Potentially Interesting Software

Has anyone here used Mendeley? I'm not entirely clear on the use case: do I upload the papers I've written? Ones I'm reading? Ones I mean to get around to reading?

And how much of what I upload is browseable by others? If I put up all the papers in my bibliography before I publish the paper, is there any risk of finding someone who writes faster writes it since I've acted as their research assistant?

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7 Responses to Potentially Interesting Software

  1. eric says:

    Haven’t used it, but it looks similar to Zotero, which I have been using and find convenient for sharing source material.

  2. Hi Michael, glad you’re interested in Mendeley. Let me get to your questions one at a time:

    – Do I upload the papers I’ve written? One’s I’m reading? Ones I mean to get around to reading?
    Short answer: Yes, yes and Yes. You can use Mendeley to organize your library of research papers. Have Mendeley monitor a folder where you place PDFs and have them automatically organized and available within Mendeley Desktop. You can also add PDFs by simply dragging them into Mendeley if you like.

    Mendeley is composed of a desktop and web component. This means you can use it locally (and even offline if privacy is really an issue) to organize your papers or you can add documents to your library via Mendeley Web. Have your desktop sync with your web account with a simple click.

    how much of what I upload is browseable by others?
    Your library is only accessible to you via a login/password (or on your computer if you choose not to sync your library to Mendeley Web). There are options for sharing documents if you are inclined to do so. You can share actual papers with a restricted/selected group of other Mendeley users at your choice, which is great for collaborative work among researchers. You can also share collections of documents (not the actual PDFs, just the references) – this is great to list reading material for classes, or list your published work on your lab/personal page.

    We have more information about how Mendeley works here: http://www.mendeley.com/how-it-works/

    Let me know if you have any other questions. I’d be more than happy to help out. Catch me at twitter (@rvidal) or feel free to email us at support[at]mendeley[dot]com 🙂


  3. michael says:

    What puzzled me was that Mendeley seems to promote itself as linked to social software. That’s a new way for me to think of my research materials, and not a totally comfortable one.

  4. Michael, yes. There’s a social component based on the user’s data. When you sign up at Mendeley you fill out a profile and this allows you to specify some information that will then let you connect with other researchers of working in similar fields/areas of research. Your research papers are all kept private and you only share what you want.
    If your colleagues use Mendeley as well and you happen to be working on some topic together, you can share a select group of papers from your library with them to work collaboratively without having to constantly email docs back and forth.

    So yes, there’s a social aspect too. However, Mendeley is all about organizing and managing your research papers and references 🙂

  5. michael says:

    Thank you for the very prompt responses.

  6. Ranjan Kumar Goswami says:

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  7. John Flood says:

    I’m glad that Ricardo Vidal answered so quickly. I hadn’t heard of Mendeley until you mentioned it, and I rather like the look of it and its potential capabilities. I disagree with eric in that it isn’t quite the same as Zotero which I use. I think of Zotero as a clipping service. What intrigues me about Mendeley is its ability to extract information, especially bibliographies from PDFs (papers), thus allowing one to build a universally accessible bibliographic database. This is to be applauded.

    I tried using Cite U Like for a while but it hasn’t the scope of Mendeley. So I am giving it a try. I shall upload my papers and see what happens. I shall start grabbing other papers and feed those in also. It could be a nice complement to SSRN. If it works I shall be recommending it to colleagues over this side of the pond.

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