November 28, 2011

Thing 16: Explore social reference management site Mendeley

Gone are the days when researchers spent hours and hours scribbling down every reference on bits of paper and reference cards, and then trying to scramble these together for a bibliography. There are now a number of social reference management sites that do all the hard work for us, while making collaboration easier than ever before. Amongst them, Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks and Papers, are the most popular (there are also PC-based packages such as EndNote and Reference Manager). My favourite is Mendeley: quick to set up, accessible, easy to use, safe, and above all, the basic package is free (unlike EndNote, Reference Manager and RefWorks which are subscription based). It is Mendeley that I would therefore like us to explore, although the others are well worth a visit.

How Mendeley Can Help Your Research:

Importantly, just like Delicious, Mendeley encourages collaboration. With the feature ‘Groups’ you can share documents with you lab or students, or with the wider community of researchers in your field.

After you’ve created your profile using the step-by-step guide below, click on the Groups link at the top of the page. From this page, you will then be able to select "Create Your Own Group". On the Group Creation form you can set the name, description, tags, discipline area and privacy level of the Group. In the settings pane you can then add members. Your group can either be private or public. Crucially, public groups are accessible to anyone on the Mendeley, so you can use this as a way of raising your academic profile by creating interest around your field of research, adding your own publications to the group, and managing your Mendeley research profile—which can also be public or private as you choose.

One useful feature is the Mendeley Desktop which, amongst other things, has an automatic newsfeed on which any articles that are added by yourself or other group members— along with any comments, highlights or edits you, or anyone else in the group, adds to an article— are visible and automatically updated.

For Thing 16 we are asking you to register with and explore Mendeley using these step-by-step instructions.

Additional things

  • Papers is a social reference management site, often used by scientists

Further information

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