Note: As of 9th of April, 2013, Mendeley has confirmed that it was bought by Elsevier, a publisher giant with a bad history. Good for the founders (their work payed off financially), but until it becomes clear how Elsevier treats Mendeley in the long run, I do no longer recommend this solution.
A colleague of mine recommended Mendeley in a workgroup meeting. It is a very interesting system to organize academic articles and (optionally) share them with colleagues. You find more information at Mendeley – How it Works, but here’s an overview of the features (from the Mendeley Website):
- Create a personal bibliography database
- Annotate PDFs
- Generate Bibliographies in Word and OpenOffice
- Gather papers from Google Scholar, CiteseerX, ISI Web of Knowledge, ScienceDirect, and many more
- Sync from Zotero and CiteULike, import from EndNote and RefWorks
- Build a network of fellow researchers
- Collaborate, share and discover interesting articles
- Explore research trends and statistics
Now there have been a lot of different programs to organize scientific articles (e.g., EndNote, Reference Manager, Citavi, JabRef, see Links – Reference Management Tools) and “facebooks for scientists” (like Scholarz.net, academia.edu, etc.), but I think Mendeley has the potential to really establish itself in many scientific fields and domains for the following reasons:
- Automated import of PDFs
Everyone who has ever tried to maintain a reference database knows how tedious it is to write the correct citation information for a new paper. While the import is not perfect it identifies it at least partly correctly, given the user an immediate and free-of-charge benefit from using Mendeley. However, this function is not good enough for a mass import of .pdf’s …
- Professional Layout
Some “social networking sites” for scientists suffer from an unprofessional look and feel, Mendeley however looks well programmed and professional, making it easy to use.
- Offline Version
Who in their right mind would store all his important scientific articles, notes and thoughts online? Some services only offer an online solution, Mendeley however can also be used offline without any data online.
All in all, I think it’s a program and a site worth watching — whether they will gain the necessary critical mass will be seen, but it’s the best solution I have seen so far.
For more information …