How to turn research papers into social objects

If you are in the market for a citation manager, or are otherwise looking to to streamline your research, you might want to try Mendeley. Mendeley is ‘free academic software (Win, Mac & Linux) to manage, share, read, annotate and cite your research papers…and a research network to manage your papers online, discover research trends and statistics, and to connect to like-minded researchers.’ Mashable called Mendeley one of 19 startups to watch. Why they selected a list of  19 is puzzling to me, but the choice of including Mendeley is right on!

Mendeley has just released version 1.0 and is officially out of beta! Mendeley is a handy reference manager that is both client and cloud based. As a reference manager, you can import articles directly from selected databases like PubMed, arXiv, or Google Scholar, from your hard drive, or web clippings via a browser plug-in. Similar to Endnote and Refworks, Mendeley also can index your personal research paper database, and create bibliographies for your papers. With over 1 million users, and over 100 million uploaded papers and the release of 1.0, Mendeley is a step closer to their dream of creating a social tool for academia.

The ability for readers to annotate uploaded articles, and to search through the combined database of all Mendeley users can yield nicely targeted search results. Using Mendeley, our open URL resolver can give you easy access to fulltext. Even if we do have licensed access to a particular article, you may be able to view references or a two page preview. Just don’t use the Mendeley user created database for all of your literature search needs. As an end user created and set of uploaded articles and citations, there are bound to be duplicates, errors or ommissions in some of the entries. And the entries are self-selected rather than exhaustive.

The Library provides you free access to the reference manager RefWorks. Library staff can offer you instruction on this and other reference managers including Endnote and Papers. There are many reference and citation managers available for your use. Mendeley 1.0 opens up a great alternative if you are wanting to explore to a dynamic and evolving research tool.

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