A long time ago, on Freiheitsfreund I wrote a summary of the programs and services available to manage scientific publications, papers, books. („Wissenschaftliche Artikel verwalten“ – in German where I also linked to a social bookmarking review). That time I started using citeulike.org, of course knowing about EndNote, JabRef, Connotea etc. It’s time for an update and some words about a program, called Mendeley. You remember me complianing about the unavailability of a great, iTunes like paper organizer for Macs (only), called Mekentosj Papers?
Mendeley is a, partly social networking, but mainly a very very sophisticated local cross-platform-program for a number of different os’s incuding Windows, Linux, Mac. Maybe it will become a killer-application for Mekentosj Papers as it has the same functionality: Mendeley sorts and organizes your Papers, books or whatever files and PDFs in a personalized manner, renames them and keeps them (like iTunes with your mp3’s again). It gives you an overview, indexes the files and offers filters, a tree system and tagging. It even tries (seems to be their like-to-be-unique selling position) to offer automatic extraction of all paper metadata from pdfs that are already on your disk! Which would be great but up to now fails in most cases even partly. Therefore it still is easer to do a „manual“ import, pasting only the doi and clicking on „lookup“ which then reveals all metadata automatically. I started with Mendeley a month ago and I must say, I started liking it.
Mendeley has an integrated online community and system, which must be mentioned not to be as mature and professional as Citeulike. And they seem to realize that a competition in the market of these social networking academic online applications is not really to win any more, saturated market maybe. Especially Citeulike, which is sponsored by Springer for a while now, turns great attention on the quick and full integration As I am now already using citeulike for a while, partly together with colleagues, I really tensely waited for the fulfillment of a promise on the Mendeley weblog: A cooperation and integration of citeulike.org into Mendeley. Some days ago then I got a twitter answer to my impatient inquiry from Victor, a Mendeleyan, that the integration is finished. Great, I thought and followed the instructions, I’ve set up my „My account“ option „CiteULike importer“, activated popups, allowed the exchange on the opening citeulike website and there I was. Now I have an extra option on the Mendeley website to sync my Mendeley with my citeulike account. Nice. Altough I’d like to warn you: It creates a lot of duplicate entries… Unfortunately.
Also an important question: The infamous and widespread Java BiBTeX-management software Jabref (I used for my diploma thesis), which can also link to, but not organize, offline papers, has the great advantage to be fully based on BibTeX. As fas as I see it now, Mendeley in the beginning had some problems with BibTeX export and import. They seem to treat this with some priority and it already got better. So don’t resign on that point.
Other reviews or comments on Mendeley at: