Mendeley Tips from NAHSL 2012

January 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Continuing Education, NAHSL Annual Meeting 2012, Professional Development | 2 Comments

Thanks to a NAHSL Professional Development Award, I was able to attend our excellent fall conference and also co-taught a class with Alison Clapp on Mendeley, one of the “cool free tools” available to us on the Web. I thought I would take this opportunity to write about some of the main things that we learned in preparing for our class in the hopes that it will inspire you to explore Mendeley yourself!

Without further ado, here are the top 5 things I learned about Mendeley in 2012:

1. Mendeley can be used as a free citation/PDF manager:

The Mendeley software is comprised of two components: a cloud/web-based version and a desktop version (these are synced together). After you create an account and customize your profile on the web-based version of Mendeley, you are able to download the desktop component. References/PDF files and citations can be tagged, grouped and manipulated. Putting citations and PDF files into your Mendeley library is as easy as drag and drop. Watch your staff say “wow” as you demo this feature! Mendeley also includes Adobe editing tools so that you can highlight and takes notes on those PDF files. In addition to the price “advantage”, Mendeley can be accessed from any computer, anywhere.

2. Mendeley can be used with word processing software:

Using the Mendeley plug-in for Word, you can insert references and create bibliographies. Mendeley also provides a number of styles including those from the AMA and APA. With this capability, the software is useful for researchers, clinicians as well as librarians.

3. Similar to LinkedIn, you can use Mendeley as your professional Web “presence”:

Options include adding a picture and a detailed online C.V. You also can create groups for either public or private collaboration. You can follow groups which are already formed. Note: there is a private Mendeley for Librarians group which you might want to join.

4. Mendeley is a huge multi-disciplinary citation and document repository:

This is a searchable database of more than 330 million documents and more than 2 million registered users. Subjects include everything from arts and literature to medicine, and there is both a basic and an advanced search page.

5. Mendeley is a work in progress:

Mendeley has been described as the “intersection between Facebook, PubMed and EndNote”. Like most Web-based free products, there is constant change in the software which can mean that you should be prepared for a “glitch” or perhaps a delay in connectivity.

All things considered, however, it is definitely worth trying Mendeley either for personal use or for potential use by your staff.

Let me know what you think!

Nathan Norris, MLS, AHIP
Information Specialist
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, MA

P.S., Thanks to Alison Clapp for assistance with this post!

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2 Comments »

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  1. Thank you for this post, Nathan! I was sorry to miss the class at the Annual Meeting and happy to get this nice, concise recap here. I love Mendeley and know that it is quite popular with the researchers here at UMMS. One thing I didn’t see you mention (and that I was reminded of recently, by Tim Gunn, one of the founders of it) is that there is a subscription-based version for those who are leery of using free, online software. These can be purchased on an institution level, too.

    Thanks again!

    • You are welcome, Sally! Yes, there are options to purchase additional space, additional working groups and also an institutional version for Mendeley. The institutional version also provides an “overlay” of analytical tools! I failed to mention these in trying to keep it to the “top 5”!

      -NN


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