Elsevier welcomes Mendeley
Elsevier’s acquisition of an innovative research management and social collaboration tool will enable the platform to further expand, giving researchers access to more content
By Olivier Dumon Posted on 8 April 2013
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Welcoming Mendeley's founders: Olivier Dumon, Managing Director of Academic and Government Markets for Elsevier (holding Lego sign), welcomes Mendeley founders (left to right) Paul Föckler, PhD, Victor Henning, PhD, and Jan Reichelt, PhD.[/caption]
Mendeley is a company that has made a big name for itself with an innovative platform that helps researchers organize their work, discover the latest research and collaborate. As Managing Director of Academic and Government Markets for Elsevier, Olivier Dumon writes about how Elsevier started collaborating with this London-based company, and why joining forces will help both companies serve the research community better.
[note color="#f1f9fc" position="right" width=400 margin=10 align="alignright"] [caption id="attachment_14714" align="alignright" width="121"] Olivier Dumon[/caption]
Olivier Dumon is Managing Director of Academic and Government Markets for Elsevier. Before joining Elsevier in February 2012, he served as VP of Product Management for AT&T Interactive and Senior Director of Search for eBay. Previously, he worked for eBay in France and co-founded an online collaboration start-up that he sold to a B2B publisher. He was born in Paris and first came to the United States to attend Harvard Business School, where he completed an MBA in 1998.[/note]
When I joined Elsevier one year ago, the challenge handed to me was, how do we continually make our flagship products — ScienceDirect and Scopus — more useful and relevant to our users? In other words, how do we make their lives easier using Elsevier’s rich content and tools?
ScienceDirect has always been a great platform for researchers to search and retrieve content, but there are also great opportunities in creating new environments for sharing that content — and in learning what happens to articles after they’re downloaded.
A few people on my senior team quickly introduced me to a start-up they had first met in New York in late 2008, then again at the 2009 NextWeb conference in Amsterdam. Two of our colleagues had approached the co-founders, Victor Henning and Jan Reichelt, after a presentation they made. What came from that conversation was an immediate sense that we shared common goals; they, too, were working to improve the lives of researchers, only on a new platform based on what happens to the article after it is downloaded.
Information about what articles are read by what kinds of researchers, and how people then collaborate with each other to produce original research, is potentially very powerful. Think in terms of improved readership statistics for individual research papers, papers shared between researchers with similar interests, and generated recommendations based on collaborative filtering.
Exciting conversations ensued. When we opened our ScienceDirect application programming interface (API) to outside developers, Mendeley was the first company we reached out to. Soon after, they built the Mendeley Readership App (which provided information on how many users added an article to their library). We also supported Mendeley’s events; for example, we sponsored their Science Online London conferences on Open Science.
Sometimes business collaborations show so much potential they should just go all-in, and that’s what Mendeley and Elsevier have decided to do.
The benefits of joining forces
Think about it: researchers use Mendeley for its document and reference management, collaboration, analytics and networking tools. Elsevier not only publishes almost a fifth of the world’s scientific, technical and medical (STM) content, we also have a successful track record with indexing content from multiple publishers on researchers’ behalves through tools such as Scopus, Scirus and Reaxys.
For Elsevier, we can build upon strong foundations in search and discovery by adding capabilities in document and citation management and sharing. By offering integration between Mendeley, Scopus and ScienceDirect, we can make this combined platform the central workflow and collaboration site for authors. In addition, we will be able to provide greater access to a growing repository of user-generated content while building tools that will enable researchers to search this growing body of research more precisely.
By joining forces, we will be in an even better position to support the needs of researchers. Our resources will enable Mendeley to continue building on its platform, keeping it free for individuals while introducing new content and interoperability that will make it even more useful.
This partnership can have a huge positive impact on areas such as altmetrics, getting real-time information on hot articles across publishers based on Mendeley readership metrics, helping librarians assess their collections and rendering all publishers’ content more discoverable.
‘Letting Mendeley be Mendeley’
We are committing to implementing Mendeley’s existing product development roadmap, and giving the company the space to “let Mendeley be Mendeley.” You see, Mendeley is a lot more than just a product; it’s a great company with a thriving, innovative culture and a lot of talented people. It’s open, social and collaborative, and it is important to us that it retains all of those traits. Victor, Jan, Paul and other senior managers will remain with the company to ensure a smooth integration and the continuation of Mendeley's vision.
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New packages provide more storage
Mendeley will continue to be a “Freemium” product, only now with expanded storage capacity:
- “Free” users who get 1GB of storage will get 2GB.
- “Plus” package users who pay £3.99 a month ($4.99 or €4.99) for 2GB will get 5GB.
- “Pro” package users who pay £7.99 a month ($9.99 or €9.99) for 5GB will get 10GB.
- “Max” package users will still pay £11.99 a month ($14.99 or €14.99) for unlimited space.
Generally speaking, a user can store about 1,500 articles for every 1GB.[/note]
Mendeley will remain a separate platform with a distinctive brand — the favorite daily destination site of researchers to check updates on their network, collaborate with other researchers, access their stored content, get alerts to relevant research domains, and make progress on their workflow efficiency and research in general.
And Mendeley’s “Freemium” offer will remain for individuals, and with more storage space. As Victor said, “It will still be Mendeley, only better.”
For institutions, the Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) will continue to be available. MIE is a tool that helps universities analyze research activity in real-time, providing a complement to the traditional Impact Factor system of academic citations. It also enables librarians to extract more value out of resources by optimizing their subscriptions and providing a better service to their researchers by aggregating anonymized statistics about faculty and student paper reading habits.
We’ve also spent a good deal of time talking with the Mendeley team about a variety of current topics, including access policy initiatives across the globe, the Cost of Knowledge and the social media #mendelete campaign that ensued following leaked rumors of our talks.
Victor and I both know there a lot more layers to Elsevier than many realize. This is a complex, dynamic, evolving company that cares about supporting the research community. And we know that means supporting a divergent set of perspectives and serving a variety of communities. But we’re totally aligned when it comes to the product, the vision and the benefits this union will deliver to the research community.
At its heart, this union is about making our users’ lives easier, whatever route that may take. As Victor told me, “We started Mendeley to help researchers, and Elsevier lets us do that for a much larger community.”
Today is a great day for Elsevier, Mendeley and, more importantly, all our customers, users and communities. I want to welcome Mendeley’s employees, advisors, users and all their followers to Elsevier. We look forward to doing great things together for the research community.
- Check out the Q&A on the Mendeley blog.
- Read Elsevier's press release.
- New: "What you really want to know about Mendeley and Elsevier," by Mendeley Co-founder Victor Henning