Supporting researchers with the new Mendeley Reference Manager

Laura ThomsonLaura Thomson, PhD, is Head of Reference Management at Mendeley. She has been with Elsevier since the start of 2015, and brings over 18 years’ experience with information products and research solutions to her role. Praised by her group for her clear vision and creative approach, she plays a key role in shaping how reference management is discussed and driven at Elsevier. With some exciting new developments happening with Mendeley’s reference management solutions, we met with her to find out more.

We recently heard from your colleague Gaby Appleton about the overall vision for Elsevier’s researcher solutions, especially Mendeley. How do Mendeley’s reference management solutions, specifically, fit within that vision?

As Gaby will have told you, the vision for Elsevier is to contribute to improving the information system supporting research. Our aim is to help researchers work even more efficiently so they can spend more time making discoveries.

That’s a statement that truly resonates with me. I started out as a biochemist and, as that career progressed, other tasks started to take over more of my time. In many ways, it stopped being fun because there was less time to do the real research.

The vision for Mendeley is to provide researchers with time-saving tools that help speed up and simplify their workflows. We want to take reference management off researchers’ minds by making all the tasks related to collecting, organizing, reading, annotating and citing as simple as possible – and key to this is the development of the new Mendeley Reference Manager.

With that guiding vision, communication with researchers must be very important to your team’s development plans.

Absolutely. The tools we offer must address challenges in researchers’ daily reality, so we are in constant communication with a range of researchers – those that use Mendeley, those that use other solutions, and those that don’t use any digital software at all to manage their references. These aren’t just casual conversations either. We have a robust user discovery program consisting of weekly sessions in which researchers test what we’re doing and give feedback.

This is an ongoing process, allowing us to provide researchers with a reference manager that not only addresses feedback gathered in the past, but also continues to develop over time with regular releases responding to feedback we continue to receive. Mendeley Reference Manager will evolve as researchers’ needs and the research landscape evolve.

Can you tell us more about the new developments you’re making with Mendeley Reference Manager?MRM image 2

In 2008, Mendeley was launched as a reference manager for researchers. Over the years, we’ve continued to develop Mendeley Desktop and the reference manager products.

More recently, though, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep developing the original Mendeley Desktop in the way we and our users need. A key element of this is how often we release a new version; with Mendeley Desktop we release four to five times a year, but with the new Mendeley Reference Manager we are releasing every two weeks. This means that we can respond faster to user feedback, and get new functionality and fixes out more regularly.

We have also built Mendeley Cite – a new citation add-in for Microsoft® Word. As with Mendeley Reference Manager, we have developed this very much in response to user feedback. For example, users have increasingly been asking for citation support in Microsoft® Office 365 but we could not offer this with the existing Mendeley citation plugin, as it’s built in VBA. We have built the new Mendeley Cite in JavaScript so users can now cite in Office 365.

Can you give us some more details about Mendeley Cite, and any other changes people can expect with the new Mendeley Reference Manager package?

In terms of new functionality that’s already available, two tools I’m really excited about are Mendeley Cite, as mentioned, and Mendeley Notebook – we’re hoping both will really help simplify researchers’ workflows.RNS_963_b.Cite version image

Mendeley Cite enables users to cite references and generate a bibliography, just as they could with our existing citation plugin, but as I mentioned, Mendeley Cite now works with Office 365. You also don’t have to be a Mendeley Desktop user to use Mendeley Cite – it works with your cloud library which is loaded into the add-in, so there is no need to switch between applications when citing, another feature that users were asking for a lot.

Mendeley Notebook is our brand-new note-taking tool. It’s a working space for keeping thoughts in one place, making it quick and easy to collect highlights from multiple PDFs and add you own comments. Researchers told us that they liked having highlights and annotations associated with the PDF, but that they were usually reading multiple PDFs at once and wanted their notes from all of these in one place. With Notebook they can do this.

We’ve also made the reference management experience generally more accessible and streamlined by making a lot of things just that bit better. A user’s library now automatically syncs to the cloud when they’re signed in; notifications about whether an action was successfully completed are a lot clearer; the look and feel has also been updated… And we’re continuing work on more features and functionality, which will release throughout 2019 – watch this space!

Gaby also talked about Elsevier’s commitment to source neutrality and maintenance of user control. How does the new Mendeley Reference Manager align with that?

Mendeley Reference Manager remains a place where researchers can gather papers and documents from any publisher or source. We do not give priority to Elsevier content; there’s no change there. Research support solutions of this type must remain source neutral. It’s essential for the researcher to remain unrestricted in that.

How do you feel now that the new version is out in the world?

I’m naturally excited to see the response to the new Mendeley Reference Manager. The development vision was very much informed by conversations with researchers about daily challenges. The post-release feedback on the new version is a key part of our development vision because it feeds our continuous iterative development. So, I’m excited and I know the development team are too.

And, lastly, where can people go to see all this for themselves?

The new Mendeley Reference Manager can be downloaded from www.mendeley.com/reference-management/reference-manager-beta. It’s currently in BETA, and doesn’t have all the functionality of the existing Mendeley Desktop just yet – but, as mentioned, we’ll be making releases to it every two weeks. The BETA works alongside Mendeley Desktop so you can try it out whilst still using your existing Desktop – just sign in using your Mendeley credentials and your library will sync.

You can get Mendeley Cite from Microsoft AppSource at www.mendeley.com/cite/word/install.

We’d love to get feedback on both of these to help inform future developments. So I encourage everyone to let us know their thoughts using the feedback links within Mendeley Reference Manager and Mendeley Cite. We really hope everyone enjoys using them!

Thank you very much for your time.

You can find out more about all-things Mendeley here

Advisor of the Month: Robin Pertz; science librarian, NASA Glenn Research Center

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

I started at a library in Gahanna, Ohio (Columbus Metropolitan Library) as a homework help center coordinator. As a former middle school science teacher seeking a new venue for my talents it was the library where my passion for teaching and my enthusiasm for learning collided. It was there I was encouraged to go to grad school where I earned my MLIS from Kent State. During my last semester at KSU I was assigned a project in which I interviewed the manager of the library at NASA Glenn. In a twist of fate, I was asked to complete my practicum, a culminating experience at a place I pined over as a child growing up in the Cleveland area. NASA was always a dream of mine. So it happened that a position became open while I was there and one thing led to another, the rest is history! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I’d be the science librarian at NASA.

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

My best work is done in the morning, outside of my building at a picnic table. With the sound of wind tunnels and jet engines in the background with a cup of tea out of my NASA mug is when I’m doing my best work!

How long have you used Mendeley for? 

I have been on Mendeley since January 2017, I was actually the first person to “graduate” from the librarian certification program!

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

I was using NOTHING! Mendeley helps me save time and lean my research process. Saving me time, therefore saving the government time!

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

I guess it goes back to the need for teaching and learning. You can take a teacher out of a classroom but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher. I host all of our Mendeley demos here at our lab and encourage folks to lean their research process as well!

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

After having been afforded the opportunity to have lunch with legend astronauts and personal heroes like Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Walt Cunningham, and Frank Borman…I cannot answer this question. I’ve already met some of the most wonderful humans that ever walked this earth and who have been to space.

 What book are you reading at the moment?

Secret time. I’m the librarian that doesn’t read as much as “most” librarians. I go through so much research everyday all day long that by the end of the day I’d rather go to the gym, go for a walk or work in the garden.

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

That someone actually wants to play football for the Cleveland Browns. Welcome to Cleveland OBJ.

What is the best part about working in research?

Seeing things grow from the ground up. I’ll get a research request, 8 months later see NEW research published that used the research that I found and culled together months ago!

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The misconception that I know everything that NASA publishes because I’m the librarian. (a humorous challenge)

What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?

Using the “search” feature to find research that spans across multiple disciplines of research that I’ve saved over the years. That is usually my starting point to a new research project.

Biography

Robin grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Always wanting to be a teacher she ventured to central Ohio for her undergraduate degree in middle childhood education. While in college she was a supervisor of summer day camps for kids. After college graduation she stuck around central Ohio and was teaching until finding her love of libraries with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. It was there where she was encouraged to attend grad school where she could advance her career and passion for libraries and learning. Fate would have it that she landed an experience at the NASA Glenn Research Center where all her passions would collide into the perfect dream job! As the science librarian for one of 3 research centers that NASA has, her day to day is filled with many typical librarian tasks like cataloging, collection maintenance, promotion and outreach as well as citation verification, in depth research and reference. Robin also hosts various demos and workshops for the NASA Glenn staff of 1,500. As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Moon landing and the 60th anniversary of the Agency she hopes to be around to see many more anniversaries in the future and not for one moment takes for granted the esteem that comes for working with someone of the brightest people and most iconic Agencies in the world.

You can follow Robin’s Mendeley profile here

Shameless plugs…

https://www.instagram.com/tv/BlT1z7PghHU/

Follow me on twitter @glennlibrary

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Find out more about the Mendeley Advisor Community here

Mendeley Can Help Your Research Career Take Off

mendeley opportunities

In the previous article, we explored the ways Elsevier’s Mendeley can help you succeed as a researcher. In fact, you may already use Mendeley to manage your research. But did you know it can also help you manage your research career? Achieving recognition and advancing your career can seem like a full-time job, and often a struggle. But with the Mendeley Careers tool, part of the unified Mendeley ecosystem, you have a free assistant to help you build your career in science, technology, engineering or medicine and perhaps a better balanced lifestyle.

Despite Collaboration, Competition Still Exists

There are 10 million mid-level and senior researchers worldwide…not to mention the 100 million students trying to follow in their footsteps. Most of those researchers are working to become principal investigators (PIs) or have already reached that milestone. And it is a milestone – congratulations! You finally have proof that you’re moving up, and not out. You’re the head of a laboratory or a research group leader. And if you’re still on the path to being a PI, you are striving to demonstrate your value as a successful team member.

Many PIs are looking for their next career move. They are eager to know how they stack up professionally to their peers. In the US, researchers may be reaching for a spot in the top 200 institutions. Some principal investigators will transition into the corporate world; but many do not want to follow that track, at least not yet. They want to continue to experience the serendipity of discovery, and become leaders in their respective fields.

Mendeley Does the Job-Hunting While You Focus on Your Research

When you’re looking for a new chapter in your career, it’s hard to know where to begin. Trawling through lists on job boards is stressful and time-consuming. Mendeley Careers can do the hard work for you, eliminating that stress and the drain on your time. With more than 200 thousand posted opportunities across academia and leading industry corporations, it’s the world’s largest free online search engine for STEM careers.

Mendeley Careers is quick and easy to use: you sign up, upload your CV, and voila, you begin to receive job opportunity notifications. Mendeley is the perfect partnership between smart people and smart technology. Unlike other STEM job search engines and job boards that match candidates based solely on their search alerts, Mendeley Careers goes further. It uses human curation and sophisticated algorithms to match the most relevant opportunities with candidates, developed from a detailed understanding of their interests and expertise. Its built-in intelligence ensures that you’re alerted to all of the posts that are right for you – no more missed opportunities! You can start applying for positions right away, knowing your search is thorough, secure and confidential.

Need help figuring out your next move? Mendeley Careers has that covered, too. It features a Careers blog, written by experts, to help you consider the pros and cons, narrow down your options, and formulate a decision about the best step forward in your research profession.

Mendeley Can Help Assemble the Right Team

PIs and others who are heading up research teams want the best and the brightest to contribute to the success of their projects. They need to identify top talent, often in a short timeframe, and this is where Mendeley Careers comes in once again.

Discover Where You Could Be Working Tomorrow with Mendeley Careers

Most professionals would agree that they’re better at research than job-hunting. So it only makes sense that you employ the most helpful tools in identifying and securing new positions, either for yourself or in creating a team. Mendeley Careers lets you do what you know and love, while it finds the opportunities to enable you to move forward in your career. The innovative Elsevier team behind Mendeley is made up of former researchers, data scientists, and process engineers; they understand your domain, and many of them have walked in your shoes.

You want to be effective in your research and satisfied with your life. Don’t miss out on your perfect career opportunity! Check out Mendeley Careers today, and put it to work for you and your future.

 

 

Mendeley: Everything a Researcher Needs to Succeed

Researchers work very hard, often for little reward, and usually under considerable stress. While the satisfaction of discovery, and the prestige of developing a scientific breakthrough are certainly fulfilling, you can rarely sit back and celebrate. Have I shown independent thought? Does my discovery stand out? What if someone else is working on this same problem? Will the results of my research make a difference to society? Am I building a career here? Will funding sources consider this exciting enough to merit financing? Am I working as efficiently as I can?

Elsevier understands that you’re forced to do more with less. You have to chart your own course, promoting yourselves to a multitude of people and seeking recognition wherever possible. As your career progresses, you have to succeed both as individuals and team leaders. But you don’t have to do it alone, thanks to Elsevier’s online research workflow ecosystem known as Mendeley. Mendeley adds value to every step of your career, whether you’re a doctoral student, post-doc, assistant professor or principal investigator. It makes you feel empowered, organized, confident and connected. And best of all, it’s free!

The Research Landscape is Changing

The life of a researcher is a study in contradictions. You have more opportunities than ever to discover, to make an impact and to interact with their peers. But with all the conveniences that have made research easier – online resources, technology-driven tools, open access, virtual professional communities – you still face many of the same challenges…some with a new twist. First, while there is still a scramble for research funding, it is beginning to shift from local to global. While Europe is ahead of the United States in this trend, it’s a factor to be considered when you’re seeking financial backing. Broad-based collaboration is also more prevalent, especially among younger researchers. Depending upon the problem being explored, the location and the source(s) of funding, a collaborative approach may be best for a new research project.

Research from emerging markets is increasing in volume and value. Researchers from these areas are more egalitarian and likely to collaborate, and need more resources in their own languages as well. Open science continues to be a priority among researchers, as it enables you to collaborate and see a shared impact more easily. However, you also continue to search for more entry points to open science. In addition, the increasing importance of using new technologies, like artificial intelligence, challenges you to keep up with the latest developments without losing focus on your research topics.

Many universities also are changing their model relative to research, with entrepreneurship becoming a growing initiative. Forming companies out of research initiatives is a draw to younger researchers, and an investment for the institutions. It can provide them with a revenue stream, a partnership with outside corporations or both. At the same time, universities are competing harder than ever for every research dollar. They need to attract, and keep, top-tier faculty and students, whose success stories will in turn propel them into the forefront for the next generation of researchers.

When You’re Leading the Charge, Choose a Multi-Faceted Tool

Given this scenario, it’s more important than ever for you to be supported in all facets of your career, from organizing your research and collaborating with other researchers worldwide to sharing datasets and seeking career opportunities. Think of Mendeley as the Swiss Army Knife® of resources for a research vocation. Just like a Swiss Army Knife, Mendeley is a single entity with multiple parts, a unified environment. And it’s likely that you will use the “knife” portion of Mendeley, Reference Management, most often. But there are other convenient tools within Mendeley – Research Network, Data, Careers and Funding – that are unique and equally valuable in enabling your success. For every research need, Mendeley has a solution.

Focus on Doing Your Research, Not Managing It

While you’re busy shaping the future, Mendeley Reference Management makes you more efficient. You spend less time on document management and more time on your research. The Mendeley Reference Manager enables you to easily organize and search a personal library, annotate documents and cite as you write. It automatically captures information such as authors, title and publisher, which makes organization and browsing easy. You can create a profile, as well as start and join groups to find inspiring people and information.

Mendeley’s Citation Plugin is compatible with Word and LibreOffice, so you can generate citations and bibliographies while you write. You can also annotate on documents as you read, or share documents with groups of colleagues and annotate them together. Reference Manager gives you the option to easily import papers and other documents from your desktop, your existing libraries or websites.

Communities Keep You Connected – and In the Know

Mendeley Research Network hosts a global community of more than eight million researchers in every field from institutions worldwide. You can create a research profile, including a curated list of your publications and affiliations, and discover others in your research network. Then you can join groups or start one of your own – either public or private – to engage with your peers.

Based on your interests, Mendeley delivers personalized suggestions for articles to read and people to follow. You can also set alerts to make sure you don’t miss any activity in your network, keeping you connected and informed.

Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

Mendeley Data optimizes the discoverability of your data and fosters teamwork, by facilitating the improved management of your datasets. It’s a secure cloud-based open science repository, so your data is easy to share, access and cite from any location. When you use Mendeley Data, you control who gets to use your data; you can share your data only with colleagues and co-authors before publication, or publish your data to the world. Mendeley Data also supports versioning, simplifying longitudinal studies. Best of all, your data is accessible and archived for as long as you need it by Data Archiving & Networked Services.

Move Up or Move Out

Realistically, that’s the mantra of a researcher’s career.  Mendeley Careers is the world’s largest free online search engine for career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and medicine. It enables you to match your profile and expertise to more than 200 thousand posted opportunities. You can upload your CV and get job alerts via the smart notification system, ensuring that you don’t miss any golden opportunities. You can also use Mendeley Careers to identify the top talent you’d like to add to your team.

Show Me the Money

How much time do you spend trying to find the funding that you and your team members need? If you use Mendeley Funding, it could be a lot less. Elsevier aggregates and catalogs relevant grant information from more than two thousand organizations worldwide – including US government agencies, the European Union, and UK Research councils – to help you find the right fit for your research. Each organization has its own Mendeley Funding page, and you can easily browse and bookmark favorites for future reference. Timely opportunities are key; Elsevier constantly updates the Mendeley funding index to ensure that you have the latest opportunities at your fingertips.

It’s a Personal Assistant, a PR agent and a Milestone Enabler

As your research career advances, you take on more managerial responsibility, leaving you less time to devote to hands-on work. But to move your research forward, and succeed in your career, you need to focus more on the success of your work with your collaborators and less on personal “doing.”

Mendeley is designed to assist you in making this shift. The Elsevier team behind Mendeley is made up of former researchers, data scientists, and process engineers, who are dedicated to empowering you and taking the friction out of teamwork. Mendeley can help you organize your work, assemble a talented team, connect and collaborate, share data, get funding, and stay up to date on trends – so you can maximize the value of your work with your collaborators and the impact of your research.

You’ll form many partnerships during your career, and Mendeley should be one of them. If you haven’t tried Mendeley yet, what are you waiting for?

Get Started!

Research4Life working with Mendeley’s Reference Management and Collaboration Platform

 

Research4Life

We’re really happy to share the news that from now on Mendeley will be actively supporting the Research4Life partnership and helping to disseminate cutting-edge scientific information to researchers in over 100 developing countries.

Research4Life is a public-private partnership that’s aiming to help the achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by reducing the huge knowledge gap that exists between industrialised and developing countries. It brings together institutions from across government, academia and industry such as (to name but a few) the World Health Organization, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, the Food and Agriculture Organization, Microsoft, the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell and Yale Universities, and approximately 200 publishers, who provide accessible scholarly content to over 7000 institutions worldwide.

It’s one of the many initiatives already supported by Elsevier that helps researchers get access to the information they need in places where resources are often scarce or problematic to get to.  There are currently over 40,000 peer-reviewed resources made available to them through Research4Life, and as a founding partner, Elsevier contributed a quarter of those through Scopus and Science Direct, including about 3,000 journals and 12,000 books.

These resources are really crucial in enabling researchers to carry out their work in developing countries, and in 2013 there were over 3 million article downloads from Science Direct alone. Since Mendeley was acquired by Elsevier last year, we’ve been excited about the possibility of getting involved in such projects, as they tie into Mendeley’s original vision of making science more open and broadening access to scientific content where it can make a real difference to people’s lives.

Since first launching in 2001, the program has expanded to 4 targeted areas, supporting crucial research into Health (HINARI), Agriculture (AGORA), the Environment (OARE) and Development and Innovation (ARDI), and Elsevier has committed to providing the programme with free or low-cost access to this content until at least 2020.  In addition, they also provide strategic, technical and communication expertise that helps advance Research4Life. For example, the Elsevier Foundation’s Innovative Libraries  in Developing Countries Program gives grants for programs that build the infrastructure, improve information literacy, and provide training to further the use of Research4Life content.

And that’s where Mendeley comes in, because we’re providing all those researchers with a cloud-based, open and easily accessible tool to not only manage all those resources, but also to communicate and share insights and valuable information with other scientists all over the world. Mendeley already has over 160,000 users in Research4Life countries, and more than 100 of our advisors help to train, educate, and increase awareness about how researchers can use Mendeley to facilitate and advance their work. A big part of Mendeley’s involvement in the project will be to celebrate and promote those stories of success and collaboration to the wider Mendeley community and connect researchers who might be working on the same problems in different parts of the world.

“So far researchers  on the program have been using patchy solutions involving various workflow and citation management tools, but these are often expensive, and if you’re trying to collaborate on a joint project with a researcher who does not have the same tool, that can be really problematic,”  says Jan Reichelt, Co-founder and President of Mendeley. “So we’re hoping that Mendeley, with its vast community of over 3 million researchers worldwide, will help to really facilitate and accelerate the pace of discovery for Research4Life Scientists.”

Are you a researcher benefitting from the Research4Life program? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and other similar initiatives. Get in touch by leaving a comment below or join the Mendeley Research4Life group!

 

Drum rolls… and the winner is Mendeley! #Activate2010

We believe that we will change the world for the better. Yup, this exciting and glorious ambition is what keeps us going. But we also realize that we are not the only one sweating to make it happen. That’s exactly why it is such an honor to have placed first at the Guardian Activate Future Technologies Pitching Contest.

A panel of judges including Esther Dyson, Anil Hansjee, Stephen King, and George Coelho asked themselves, “which company is most likely to change the world for the better?” and the answer was Mendeley! Also today, Victor – alongside Google CEO Eric Schmidt and US Deputy Chief Technology Officer & Director of White House Open Government Initiative Beth Simone Noveck – gave a presentation at the Guardian Activate 2010 Summit.

Thank you everyone for supporting us (and yes, keep sending us your feedback)! Being recognized feels great and what we love even more is that a win like this allows us more opportunities to speak up about our progress and vision.

Speaking of progress, we reached just over 400,000 users and are approaching 30M research papers in our users’ libraries as of yesterday.

Now let the saga continue…

Academia-bound information management tools are not a new thing. But never have they been as widely or excitedly welcomed. Odd, it seems, for an industry ripe for collaboration. The enthusiasm is, in large part, due to Mendeley’s ease of use – but its longevity lies in the long-tail data that can be unearthed about who’s reading what, when and why.

“Mendeley ‘most likely to change the world for the better'” by Josh Halliday, The Guardian