There is nothing worse than going on a research database, finding the perfect article for a paper and realizing that you either have to pay for the article or the article cannot be found. Thanks to Jan Reichelt and Victor Henning, students no longer have to deal with that frustration. Jan and Victor are both the creators of Mendeley; software that now assists students and researchers in managing and sharing research papers easily and effectively.
Mendeley is a free research network that lets users manage their papers online, discover research trends and connect to like-minded researchers. This can and will save a lot of students’ time when researching for papers.
“Jan Reichelt and Victor Henning were both studying their PhD’s when they found managing hundreds of research papers required for their thesis was a laborious and time-consuming process,” Ben Romberg, the Public Relations chair for Mendeley said.
“Academic sources were difficult to access, and the software to properly do this was either not available or very expensive. The purpose of Mendeley is to create a last.fm for research.”
So how did two young graduate students come up with this brilliant idea?
Well, Mendeley was founded in November 2007. The very first beta version was later released in 2008.
“Initially, we went with personal investment money and seed funding, but in February 2009 Mendeley raised $2 million in early-stage funding from high-profile investors, including former founders and executives from Last.fm, Skype and Warner Music Group,” Romberg said.
Along with Skype, Last.fm, and the Warner Music Group, Mendeley is supported by the European Commission. The office where the program is run is located in London, England by a team of 20 people.
How big is the success of Mendeley? About 100,000 researchers, professors, and students have downloaded the software and downloaded about 7.5 million documents. Harvard University, Cambridge University, MIT and Stanford are among the many colleges that have made use of Mendeley.
So why use Mendeley?
Entering citations by hand and writing a bibliography can be the most annoying part of writing a paper for class. Mendeley can do this for you by managing all your sources and citations, from research papers to books and it is all for free.
“At the click of a button you can import sources from Amazon, Google Scholar and hundreds of other sites. Mendeley allows you to build your bibliography easily with over a thousand possible citation styles to choose from in multiple different document formats,” Romberg said.
Mendeley has a secure on-line database for students to upload and save their research papers which is safe and easy. This allows students, professors, and researchers to share, tag, review, and recommend documents to friends and colleagues.
“Just as sites like Last.fm lead to the discovery of new music and the creation of social networks around specific musical “scrobbling,” Mendeley is making it easier to find top authors and create virtual research networks by ‘scrobbling’ research paper collections,” Romberg said.
Mendeley has a database with more than 7.5 million documents which usually doubles in size about every few weeks. Mendeley is bound to become one of the biggest research databases in the world. For more information about Mendeley, visit their website at http://www.mendeley.com.
Angela Thomas is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.