Elsevier (i.e. the owner of Mendeley) “asks” the users of Academia.edu (i.e. a competitor of Mendeley) to take their papers down

A week ago, Elsevier sent messages to some users of Academia.edu, a social network for researchers (Source: Chronicle). Elsevier asked these users to remove some of their papers from their profile page at Academia.edu. Apparently, Elsevier wasn’t happy that the authors published papers that Elsevier holds the publishing rights for. It’s an interesting discussion whether Elsevier has the right to prohibit uploading papers on Academia’s profile page, because authors have the right to publish their articles on their private homepages. Now, authors might argue that their Academia.edu profile is their private homepage.

What is even more interesting is the fact that it’s Elsevier who did this. That is the same company that recently bought the reference manger Mendeley, which, coincidentally, also offers a social network and hence is a competitor of Academia.edu. I wonder, if Elsevier will soon start to send messages to Mendeley users telling them, too, to not  upload their papers to their profile pages. Or, if Elsevier will just send these messages to users of social networks such as Academia.edu and Researchgate to strenghten their own product Mendeley. Either way, it’s not a nice move from Elsevier and confirms the negative attitude that many researchers have against this publisher and it brings back the doubt about Mendeley’s openness.

Some more detailed discussions on this topic can be found here:


Mendeley to be sold for $100M to Elsevier?

As a Docear user you probably did some research before you decided to use Docear and maybe you stumbled upon the reference manager Mendeley. Mendeley definitely has some nice features and made it to one of the top reference management tools in the past few years (besides the fact that they don’t use mind maps for literature management, the main reason I wouldn’t use Mendeley is the fact that they store the annotations you make in PDFs in a proprietary format — this locks you in to Mendeley and makes it really hard/impossible to switch to another tool). Two days ago Techcrunch reported that the well known publisher Elsevier takes an interest in buying Mendeley for presumably 100.000.000 US$. That’s right: 100 Million US$. Considering that Mendeley is supposed to have 2 Million users that would be 50$ per user (and I don’t know if the 2 Million users are really active users). As far as I remember, the shareholders of Facebook payed about 100 Dollars per user when Facebook shares were first available at the stock market. Not bad :-).

What do you think? Is Mendeley worth 100 Million Dollar? Is it a smart move from Elsevier to buy Mendeley? And what are the consequences for Mendeley’s users since Elsevier is known for a very harsh publishing policy which lead to a boycott of Elsevier and lots of criticism by many academics).


WYSIWYG citation style editor for Docear4Word’s citation styles

Docear4Word is an add-on that allows managing your Docear references in Microsoft Word. It uses the citation style language (CSL), an open XML-based language to describe the formatting of citations and bibliographies. Not only Docear is using CSL but also other reference managers such as Zotero (who initiated the development of CSL) and Mendeley and they are all contributing their styles – this is why there are more than 2,000 citation styles you can use with Docear4Word, and the other reference managers. However, sometimes the citation style you need is not in the citation style repository and up to now it was quite challenging to create a new style (or edit an existing one).

During the past months, the Columbia University Libraries, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Mendeley developed a WYSIWYG editor for citation styles  (What You See Is What You Get). This editor makes it easier than ever to edit existing styles and create new ones. So, if you are missing a citation style for a journal or conference you are submitting a paper to, well… create it and send a big thank you to the three organizations making this possible! :-).