Mendeley’s vision for supporting researchers

Gaby-Appleton-at-MendeleyGaby Appleton is the Managing Director for Mendeley and Researcher Products at Elsevier. She leads an expert product management team in a mission to support millions of researchers with better digital information systems. The aim is to help them have more impact with their work and effectively demonstrate that impact, to stay up to date, to organize and share their knowledge, and to advance their career. She brings over 15 years’ experience to her role along with a passion for the world of research. We met with her to discuss the development vision for Mendeley.

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the development vision for Mendeley. How would you define that vision?

Our vision for Mendeley and indeed for all the Elsevier solutions is to contribute to improving the information system that supports research — an ecosystem of tools and data that addresses real challenges in researchers’ daily reality.

What informs that vision?

Above all, it’s informed by conversations with researchers, which is something I spend a lot of time on. Not that it is a hardship! Spending time with them is truly one of the highlights of my job. Hearing about ground-breaking research from people who are so enthusiastic about what they’re doing is inspirational.

But it’s also essential. The Mendeley team that is responsible for defining our vision needs that open, honest contact with researchers.

Why are those conversations so important?

Because our development strategy has to focus on the problems we can solve for users. If we were doing something because it was exciting technologically but it didn’t address real challenges, then we’d be completely missing the point. We need to ground our development in researchers’ needs.

That’s why we start by listening to gain insight into their challenges, then look at what the technology can do, and finally design solutions to those challenges.

What is the vision for Mendeley’s development that has come out of conversations with researchers?

Based on all the challenges researchers have talked about, we’ve adopted four principles to guide our development strategy: source neutrality, interoperability, transparency, and user control.

Source neutrality means that researchers can use this information system to retrieve, store and disseminate information regardless of the publisher. An unbiased view is the essence of good research and we want to ensure that our platforms and tools are open to content beyond Elsevier’s. Mendeley users can receive recommendations on what to read next (Mendeley Suggest) based on what they’ve already added to their library, and funders-imagethese recommendations are not limited to Elsevier – they can be from any publisher. And we don’t restrict that to papers. Researchers have talked about challenges with staying abreast of funding opportunities, so we’ve worked to provide one of the largest aggregations of funding information, maintaining source neutrality and transparency. The same applies to career postings.

Interoperability is about ensuring that applications, tools and data sets from different providers can work together. The Mendeley API represents our commitment to interoperability with any tools that researchers need.

Transparency is vital to researchers. If they receive an alert or recommendation, they need to know what prompted it. Otherwise, they can’t know if it’s relevant without spending time assessing it. If they are looking at search results, it’s great if they can see how their search string relates to those results. That helps with filtering and refining the hit set. An example of how we maintain transparency is in the functioning of Mendeley Suggest. It makes recommendations for further reading based on what a user and their colleagues are reading, but crucially, it includes information about why that article is relevant.

Control is all about giving researchers control of their own data, where it’s shared and how it’s used by the system. If they don’t want their data to be visible beyond a select group of users, or they don’t want their behavior to provoke recommendations, they should be able to opt out of those features. User control is all about making it easy for an individual to find the settings for preferences. A good example in our system is Mendeley Data, which makes it easy for users to define exactly who sees their data. Similarly, the organization, privacy and recommendation settings of researchers’ reference manager library are easy to control. What displays in a Mendeley Profile is entirely at the user’s discretion.

That’s where our development team constantly strives to take Mendeley: to keep it open to content from any source; to make sure its application programming interface is compatible with multiple tools and platforms; to give users insight into how its features make recommendations; and to ensure that it’s easy for users to set their preferences.

You’re currently developing a new reference manager, now available in BETA, which is a completely re-platformed and updated version of Mendeley’s core reference management function. How does it align with this vision for Mendeley?

I’ll leave it to my colleague Laura Thomson, our Head of Reference Management, to talk about the new Mendeley Reference Manager in more detail in her upcoming interview. Briefly, reference management tools are what we’re best known for. Mendeley Desktop is now ten years old and, while it’s developed incrementally over that time, to really act on users’ feedback and make some big improvements, we felt we needed to take a new RNS_963_a.General version image (2)approach and take advantage of new technologies that have become available since the original Mendeley Desktop was built.

The new Mendeley Reference Manager remains free-to-use and publisher agnostic. The Mendeley API remains open, allowing researchers and developers to create interoperability with multiple tools. We’ve ensured that the settings for the library, recommendations and so on are transparent and in researchers’ control. It’s unique in satisfying those four aspects of the vision for an information system supporting research.

Every aspect of Mendeley follows the same principles and is informed by real-world conversations: from reference management through data sharing to showcasing impact.

We would never pretend that we have all the answers, but we listen. We’ll continue to communicate with researchers as we work on each application of Mendeley. Our goal at Elsevier is an information system that supports research, and Mendeley aims to remain a core part of that.

Thank you very much for your time.

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Find out more about all-things Mendeley here

Find out more about the information system supporting research here 

Coming Soon: Careers’ Suggest

The internet’s first great achievement was putting in place ubiquitous connections: people to people, people to information, and information to companies and institutions.  Having spanned the globe and linked billions of people together, now comes an altogether more crucial phase: making the information gleaned from this vast, ever-expanding network relevant, personal and effective.

Mendeley Careers is at the forefront of this trend.  Soon it will feature its first recommender function that makes looking for the next job suggestions more convenient than ever.  Its unique algorithms will leverage the Elsevier ecosystem to provide tailored recommendations.  It will no longer be necessary to knock on opportunity’s door, opportunities will arrive in your inbox, matched to your profile and interests.

The millions of Mendeley users who have signed up for notifications will automatically receive these jobs; those who haven’t need only click on the downward pointing arrow next to their name on the top right hand corner of the screen, select Settings and Privacy, then click Notifications on the menu on the left.

Heather Williams, Product Manager for Mendeley Careers stated, “Mendeley Careers is already the world’s largest job search engine in the science, technology and engineering fields; Careers’ Suggest is the next step forward to connect the brightest minds to positions that let them pursue their passions.”

 

 

Want to work for a top science employer?

There are many brilliant workplaces in the world of scientific research.

It’s awards season again, and Science Magazine has pulled together its list of top 20 employers.

Mendeley Careers has opportunities from these leading firms. To find their latest roles, click the links below:

Ranking Employer Name Link to Jobs
1 Regeneron Link
4 Merck (Germany) Link
5 Novo Nordisk Link
7 Genentech Link
8 Eli Lilly Link
10 Abbvie Link
11 AstraZeneca Link
12 Syngenta Link
13 Roche Link
14 Novartis Link
15 Abbott Link
16 Boehringer Link
17 Merck Link
18 Monsanto Link
19 Celgene Link

Want more jobs?

New webinar on research careers

August is a good time of year for researchers to contemplate their next career move.

Depending on where you are in the world, the month of August can mean the start of a new semester or the lead up to a whole new academic year. Either way, it’s a good time to begin thinking about your next career move. Whether you’re a PhD or postdoc looking for the next academic opportunity, or an adjunct looking to take a leap of faith into a career in industry, Publishing Campus’ upcoming webinar will offer the guidance you need.

Join academic careers book author Natalie Lundsteen & Mendeley Careers product manager Heather Williams for a 40-minute webinar including presentations and Q&A on 24 August, at 1 pm UTC/3 pm CEST/ 9 am EDT.

Can’t make the live event? Register online to be notified once the webinar recording is available!

Make a Career in Research

24 August, at 1 pm UTC/3 pm CEST/ 9 am EDT

Speakers: Dr. Natalie Lundsteen, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Heather Williams, Sr. Product Manager for Mendeley Careers.

Register now

On Mendeley Careers: Artificial Intelligence: Technology at Work

As machines become more intelligent, what will the future of science and research be?

On Mendeley Careers, we’ve just published an interview with Professor Paul Chung of Loughborough University; we’re looking at the future of science, research, work and society as Artificial Intelligence research advances:

Artificial Intelligence is one of the ‘hot topics’ in science; recently, Tesla’s Elon Musk announced he was beginning a new venture, Neuralink, to “merge the human brain with AI”. But apart from visions of cyborgs dancing the heads of science fiction writers, what are the implications of Artificial Intelligence? For the general public? For researchers? And for the future of employment?

Click here to read the full interview.

Need Funding for Your AI Research?

Here are some of the latest funding opportunities for artificial intelligence and robotics researchers provided by Mendeley Funding:

Country Organisation Opportunity
USA NASA Artificial intelligence for human space exploration applications
USA Department of Defence Spectrum allocation using Artificial Intelligence for software defined radios in a tactical environment
USA Department of Defence Joint Program Committee-1 (JPC-1)/Medical Simulation and Information Sciences (MSIS) research program utilizing Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Medical Training Needs (MACH Learning) award
USA Oak Ridge Associated Universities ORNL Critical infrastructure modeling post-master’s research associate
USA National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN circuit programs – TeamBCP
USA Oak Ridge Associated Universities Imaging, signals and machine learning post-master research associate
USA Department of Defence Robotic following using deep learning
UK University of Southampton PhD Studentship: Enhancing Autonomous Guidance & Navigation with Deep Learning AI Technologies
UK Coventry University Associative Neural Networks Model for Developing Emotional Communication for a Robot Buddy
UK Coventry University An Empathic Robot Companion to Improve User Mood and Well-Being
UK Coventry University Robot Homing Deeply Reinforced by Another Robot
EU Horizon 2020 Interfaces for accessibility – RIA Research and Innovation action
EU Horizon 2020 Advanced robot capabilities research and take-up – RIA Research and Innovation action
EU Horizon 2020 Advanced robot capabilities research and take-up – IA Innovation action
Australia University of Newcastle, Australia PhD Scholarship – Power Engineering, Sensor Technology, Artificial Intelligence

On Mendeley Careers: Brexit & Science – Brexit Means What?

As the United Kingdom departs the European Union, what is the future of British science and research?
As the United Kingdom departs the European Union, what is the future of British science and research?

On Mendeley Careers, we’ve just published an interview with Dr. Anne Forde of Cambridge University; we’re trying to get to the bottom of the complex issue of Brexit and Science in the United Kingdom:

“Brexit means Brexit” according to Prime Minister Theresa May; however, this statement masks a series of complex questions. For example, what will be the future relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union? Will Britain participate in European funding programmes such as Horizon 2020? Will researchers from the European Union still flock to Britain’s globally renowned universities to do their work? How are the universities adjusting to these seismic changes?

Click here to read the full interview.

Mendelife – Meet Rosario Garcia de Zuniga

Rosario Garcia de Zuniga

Rosario is a Senior Software Engineer and Team Lead here at Mendeley, and she’s been with us pretty much from the start, nearly 4 years! So we catch up with her to ask what it was like back then, what’s changed, and what makes her stick around!

Do you have any nicknames?
Many, but the most recent one is Rosie

Where did you work before coming to Mendeley?
Before moving to London I was working at the University of Seville for RedIRIS which is the Spanish National Technology Foundation.

What made you apply for a job at Mendeley?
The company was young with an interesting and really ambitious goal. I
always wanted to be part of something big and Mendeley seemed to have a
lot of potential.

When you started working here, were things like you expected?
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I do remember being really
scared of speaking English, as at that time wasn’t very good, and I was
really quiet… That’s not really happening any more! Good times
though…

Have things changed in Mendeley since you started working here?
A lot! When I joined we were like 10-12 people if I remember correctly.
I’ve moved offices once and desks… I can’t even remember how many
times now! There’s been times I’ve arrived to the office after holidays
and not recognised half of the people there, but that’s always fun! They
look as confused as I do 😉

What’s the best thing about coming to work at Mendeley?
The people I work with, without any doubt. I love my team! What we’re
building is amazing and is helping a lot of researchers to make this
world better! That’s what gets me out of bed every day.

Do you have any pets?
My family has 2 little cute dogs (smooth fox terriers) in Spain – I pretty much love all animals, but I have a special soft spot for sausage dogs, they’re just too cute.

Who would be invited to your perfect dinner party?
The Monty Pythons, Tchaikovsky, Chris O’Dowd, Einstein, Freddy Mercury and all the people I love! The more the merrier.

What is the one website you can’t live without?
Soundcloud and Grooveshark

When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I changed my mind a lot actually… First, like my mum, a chemist, so I could make my own potions – then an engineer, like my dad, who I consider one of the smartest people I know. And then finally, a pianist, but it was too late for that when I had to decide!

If you could acquire one extra skill or talent, what would that be?
Being musically gifted would be amazing. I’d love if I could play the piano.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I tend to have a few books in the pipeline and I read them as my mood goes – reading a few techie books, a few comic books (Maus, Saga) and some others…

What was the first record you ever bought?
I think it was No Need to Argue by The Cranberries.

What music is on your iPod at the moment?
A lot. Around 300 playlists and nearly 9k tracks on my Spotify… I pretty much listen to everything, but lately what keeps me going is Pretty Lights.

Favourite video game/hobby?
My favourite video game of all time is Final Fantasy VII. My favourite hobby, without any doubt: listening to music and dancing.

Favourite food/drink?
Serrano ham, french fries, cheese / Coca Cola, a nice wine and Hendricks!

Favourite film?
Difficult to choose… I never get tired of Finding Nemo, A Clockwork Orange, Moulin Rouge or The Notebook.

Favourite place in the world?
Any sunny solitary beach does it for me, really. Maracaipe in Porto de Galinhas, Brazil would be my current favourite.

Three things you would put in Room 101
Rude/mean people, politicians, Internet trolls.

Now for a serious one worthy of the Mendeley vision: If you could give unlimited funding and resources to one area of research, what would it be and why?

Cancer. Unfortunately, I’ve had to see a lot of my loved ones dying and suffering from it.