Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mendeley

I have been doing a bit of a comparison between Mendeley and Papers recently because I haven't used Endnote for a while, actually since my last post on Reference managers. People suggected Zotero and EndnoteWeb to me, but I didn't like either of them.

I must say, I really love Mendeley as a social tool. It is great to be able to share pdfs with collaborators and to be able to access my references as easily at home and at work, especially since I have a PC at home and a mac at work.
Creating collections with all the associated metadata for publications is great. I haven't yet used the word plugin, so I will let you know shortly what I think of that. The down side with Mendeley is that you only have 500Mb of space online at the moment.

Papers is cool too, especially the fact that you don't need to open up a pdf reader as a separate program, you can do Google Scholar, ISI, Pubmed etc searches within Papers and automatically download pdfs if your instituion has access. You can highlight words in the pdf and do searches on those or highlight the doi and get all the associated metadata. Unfortunately, it only works and macs and doesn't have all the social networking aspect that Mendeley has.

8 comments:

victor.henning said...

Hi Joseph,

I'm one of the co-founders of Mendeley - thanks for the great mini-review! Let me add a bit of information you might be interested in:

- We'll also integrate an internal PDF reader with annotation functionality, scheduled for early April.

- PubMed metadata look-up for imported PDFs will be performed automatically from the next release onwards, scheduled for early March.

- We'll release a bookmarklet shortly which lets you capture metadata into your Mendeley account, just like the one from Connotea; and we've also just annnounced a
cooperation with CiteULike
(which is similar to Connotea, but used more widely).

- We'll add approximately 70 citation styles in the next release, which will then also be available in the Word plugin for creating bibliographies. We're also working on an Open Office plugin and better LaTeX integration.

- There will be the option to increase your account space later on, although it will be a part of the premium version (but everything that is free will always stay free).

If you have any questions, let me know!

Cheers from London,
Victor

Bruce said...

@victor: "We'll add approximately 70 citation styles in the next release, which will then also be available in the Word plugin for creating bibliographies."

Of course, since you're using the open CSL language (also used by other projects like Zotero), it's a little misleading to say you're "add[ing] 70 citation styles in the next release," when it's likely all you're really doing is copying over those 70 styles from zotero's style repository.

If, on the other hand, you allow users to add those styles themselves ("add style" --> "enter style URL" ---> "OK"), they'd have access to over a thousand styles, and it would be clear that any new styles Mendeley users might choose to develop would also be available for use in Zotero and other applications (assuming you make them available of course).

victor.henning said...

Hi Bruce,

apologies if I was unclear. Yes, we'll be adding citation styles from the Zotero CSL repository. Users can also manually add other styles by copying them into the Mendeley styles folder.

We're hoping to come up with a WYSIWYG CSL style generator, and user-created styles will be made public and will therefore also available for use in Zotero and other apps using CSL.

Best wishes,
Victor

Bruce said...

Sounds good victor!

BTW, I just submitted a ticket to zotero and posted the suggestion to the xbib dev list that CSL implementations consider storing CSL files in a common location (say '~/csl/styles') so that applications can also share them. As a user, for example, I actually use more than one CSL application.

tuxcomp said...

When you have lots of PDFs, you are better off with labmeeting.com which is a better PDF repository and social networking tool than Mendeley. Labmeeting has unlimited storage (I have uploaded over 700 PDFs), and there is no "premium version". Papers are viewed with the Scribd engine which is very fast. Tagging and full text searching is easier and more efficient for me.

Brand said...

I have around 3500 PDf's and found Mendeley so buggy that it is almost unusable. The import times are staggering, it must have taken 4 days of repeated attempts to import my pdf's into MDLY and as the program continually crashes i need to continually reset the the watch folders which then proceed to import and index my files all over again which takes over 4 hours. I compare this prog to something like cathy which can scan my entire library in about 30 sec (searching for file names only though). I have categorised my library into named folders and tied to create identifiable file names so i can better search and identify relevant texts but this is very much a WIP. I was hoping that MDL would help in cataloging my data but it's been a pain in the ass, i'm hoping it will improve which is why i persist as it's nearest competitor (for my needs) SCAN doesn't seem to work and Google desktop sort of get's right but thank my own org skills that i categorised my library into folders and don't use MDL just yet to access my data.

Brand said...

I have around 3500 PDf's and found Mendeley so buggy that it is almost unusable. The import times are staggering, it must have taken 4 days of repeated attempts to import my pdf's into MDLY and as the program continually crashes i need to continually reset the the watch folders which then proceed to import and index my files all over again which takes over 4 hours. I compare this prog to something like cathy which can scan my entire library in about 30 sec (searching for file names only though). I have categorised my library into named folders and tied to create identifiable file names so i can better search and identify relevant texts but this is very much a WIP. I was hoping that MDL would help in cataloging my data but it's been a pain in the ass, i'm hoping it will improve which is why i persist as it's nearest competitor (for my needs) SCAN doesn't seem to work and Google desktop sort of get's right but thank my own org skills that i categorised my library into folders and don't use MDL just yet to access my data.

SciPlore said...

Hello,

if you like mendeley, our software "sciplore mindmapping" might be interesting for you, too. sciplore mindmapping is a mind mapping application that allows you to integrate your pdfs and references with mind maps. the big advantage of this approach is that you do not have only a list of your PDFs but a mind map in which you can add additional information and arrange PDFs more flexible. And in case you really like Mendeley, you can even use Mendeley in addition to SciPlore MindMapping.

For a short demonstration of sciplore mindmapping see
http://www.youtube.com/v/jRHqLktIMWw&hl=en_GB&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1

To try the software (open source, Java): http://www.sciplore.org/software/sciplore_mindmapping/

and to read about how to write a phd thesis (or academic papers in general) with sciplore mindmapping see http://sciplore.org/blog/2010/03/02/how-to-write-a-phd-thesis/

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