updated 09:45 pm EDT, Thu July 28, 2011
Research network and library coordination app
Mendeley, a collaborative social network for researchers combined with a cloud-based document management and storage application, has hit several milestones lately: over 1 million individual users, over 100 million research papers in its database, and the release of Mendeley Desktop 1.0 for all three major platforms. The app works as a PDF document management tool and offers levels of public and private collaborative sharing.
The company offers both desktop and mobile versions of the software, which acts as both a library of publicly-shared research as well as a system to view, manage, annotate and publish a user's own papers. The app can provide personalized recommendations for reading based on the items in the user's own "library," and can set up private groups for teams of collaborators to share notes and annotations. When papers are added to it, it automatically extracts relevant information such as title, authors, keywords and other metadata for easy filing, and supports manual adding of tags or filing into categories and groups.
The system, a first for the normally-cloistered academic and scientific research community, has expanded the ability of researchers to compare and be aware of similar efforts in their field of study, as well as making it easier for colleagues to contact each other -- to say nothing of the benefits of more sharing and transparency among researchers and institutions. Authors can track their own papers and gather trends and statistics on its usage, as well as join online research groups.
Without the social and sharing components, the program can act as a standalone reference manager and bibliography generator for papers written in Word or OpenOffice formats. The new 1.0 final release adds duplicate detection, nested folders and an updated Word plug-in that stores a mini-library of frequently-cited papers inside Word and OpenOffice documents. The program also supports Zotero and CiteULike libraries, and can import and export BibTeX, EndNote and RIS formats.
The basic package for Mendeley is free of charge, and includes 1GB of storage space for online papers. A premium edition with more storage space and features ranges from $5-$10 per month.