So far this week, we’ve looked at online authoring tools. Let’s turn to managing references with a tour of Mendeley, a unique reference management system that includes a discovery and social networking dimension.
Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network. Like all reference managers, Mendeley allows you to easily save, organize, and share the references you come across in your research, and then to cite them in your papers, formatting your reference list in one of many different styles.
Capturing citations is easy, with a browser bookmarklet that quickly saves document information and (if available) the associated full-text documents from an article database or from a publisher’s site.
Mendeley has two modes of use – the desktop client interface that offers an easy way to view, organize, and annotate references, including an excellent, smoothly integrated pdf reader; and the web version; the two versions can be synced across multiple devices so you always have access to your library of references.
Mendeley Web is where the really intriguing aspects of cloud-based, socially networked research come into play. Mendeley allows you to interact with researchers based on shared interests; connect with other Mendeley users who share your research interests and ‘follow’ their Mendeley feed (papers they’ve added, updates to their Mendeley profile, etc.)
- Get personalized article suggestions from the Mendeley ‘catalog’ of references based on your Mendeley activity.
- Create groups to share resources with others; groups can be closed or open, allowing you to collaborate on projects, join existing groups on topics of interest, or host open groups to discover new research and make connections with others who share your research interests.
- Start discussion topics and follow feeds of recent activity in groups of interest
Mendeley Web has a ‘Suggest’ tab that recommends articles based on those in your library, based on your profile and what’s trending in your discipline, based on what you read last, – an intriguing recommender feature.
Of course you can use your regular search systems and preferred article databases, but you might be interested in searching through the Mendeley catalog of papers as well. Article records in Mendeley also provide social media tools and readership stats (how many Mendeley readers have read an article and other info).