ScienceDirect – Import to Mendeley

I attended a workshop on optimizing the use of ScienceDirect some times ago because our university has subscribed to many journals from ScienceDirect. Being a teaching oriented institution for so many years, moving toward research oriented will take some times, especially for us, the academics who have heavy teaching loads each semester. During the workshop, I was very impressed with the ScienceDirect website which has a great deal of useful functions that I may not have encountered them myself such as the advanced search function and how to find out if we have full access to certain articles and journals. I might have forgotten some of the things I learned that day but today what I want to share is the awesome function to import article to Mendeley from ScienceDirect and some useful functions we can find on the web version while previewing the article.

Here is one of the recent article that I found from a potential supervisor that I wish to explore PhD opportunity with (that will be another story for another post). I’m amazed with the just one-click of a button to import that article to Mendeley.

Once I click Save to Mendeley and log-in to my account, all the work will be done for me. It’s really very easy.

What I like about ScienceDirect when viewing the article on the web version is the additional useful information available to us when perusing the article.

Article outline section on the left is very useful to see in a glance what the paper is about. A click on Show full outline will give us more details and one click on the sub topic will bring us to the section of the article.

I also like this Figures and Tables feature, just below the article outline, that list all the tables and figures from the article. One click on the figure will bring us to the page and there is a function of Figure options available on the figure itself. We can choose to download full-size image or PowerPoint slide. Simply awesome features!  On the right side, there are some recommended articles related to the article at preview, which I found to be very useful to find out similar papers for reading.

There may be more great functions within ScienceDirect that I do not know yet but all in all, I’m very happy with what I use so far.

Are you user of ScienceDirect? Share with me other great features if you know more. Thanks!


A preview to Mendeley on Android

I guess this post is long overdue. Mendeley for Android has been out since mid of June yet I hope I’m not too late to make another shout out to all who have been waiting for this release. I was one of those who had been waiting for this release and I’m so honored to be invited to join the beta testing, though sadly I couldn’t say I contributed anything to it, but I got to know through group communications that many beta testers were really dedicated testing the app and recommended improvements. However, the latest version app that being released is truly the great work of the Mendeley’s developers and the product manager, Steve Dennis (who is so kind to invite me for the beta testing).

So for those who just got your hands on this new release or going to get it, let me give you a short preview what is so cool about this version.

The installation process from Google Play Store takes you less than a few minutes and if you are iOS user just like me, you will find the icon looks as familiar.

Once you open Mendeley for the first time on your device, it will sync all your folders and files’ information though it will not automatically download all your files to your device.

I’m currently on to reading about Outcome Based Education (OBE) as this is an important aspect for all academics in my uni to learn as we prepare our syllabus and lessons. After I clicked on download the article, I can now read my article on my device.

Just like the iOS version, you can highlight on the article, add notes, and copy text (the functions are on the top right of the screen).

You can also edit the details (metadata) of the article. What I haven’t really tried before is on the right-hand corner of the article’s details view, where we can now share the article using other apps available on your device or email the pdf to someone. I think these features are simply so cool.

All in all, I’m pretty comfortable with my Mendeley on Android as the learning curve between this version and the iOS version is rather low. The best thing of all is I can now read, annotate, and highlight on all my devices: Sony Xperia phone, iPad and desktop. No more excuse for not reading some articles for literature review. Hehe!

Mendeley for Android in June

I have to admit that I haven’t been active lately in using Mendeley. It has been my saviour for my Master’s dissertation but since I finished it, Mendeley has taken a back seat in my life. However, I have not forgotten about Mendeley at all. I have been following its news closely and when I read about this latest news, I seriously need to make a shout out.

I have been using Mendeley on my iPad mini and I had used it on my iPhone too for years. Mendeley for IOS and Desktop are such great applications. However, ever since my iPhone is dead and I have switched to Sony Xperia which is running on Android, I have been secretly wishing for Mendeley for Android. My wish is coming true real soon. This year June. I can’t wait to try it.

Whoa! Just check out the note and highlighting functions. Very cool!

Check out the latest Mendeley news here.

[Photo from Mendeley Blog]

The New Mendeley iOS

I couldn’t be happier to share this wonderful news. Mendeley has finally announced the new and much improved version of Mendeley for iOS (iPad and iPhone). When I read about Mendeley’s announcement, I was so excited that I didn’t even finish reading the whole post about their new features, but I went straight to Apple store to update the latest version of Mendeley on my iPad mini.

As one of the many Mendeley Advisors, I always try to update and share more about the new features about Mendeley software. I have just started exploring the Mendeley for iOS on iPad and I already love it so much because Mendeley developers really took most of our suggestions and finally build the apps as what we have wanted.  Here are some of the best features I have always wanted and now I can do them all on my iPad too.

One of the best features of this new version is we can now edit notes and add tags on the article while reading it on iOS.

Just press on Add Tag…

You can choose from the list of all your available tags or just add in new one.

If you want to add notes, just press on the Notes section and press Edit.

Just start typing your notes…

If you love the annotations and highlight functions in Mendeley Desktop, now you can do the same on iOS version too.

Just press longer on the article and you can select the sentences you want to highlight.

Adding annotations on the article is now made easy.

Just like how we like it on Mendeley Desktop and now we can have them all on iOS.

Are you as excited about this as I do? Have you tried this new version for iOS yet? If you haven’t, please get it now and try it. If you love Mendeley Desktop, I can assure you that you will love this iOS version too.

Oh, another latest news is Mendeley Desktop 1.10 is already out. Do update your Mendeley Desktop now to get more updated functions.

Have a good research day!

Mendeley Tip: Backup local database

I have recently installed and tested the Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview. Before I installed this version, there’s an instruction asking me to backup my local database, just in case I guess. I have always known there’s a function for backup and restore but I had never tried it before. I could say I believe so much in Mendeley to keep my article collections safe (forever!). However, as I have spent over a year to manage and organize my existing library, I really don’t wish to regret later for not having any backup.

So here are some simple guide on how to backup your local database to another safe location.

*Click on each image for larger view*

Go to Menu bar, Help and select Create Backup.

It will prompt you to select a location to save your backup in the .zip format file.

Select where you want to save your backup and I recommend you to save the file with a date indication so that you can have multiple backups with proper dates. After you click Save, it will prompt you again to notify you where the file is and it has been backup successfully. The process took less than a minute for me, maybe because my database is not that big yet. I have saved my database to Dropbox so I’m very sure I have more than one copy and it’s safe.

Having a backup but not knowing how to restore with it is quite useless. So here’s another simple guide on how to restore your database.

Similarly with Create Backup, just click Restore Backup. It actually shows you a few recent automatic backup states whenever you add new documents. If you want to restore the whole database, just click Other.

It will prompt you to select your database location, select the file and click Open. It will restore your database and you are ready to go.

I really love how simple and easy Mendeley Desktop helps its users in creating backup and restoring it. Fortunately, I believe Mendeley Desktop has grown to be very stable and a restore is really not necessary, though a backup is good to have.

Can’t wait for the Mendeley Desktop 1.7 to be finalized. It has some very cool interface and features. More about them later.

Mendeley Newsfeed Chrome Extension

If you are both Google Chrome and Mendeley user, I bet you’d love this Mendeley Newsfeed Chrome Extension. It’s not the official extension from Mendeley but it’s really useful if you are always on to your newsfeed in Mendeley dashboard. Just log-in once to Mendeley , the extension will show any new update on the newsfeed on your Google Chrome.

Indication of new updates in the newsfeed.

Just click on the Extension and the list of newsfeed will appear showing the new updates in the boxes. Once they are read, the boxes will disappear. Click on Go to Mendeley dashboard and it will bring you to the Mendeley Web without the need to log-in again.

Being the Mendeley Advisor, I’ve been recommended to this extension and I’ve used it for a few months. I feel it’s time to share it to more Mendeley users. Hope you find it useful too.

Mendeley Tip: Notes and Annotations

One of the best features I love about Mendeley is the notes and annotations. As a supporter for paper-less research, I don’t print out journal articles for reading since I started the dissertation journey or rather since I found Mendeley. Thanks to Mendeley, my paper-less journey has been such a bliss. So, if I have to read on screen, how am I going to take notes or make comments on the articles? Of course, sometimes I still use paper to write notes but that’s very rare occasion now.

Mendeley Desktop has this cool feature where I can just write notes while reading the article. Just click on the Notes tab on the right side (with the article opened), it will appear side by side with the article. I found that to be a very useful function to my literature review process. I like to write notes about the important ideas that I’ve found in the article while I read it.

I segment my notes into sub-headings that will go into my synthesis matrix later. I can even format my notes for easier reading. I know some people like to highlight on the papers while reading. You can also do so on Mendeley Desktop. Just select Highlight Text or Highlight Rectangle. However, highlight alone won’t be very useful if I couldn’t  mark or ‘post-it’ the page where I highlighted. Here’s when annotations are useful.

Just click Add Note and a ‘post-it’ will appear where the description can be added. The notes will also appear under Annotations where you can easily see on which page some important highlights or notes have been left. Click on the Pages/Notes under Annotations and it will bring you directly to the page itself. This is most useful if you have long articles or books to read and you want to make it easy to refer back to important pages without flipping page by page.

If you are new to Mendeley or didn’t use these features before, I hope you can try them today and see if these features help you better in your literature review process. If you have better suggestions on using Mendeley in your research, I’d love to hear them. Until the next tip, happy research! 🙂