terrible at keeping my digital papers in order on my laptop or online, I believe that Mendeley represents not only a two-in-one solution for research paper management but also comprises another aspect that I consider of extreme importance, networking. The ability to contact and share your work with researchers alike is invaluable.

Hope/vision for Mendeley
Looking at the progress that has taken place since Mendeley’s launch, I can only hope that things keep evolving as they are now. The roadmap looks promising and the user feedback can only make it a better piece of software as time goes by.

As it has been stated, I also envision Mendeley to become the “Last.fm for Research Papers” where user statistics and networking play a vital part in research, by providing easier access and interaction to scientific information.

Are you looking for a research job?