Benefits of using a reference manager: from the lens of a student turned librarian

Interview with a research librarian on his role as research visibility advisor

By Humberto Martinez Camacho - March 9, 2020  4 mins

When Humberto Camacho was pursuing his degree in Library Science in 2015, he created Mendeley account on the recommendation of one of his professors. “It was the first reference manager I had ever used, and later, I wanted to explore other options,” he recalls. “It didn’t take long to come back to Mendeley!”

When writing his Master’s thesis Humberto notes that Mendeley was instrumental in keeping him on track. “It accompanied me wherever I went, and I would store all my documents there. I was able to create folders that let me upload my bibliography in a way that made the information easy to retrieve as needed. Thanks to its artificial intelligence algorithms, Mendeley even suggested references helpful to my work.”

In his role as reference librarian at the Universidad Panamericana’s Guadalajara campus in Jalisco, Mexico, Humberto frequently recommends Mendeley to students on his courses and workshops on visibility, information management and database use. Mendeley provides chat room provides tutorials and infographics that facilitate its use, ultimately “making the work of researching, storing and disseminating science much easier,” he says. Users can also take advantage of features not readily available with other managers, including a job bank and data set creation.

He uses Mendeley on his PC, laptop and mobile devices to streamline collaboration with colleagues on academic papers and scientific articles. “In addition to being a manager that facilitates work, Mendeley is also a social network,” he says. “When I was a student working with others, we had to make appointments and add references to our documents manually, and I suffered a lot. Now I can do these things automatically and quickly communicate with other users. And, we can update our documents seamlessly.”

Humberto is currently collaborating with a colleague on an article on prison libraries. “Mendeley again has made it simple,” he says. “We created a private group within the manager where we both upload documents to work on. Thanks to the viewer, we can highlight and make notes, and thanks to the notifications, we can be aware of the changes that we’re each making.”

In his role as advisor on research visibility, he notes, “Mendeley’s indicators are reflected in platforms such as PlumX Metrics. This enables authors to see who is viewing and reading their work and increases the likelihood that the work will be cited.”

He further advises Mendeley users to make their profiles public and link them to Scopus and ORCID. “The interoperability between the database and the identifier allows for a better flow of information. With ORCID, you will be able to visualize the impact of your publications and with both, you will be able to add your publications more easily to tools that increase visibility.”

Looking ahead, Humberto plans to continue to provide training to researchers and faculty on the use of Mendeley by offering workshops during the academic year. He is also communicating with heads of academia to offer summer or winter workshops to accommodate student and faculty needs.


Humberto Martínez Camacho is a Mendeley Advisor, a group of 5,000+ Mendeley lovers in 130 countries, who help get the word out about the benefits of good reference and research workflow management. Learn more about the Mendeley Advisors here, including how to become one. He recommends Mendeley to students and faculty by highlighted these features and benefits:

  • Improves your visibility in the academic world
  • Allows you to participate in a social network
  • Manage references
  • Collaboration between colleagues through the creation of private groups
  • Save and locate data sets
  • Find documents or references through the suggestions you make
  • Finding funding, I personally got a scholarship to attend an international librarian's congress in Athens
  • Gives 100GB of storage with the institutional account
  • It's multiplatform
  • Works with all major browsers
  • It is a PDF reader
  • It’s free!


Humberto Martinez Camacho
Written by

Humberto Martinez Camacho

Written by

Humberto Martinez Camacho

Guadalajara, Reference Librarian, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico


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