28 November, 2008

Mendeley - some suggestions

As I mentioned before, I signed up to Mendeley, here is a link to my profile. In this post I just want to mention some improvements, that (I believe) will make Mendeley even more useful than it is now:

1) As I wrote earlier, the metadata transfer for arXiv preprints doesn't work properly.

2) On the one hand, all of us are used to publish arXiv preprints prior to publications, but one should not mix preprints and peer-review journal articles in the CV. Therefore, it will be great if the "preprint" option will be added as an article type.

3) Also, one may want to distinguish "conference proceedings" from "conference abstracts" (which may be also presented as posters).

4) A useful thing might be to add a list of conferences, visited by scientist, with a type of contribution (invited talk/oral presentation/poster) as an option.

5) Looks like a little bug: when I type my location, the list of suggestions appears. But, If I ignore this list and type "Berlin, Germany" by myself (which is exactly the same thing as given in the list), the following message occurs: "Sorry, we don't have details for the location you have entered. Please select one from the drop down list."

6) If I see a green cross near "add entry", I immediately want to click it. But it doesn't work, one has to click "add entry" itself.

I hope these issues may be fixed...


Daniel Lemire said...

The site is still quite a bit rough.

My main beef is that they are not exploiting the social network very well. It is hard to connect, and when you do, it is hard to see what your network is, let alone manage it.

Lemeshko said...

Very true... Probably, the problem is that today only few people are using Mendeley - not so much opportunity to test how networking works.

Let's see what will be improved in final non-beta version, though.

Also it might be a good idea (for authors) to add some bookmarking/importing stuff: when I see an article in the web I press "add to Mendeley" button and it is imported to the online library, with all metadata.

Jan said...

Hi Misha and Daniel,

thanks for signing up and also thanks for taking the time to suggest further improvements... This helps us to adapt our development roadmap, and we already discussed some of your ideas. Here are some brief answers to your points:

1. Integrating external databases (such as arXiv) is a high priority on our list, and we will try to enable seamless transfer of metadata via a bookmarklet early next year. Development has already started, but was delayed due to priority changes... However, I was happy to read that the metadata extraction can deal with this issue for the time being (btw, we will further improve on the metadata extraction as well).

2.+3. In future versions, we will also add more document types. This would then allow you to differentiate between peer-reviewed journal articles and pre-prints or working papers, or conference proceedings and conference abstracts, as you mentioned, and many more.

4. Adding a list of conferences is a very good idea – we will for example make it possible for users to add conference talks and/or presentations to their CV, since these are indeed important contributions to the academic community. I filed your idea of a full list of conferences and attendances as a feature request in our tracking system.

5.+6. I filed these bugs into our bug tracking system.

Daniel, thanks for all the feature requests you filed in our tracking system! With regards to your comment about our “social network” – you are right that right now our social network doesn’t fully use its potential, but we are adding these social features step by step (e.g. a “friend finder”, updates about new publications of colleagues, etc.). The main reason here is that we had a complete database rewrite to make Mendeley faster and more stable (you can read more about this here http://www.mendeley.com/blog/2008/11/mendeley-desktop-the-about-dialogue-and-the-refactor/), but that will be completed with the next release coming in the next couple of days.

So please keep me posted with what you think about the next releases, and if you have any further ideas, don’t hesitate continue to suggest additional features. By this we can make Mendeley more and more useful for you!

Best wishes

Lemeshko said...

Thanks a lot for your reply, Jan! It will be great if we can help to improve Mendeley in some way...