Getting connected with other researchers on Mendeley is getting easier!

As of this week, with a single click, you will be able to follow other researchers on Mendeley to stay on top of what they are doing and see what they are publishing. You will see activities relating to researchers you follow on your Mendeley web dashboard. Similarly, your own publications will reach a much wider audience as others follow you.


This is going to replace the current contact-based model, where you had to accept contact requests explicitly.

But wait, what about privacy?

We take that very seriously of course, so it’s important to say that with this change, we are not making publicly visible anything that was not public before. For example, no other users will see what you are reading in your library. In addition, based on feedback, we also decided to introduce the protected profile option, which lets you control who can follow you. Like on Twitter, your default option will be open, but you can also easily modify this by going into your privacy settings so that only approved users can follow you.

As you know, Mendeley is not only about the tools that help you format your citations, organize your documents, and generally manage your research workflow. That’s all really good, of course, and rest assured we’re not about to drop the ball on that side of things, but what makes Mendeley different is the fact that we’re also a social platform where researchers from all over the world can collaborate.

We’re excited about this feature because it’s another step in making Mendeley even more social, and it means that it will now be easier for our users to find, get in touch and collaborate with others who share their research interests. We believe in making science more open and collaborative, and anything that brings members of our research community together has to be a good thing. We hope you enjoy connecting with other researchers on Mendeley and really want to hear what you think of this change, so please get in touch!

Yale iGEM Team Uses Mendeley to Make Collaboration Easier

Yale Team


A while back, we heard from a group of students at Yale University working for a really exciting project called iGEM. They wanted to use Mendeley so they could collaborate better in their research, and we were more than happy to help out. We also thought it’d be nice to share their experience and insights with the Mendeley community:

We’re the Yale iGEM team, a team of eight undergraduates who research synthetic biology and participate in the annual iGEM (international genetically engineered machines) competition.

From glow-in-the-dark bacteria to fuel-producing cyanobacteria, synthetic biology has a wide variety of applications that can be used to better our world. Each year, the Yale iGEM team comes together to produce a project that uses engineered biology to solve industrial, medical and environmental problems.

Synthetic biology is an emerging subset of science that focuses not only on the study of natural biological systems, but the alteration and design of novel systems. This year, our team is aiming to engineer a common strain of bacteria so that it produces polylactic acid (PLA), a biopolymer and plastic substitute that is cheaper, cleaner to make, and biodegradable.

Mendeley has been really useful in helping with organizing all the background literature and research we have investigated in order to achieve our team’s goals. It’s a great place to store, share and comment on the research that serves as our project’s foundation.

Our university software library offers a few options for reference managers, but Mendeley is more useful to us because it enables a collaborative workspace that doesn’t require us all to be in the same room. In our team, we might have three full-time student researchers in our summer lab while the rest of our researchers may be pursuing other opportunities around the world, so we can’t always meet face-to-face.

Mendeley supported us with an upgraded team package and we have found the ease of adding in members, importing and organizing documents to be highly useful. In addition, the team found that Mendeley combined e-mail, cloud drive and reference management in a very elegant and intuitive way.

We’re grateful for the support and now are really looking forward to the outcomes of our research. We hope to have results by the iGEM World Competition in November 2013, and we’ll post them when they become available!



Worldwide Research Collaboration Mapped Out

Collaboration Map UK

Academia has a reputation for being a bit of a closed world, a walled garden of knowledge where secrets are jealously guarded. But the truth is that collaboration is at the very heart of research and scientific discovery, and that for science to advance, researchers need to get together, compare notes, disagree, and have their ideas challenged and built upon by others. Often this happens naturally – like in the cafeteria where PhD students will chat about their projects – but in such a hyper-specialized environment, chances are that people who share your particular research interests cannot be found in the same institution or even the same country. What then?

In the same way that social media has revolutionised personal and professional communication and created dynamic global conversations, platforms like Mendeley now bring academics together in groups formed around those research interests, and the implications of that are tremendous for making science more open and accelerating the pace of discovery.This is why the team here at Mendeley is particularly interested in gaining genuine, real-time insight into research collaboration.

Mendeley is involved in several research projects. Particularly fruitful has been an on-going exchange of researchers and Mendeley staff between our London HQ and the Know-Center at Graz University of Technology in Austria. All projects aim to contribute to the improved use of the wealth of Mendeley data for the benefit of our users and the scientific community in general.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, this recent investigation of research collaboration started as a Hack Day project between Mendeley staff and a visiting researcher from the Know-Center/TU Graz in the context of the TEAM project ( which is coordinated by the Knowledge Management Institute of the TU Graz. Sebastian Pöhlmann (Insights and Analytics Manager) and Piotr Drozd (Community and Business Intelligence Analyst) teamed up with Peter Kraker (PhD student, Know-Center/TU Graz) to visualise cross-country collaboration on the Mendeley platform.

An interactive map has been created that aims to shed some light into the intensity of international research collaboration across different countries. Considering that using Mendeley groups is optional for our users, we are excited to have data on 113 countries. For each of those we show the continent, the rank by user count, the number of connected countries and the proportion of foreign (= international) connections.

By browsing the map or making a selection from the list, you can visualise the connections between researchers for any given country. A connection between two countries is established if at least one of each country’s researchers are members of the same Mendeley group. Of the over 200,000 research groups on Mendeley, we’ve selected private groups with at least two members, as that tends to be the most collaborative group type. Our staff is also very active on the platform so we’ve further excluded groups owned by Mendeley staff  and connections where Mendeley staff are involved. We have further excluded countries with less than 10 total connections.

Browsing the map and the data has produced some interesting insights:

  • Among BRICS countries, China, India and Russia have a high proportion of international connections whereas Brazil and South Africa seem somewhat more internally focused
  • Generally speaking, North America, Europe, and Australia are very well connected, whereas Asia and South America are somewhat lagging behind.
  • There are a few small countries that are very internationalized: Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and Denmark. Interestingly, these countries are also at the top of the KOF Index of Globalization:

This is early days, but we hope that by learning more about how our users collaborate with each other, we can continue to develop the best tools to help them work even more efficiently. And by sharing some of the insights on Mendeley Labs we want to contribute our part of the picture to the general knowledge of how research works.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What does collaboration mean to you and how would you go about measuring and visualizing it?


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