January 17, 2012

My experience with Mendeley – by Salma

Writing about web page http://reference.eventbrite.co.uk/


Mendeley

Exactly a year ago I gave up on EndNote after attempting to use it for a week. It was dull (the interface made me fall asleep), frustrating and confusing. It was then I decided to look into other Reference Management Software (RMS) and came across Zoteroand Mendeley. Mendeley came highly recommended by A Hariri (a fellow blogger at Warwick). After a conversation with him on his blog, I decided to give a shot and I fell in love with it (and it hasn't let me down as yet). It is pleasant on the eye, easy to navigate and works on portable mobile devices too (such as the iPhone). It also places pdfs into a directory that are easily searchable and editable, allows one to add sticky notes to pdf files, papers are kept in the cloud so you can access papers and download to multiple platforms, allows importing from other reference managers, and facilitates collaboration within research groups too. In a nutshell EndNote is a reference management software, but Mendeley goes far beyond that and has many additional features that EndNote simply doesn't have.

Mendeley

During the past few months I've been asking PhD students and academics at Warwick which RMS they use. When many told me they don't use EndNote, in fact they don't use anything (they manually write up the references by typing them up!), I was shocked to say the very least.

Do you use a Reference Management Software (like EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero etc)? If so, which one and why?

If you are frustrated with EndNote or are looking for a fresh way to organise your journal articles and reference with a click of a button, you are more than welcome to come along to the Mendeley Workshop I am running in the Library on the 16th of Feb. Just register here: http://reference.eventbrite.co.uk/


- 8 comments by 5 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. I tried EndNote for keeping the record of references,but after seeing your workshop announcement,I installed Mendeley immediately and find it better than EndNote.I really appreciate to your ideas that makes us more informed.I am also looking forward to learning more about it from you in February!

    17 Jan 2012, 17:42

  2. Nik

    I’m biased because I work on the team, but Qiqqa (http://www.qiqqa.com) is another tool in the PDF/reference management area you might want to check out. Free.

    All the best.

    17 Jan 2012, 18:20

  3. Salma Patel

    Ceren,

    I’m glad it is proving useful. If you have any questions before the workshop, just give me a shout. I look forward to meeting you there! :)

    Nik,
    I forgot to mention Qiqqa and it certainly looks very promising. What does Qiqqa have that Mendeley doesn’t? I.e what would motivate me to move to Qiqqa?

    17 Jan 2012, 18:52

  4. ailsa

    if i wasnt so close to ending my phd I’d be giving mendeley a try. Its top of my list for software to check out postphd. (Ive been using/used by endnote for 7 years)

    17 Jan 2012, 19:02

  5. Claire Trevien

    I’ve used Zotero for one chapter but I found it tricky now that I’ve changed computers and rather unwieldy… I gave Mendeley a brief try, can’t remember what put me off it now, shall have to give it another go….

    19 Jan 2012, 15:10

  6. Barbara Ottmann

    I tried Citavi (Endnote in… which colour was it?) a few years ago, but didn’t find it very useful, essentially very time-consuming and inconvenient to feed and keep up to date. Instead I thought up my own system based on Windows folders, which I can easily use on all the different desktop laptops at home, computers at uni or internet-free netbooks in the library (Take this, procrastination!) via USB sticks (and later also Dropbox & Co). It has served me well through two Master’s dissertations, but I wonder if the PhD project eventually will become so enormously big that the folder inconspicuously titled “PhD” becomes quite simply too big too handle.
    Yes, I admit it, it does worry me slightly when more advanced PhDs say “I don’t know how you can survive this way?,” so yes, I have just downloaded Mendeley. It does look very nice indeed, but because my system is partly based on an offline connection, I wonder how easy it is to sync my different work stations with it? Can you simply put a Mendeley file on your USB? Can you use it for more than one research project at the same time? I assume you can, but I guess I still find it a bit hard to find my way around… sounds like it’s high time for one of them workshops… ;-)

    28 Jan 2012, 11:10

  7. Yen-ning Pang

    I use Mendeley too and I absolutely love it. I was using Endnote before because everyone was talking about it and because I had not known of any other RMS myself. I agree with you about the Endnote interface – a tad dull, and I didn’t look forward to opening it up and well, it made starting work for the day even harder (excuses, excuses!). For me, the Mendeley interface is not only visually more appealing, it is also very well-organised, allowing many details about each individual article to be presented on one screen. I also like the sticky notes and highlighting features. No complaints so far. :)

    31 Jan 2012, 22:47

  8. Salma Patel

    Yen-Ning Pang & Barbara,
    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Barbara & Alisa,
    Thanks also for sharing your experience. Feel free to come along to the workshop where I shall answer any questions you have. There are only 5 spaces left. Register here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/2641477731

    Claire,
    Zotero is excellent too, and I use it to capture online news articles, which then syncs with my Mendeley.

    06 Feb 2012, 17:28


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