How-to series: Maintain a reading list on your website using Mendeley Groups [part 12 of 12]

One of the great uses of public groups on Mendeley is maintaining a curated set of references about a given topic. This can become really handy for many different reasons. One of which might be the maintenance of a reading list. For this post, we will use the example use-case of a teacher that wants to maintain a reading list for their class.

By creating an invite-only public group on Mendeley, you can put together a list of references along with anyone you invite to the group. So, in our hypothetical teacher story, some potential invitees would be students or teaching assistants.

Ok, so let’s look at how this would work:

    1. Our teacher needs a website where the reading list will be embedded.
    2. Next step would be to create a public invite-only group to store the references they’d like to have listed on the website. This can be done in Mendeley Desktop or Mendeley Web.

create-group-web

3. Once the group is created, the teacher (or an invited member of the group) can add references to the group folder. Simply drag and drop references or PDFs into the group.

4. With the references added to the group, it is now possible to go ahead and get the necessary code to embed the reading list on the class website. The appearance of the embedded code can be customized via a set of option.

group-widget

5. Once the HTML code is added to the website, it now dynamically updates whenever the reference list is updates within Mendeley Desktop. No more editing HTML or making changes to the website code.

uofm-sb101-mockup

By using the embeded code, no further HTML code is required to maintain the website. This means that next year, if the reading list needs updating, it’s simply a matter of adding, removing or updating references in the Mendeley Group.

Here are the previous entries in this twelve part How-to series:

How-to series: Connect your Mendeley account to your Twitter account [part 11 of 12]

Everyone is using Twitter these days. It’s a great way to communicate and keep up to date with your social network of friends and interests. Therefore, we thought you’d be interested in being able to hook up your Mendeley and Twitter account so that folks can keep up with your research interests and output.

Just follow these simple steps and you should have your Mendeley account connected to your Twitter account in no time.

  1. Log into Mendeley Web (http://www.mendeley.com)
  2. Go to the account details section.
  3. Mendeley Web - Account Details

  4. Then select the Sharing/Importing tab.
  5. Mendeley Web - Account Details - Sharing/Importing

  6. Click on the “Connect” button. You will be sent to Twitter’s website so that you can authorize the connection. (Don’t worry, we do not have access to your Twitter details, that’s why you are sent to their website!)
  7. Authorize Mendeley on Twitter

  8. You’ll be sent back to Mendeley after approving the connection on Twitter’s site.
  9. You can now select which activities you perform in Mendeley will be tweeted in your Twitter account. Simply check or uncheck the boxes you want and click “Update settings”.
  10. Twitter-Mendeley Settings

Here’s an example of a tweet of someone adding a new publication to their “My Publications” folder:

So there you go, you can now have Mendeley automatically tweet selected bits of your Mendeley activity. We look forward to reading your tweets!

Here are the previous entries in this twelve part How-to series:

How-to series: How to search your notes (and other fields) [part 10 of 12]

Search has become such a fundamental part of our daily routine. Everyone uses search tools, everyday. Google, spotlight, file search, etc. There is just too much information to properly organize, memorize and store in a structured fashion. But that is ok.
Mendeley Desktop provides you with a multitude of ways to organize, filter and search your documents. Many of these task are context based, meaning that if you search while looking at your library or a collection in your library, you only get results from the currently selected folder. If you happen to be reading a PDF in Mendeley Desktop, the search tool will show you results only within that paper.

Now, one thing you, and many Mendeley Desktop users, probably don’t know is that you can constrain your search to specific fields such as the Title, Authors and even your own notes. Yes, you can search for the text contained within your notes!

Mendeley Desktop search box options

  1. Go to the search box in the top right-hand corner of Mendeley Desktop
  2. Click on the little arrow pointing downward and select “Notes”
  3. Type in your keyword of interest
  4. You should start seeing your results update in the middle pane in near real-time

Here’s a quick view of the search box in action on Mendeley Desktop (Mac)

How cool is that? We think it’s pretty cool (and useful!).

Here are the previous eight entries in our How-to series:

How-to series: How to export your annotations (alone or with your PDF) [part 8 of 12]

In the eighth entry to our How-to series, we look at the built-in PDF viewer within Mendeley Desktop.
We (and many others) think that Mendeley is a great tool to organize your research documents. It’s also a great application to allow you to read, annotate and highlight your PDFs too! The built-in PDF viewer allows multiple open documents, highlighting, post-it-like note taking and more.
If you double-click an entry for which you have the PDF document available, you will then be able to view the document in the built-in PDF reader. You can have multiple PDFs open simultaneously, each in their own tab. Like most PDF viewers, you have the general tools that allow you to pan, zoom, read in full screen, etc. You can also annotate these documents. Highlight by selection, or by adding boxes. Add post-it-like notes in localized sections of the article and even leave article wide notes in the box in the right-hand panel.
Read More »

How-to series: Generate BibTeX files for your collections for use in LaTeX [part 3 of 12]

Keeping up with our twelve-part how-to series, this entry will provide you with a simple walk through of how to get Mendeley Desktop generating BibTeX files of your library or folders for use in your LaTeX documents.

The majority of us use word processors to write our essays, manuscripts and thesis. However, there are a crafty group of folks that like to use LaTeX, a document markup language and document preparation system. What most of us already know is that Mendeley comes with a built-in word plugin that works on most major word processors. What some might not know is that Mendeley can also generate BibTeX files for your reference collections/folders. Thus, making citing references a breeze. If you happen to use LaTeX to prepare your documents, here’s where you’ll find the options to create your BibTeX files on the fly:

  1. Go to the Mendeley Preferences menu
  2. Click on the BibTeX tab
  3. Select the options that fit your needs. One big BibTeX file, one per collection, etc.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. That’s it, your BibTeX files should be ready for you to reference in your LaTeX documentos.

BibTeX preferences in Mendeley Desktop
The next entry in our quick-read how-to series will show you a thing or two about keeping your library neatly organized without duplicate entries.

Previous How-to series entries:

How-to series: Drag and drop PDF links into Mendeley for direct download [part 2 of 12]

Here’s our second instalment of our twelve part series of short how-to blog posts. We previously looked at how to merge author names in Mendeley Desktop. This time, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to download a file directly into Mendeley by simply dragging and dropping a PDF link into the desktop application.

One of the easiest actions you can perform on any computer is the drag & drop. Select a file, drag it over a folder and that’s it. No copy, no paste, no command line, no nada. Drag and drop, virtual physical file manipulating joy.

To make things even easier to import files into Mendeley, you can simply drag and drop a (directly accessible) link for a PDF document in your browser directly into Mendeley Desktop and it will be downloaded and incorporated into your library. That’s right. Take a look at the following short video:


Although this is a great trick, it doesn’t necessarily work well with all browsers. However, I’ve tried it with Firefox and it’s worked quite well.

In our next quick how-to entry we’ll be looking at BibTeX in Mendeley Desktop.

Previous How-to series entries:

3 quick ways to use Mendeley for citations anywhere

Many researchers use Mendeley to format citations as they’re writing papers, but what if you’re working on something a little less formal? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to drop a few citations into a comment or web form or some other application that doesn’t have the tight integration that’s available with Word or Open Office? There are a couple quick ways to grab a formatted citation using Mendeley: use the “copy formatted” option in Mendeley Desktop, grab it from the page in the research catalog, or just drag it into your application.Read More »