Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Discoveries at #sfaddis: MENDELEY!!!

Something that most of us here at the Agknowledge Share Fair, Addis, in Addis would not want to discuss, is the process of writing our research papers. But this morning at the Training and Learning Session on Academic social networking using Mendeley, I just realized how easy life can be when I have all my networks and technologies to assist me. Right from setting up a Mendeley account, populating my profile, sharing, creating groups, uploading and privately collaborating on documents, every bit of it was interesting to all of us.

Mendeley is an open source reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. Interestingly, unlike most social networking tools, Mendeley has a desktop application that you can work on while offline and sync with the web application while online.One more thing that made me actually sign up and create an account, it’s the fact that you can gain cloud access and greater visibility based on your research documents posted on the portal. Since I am just beginner in writing research papers, I believe this will be a good way to create a community of researchers, share my work, collaborate and contribute to the Mendeley statistics of research work. Similar to LinkedIn, I am now populating my profile to include my CV that means it’s much easier for me to reach my potential employers and partners in my work!

Organizations such as IFPRI are already using Mendeley with its entire staff not only for collaborating and sharing their research work, but also to create groups and communities of interest in key issues of interest.

You ask of importing and yes it’s possible, through the Google and Wikipedia tools. Documents can easily be uploaded on the desktop application by simply dragging them from your folders to the application. As well, you can create a watch folder, any time you save a document here; it automatically goes to the Mendely account.

However, there are a few issues to note, just like in any other social networks: intellectual property rights are key in this social network, and be very careful that your citation and referencing is correct. You can only have groups of up to 10 persons; beyond this, you need to pay a fee to Mendeley. You can only access documents on Mendeley if you have an account and friends.

ICT KM and most of the CGIAR centers have been using Mendeley, you need to read more about their experience.

Better get signed up, upload your papers and invite friends to collaborate and share their work as well. That’s why we are at the Share Fair!!!

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