Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Mendeley


Mendeley

By Mendeley

Free

Available official app on iOS, unofficial on Android (not provided by Mendeley)

Both apps are designed and aim to provide access to your reference library on Mendeley, both full reference details author, title, publication details and access to e-format of the reference.   App that is welcome addition, as I have been impressed with Mendeley since first day I was introduced to application shown’n’tell Mendeley facility at the British Library in London two summers ago.

In reality you need to have already setup Mendeley on-line at http://www.mendeley.com/.  The iOS app is not as user friendly as desktop version on PC, where you can install a web importer to work with your web browser, digitalizing the importing of your web references into your Mendeley library.   A functionality Diigo has provided for their app.   However, Mendeley does provide the mechanism to store full reference details oppose to publication title and URL address

I have been experimenting with this app for ALT-ocTEL MOOC, setting up a group library to assist registered users in collating the number of references being suggested by delegates on the MOOC.   Particularly as number of the references will be in long term valuable to the MOOC, but are becoming lost in the communication overload emails, tweets, blogs and forum replies.  

My experiences so far have identified that:

·        This app can only be used with regular and reliable internet connection wireless or 3G as you need to login and sync with Mendeley cloud.  

·       The app is essentially web browser interface to online Mendeley, and a poorer relative to the desktop app. 

·         You can use + function to add references, but as the iOS version does not provide web import function, the references have to be manually typed in or cut and pasted, more time consuming than the desktop version, but you can sync your entry back with the Mendeley library in the cloud.  

·         The app is a little flaky; iIf you click on settings button, despite whether you make a change or not to the settings, the user will find they are unable to access any of their references.   My temp’ solution is to logout and log back into the app, not ideal.    

In terms of flexibility, and as tool to assist in collating and organising your references that is full reference details and access to the articles into a  personal library or group library the app achieves these objectives, though not as user-friendly as the desktop app, but it is start.   It will help manage reference overload when you are submerged in the literature review of a project.  An app I think we should be encouraging our students, particularly the final year students to use during the project literature review to ensure dissertations reference sections provide full reference details oppose to bad habit of URLs in Bibliographies.  

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