Mendeley Research Tool Like iTunes Genius

Mendeley is a research database tool that helps you find research that you like, or would work well with the research you have already done. It's like the iTunes Genius feature, which looks at your music and organizes it, and then suggests new tunes that you would probably like.

So how does Mendeley work?

At the basic level, students can "drag and drop" research papers into the site at mendeley.com, which automatically extracts data, keywords, cited references, etc, thereby creating a searchable database and saving countless hours of work.

That in itself is great, but now the Last.fm bit kicks in, enabling users to collaborate with researchers around the world, whose existence they might not know about until Mendeley's algorithms find, say, that they are the most-read person in Japan in their niche specialism.

You can recommend other people's papers and see how many people are reading yours, which you can't do in Nature and Science. Mendeley says that instead of waiting for papers to be published after a lengthy procedure of acquiring citations, they could move to a regime of "real-time" citations, thereby greatly reducing the time taken for research to be applied in the real world and actually boost economic growth.

If Mendelay could bring real-time social networking and interaction to the pursuit of scientific truth, it could be the biggest thing since the Royal Society was founded in 1660.

Fans of Star Trek: Voyager may be reminded of the Hierarchy, a galaxy-wide species that kept meticulously detailed information about every ship and every species. To maximize efficiency, the Hierarchy database was always consulted prior to any raids using a special communication system. This database could be consulted by any Hierarchy member.


(Phlox of the Hierarchy)

From The Guardian or listen to an interview conducted with Mendeley founders at the Mendeley.com site; thanks to Moira for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/20/2009)

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