Created in 2007, Mendeley is a web/desktop/mobile tool used to manage the research process, including organizing, citing and collaborating. It builds on and combines traditional reference management tools such as Refworks or Endnote with academic social networking tools such as Linkedin or academia.edu to create a super category of productivity tools that is more in sync with today’s networked and collaborative research environment.
CU librarians have been involved with teaching and working with our users to implement Mendeley all over campus. As Mendeley reveals more features and becomes more embedded in people's lives, the Libraries and OIT decided to review our current service provision to help make future decisions about Mendeley and CU.
With almost 2 million users, and 265 million cataloged documents, Mendeley is one of the fastest growing citation managers. Specific strengths include:
• Ability to sync across web/desktop/mobile (iOS only) and work offline
• PDF annotation
• Free account for up to 1GB usage
• Citation social networking- get recommendations for related articles etc through Mendeley Web (no account needed)
• Ability to create a public presence/measure reading statistics
• LaTeX citation integration (Engineering standards, which is not possible in Zotero)
• Open Source API
• Integration with academic databases is not seamless (the web importer often takes “snapshots” of article pages, rather than importing citation or folder information).
• It does not work well with book citation (ie with Chinook, Worldcat etc)
• Storage limits (1GB for free account)
• Zotero: While Zotero used to be limited to Firefox browsers, a new standalone version means that Zotero is a serious rival to Mendeley. Citation of books and webpages is far superior, and the note taking feature is also more sophisticated. Some find the browser integration frustrating, and the inability to work offline is also a downside. No storage limits.
• Refworks: Excellent integration with academic databases, but not so good with webpages. No PDF storage. Web and Mobile only. Free access for CU students (no storage limits)
• Endnote: Expensive but well used. Works well with book citation (search library catalog within program)
It is currently hard to see how many CU researchers have signed up for an account, but members come from a wide range of disciplines, including Psychology, Environmental Studies, Education, Biological Sciences, Engineering and the Libraries. Users seem to be predominantly graduate students, research assistants and post-doctoral students. It is used by institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh, Stanford, and Harvard. According to SWETS representatives as of March of 2012 there were 2,200 CU users.
The Libraries has run three training sessions on Mendeley, taught by Raymond Johnson (Education) and Alison Hicks (Libraries). Participation has been consistently high. The Libraries also has a help page designed to point students to comparisons of citation managers (http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/how/citationstyle.htm) and provide details of accessing CU library holdings through Mendeley Web. Recognizing Mendeley’s prominent role in the current debate on metrics and impact, another libraries’ help page explains how researchers can use Mendeley to establish a web presence and measure altmetrics impact. (http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/how/impact.htm)
Local Mendeley advisors include:
Daniel Hickstein (Chemistry) : http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/daniel-hickstein/
Raymond Johnson (Education): http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/raymond-johnson/
Tibault Reveyrand (Engineering): http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/tibault-reveyrand/
Julien Allaz (Earth Science): http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/julien-allaz/
Currently the libraries supports 4 citation manager systems, Refworks, Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero. The Refworks subscription is paid through the libraries, and 2,088 user accounts accessed Refworks within the past year (1,267 in the last 6 months, and 11,157 that have ever accessed Refworks) Training has been held for all citation manager systems.
The Libraries is also investigating Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE), which gives analytics and metrics on how content is being used at CU. It will also enable us to make library holdings more accessible through Mendeley. The subscription based MIE would give all users an upgraded account (more storage).
Alison Hicks (with thanks to Caroline Sinkinson and Gabby Wiersma)