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Testing Mendeley - Academic journal social media

My (digital) collection of academic journal articles is something of a mess. I've combined collections stored on multiple computers a couple times over the years, and have multiple copies of the same paper in some cases, and slightly different name schemes, or files that I acquired from friends that have completely different file name schemes… I've really gotta take the time to properly sort through them and put them all in one coherent place (rather than having nested file folders of partially overlapping material). Given that I have about 1.5Gb of pdf papers to go through, reorganizing them is going to be a task :/

A friend just informed me of a sort of academic journal organizer/social media system that I'm going to try out; Mendeley, which imports your articles, extracts metadata, and helps you organize your papers… additionally it's a social network, allowing some discourse and sharing of material, and offering article recommendations, etc. I just downloaded it and imported my nested Articles folder, and it seems to have extracted titles, authors, years and keywords for most papers, but there's still going to be a lot of work to do. Luckily, it certainly highlights duplicate files, which will help sort this all out a bit faster at least.

I don't have much experience with it yet, but, I suggest giving it a try if you're academically inclined Wink

Note - General name scheme I use for my journal files is like this:
.: Single Author - AuthorYEARNameOfArticle.ext
.: Two Authors - Author1Author2YEARNameOfArticle.ext
.: Multiple Authors - AuthorEtalYEARNameOfArticle.ext
Generally, this name scheme works pretty well, and allows for easy file sharing; having no spaces or the like in the name means that web resources or certain OSes don't need to use character codes for spaces, so the file name looks the same in all situations. It's also the way most citations would appear, making things easier to look up.

2 blog comments below

So far, I've amalgamated the nested folder and cleared out over 300 duplicate files, though I did end up doing much of that manually. Almost all the files have been renamed to an appropriate format... though, again, mostly manual.

I've reimported the cut down folder (Now only ~1.73Gb) and begun making sure all the metadata is correct within Mendeley. About 1/3 of my articles were made with appropriate metadata, so just imported correctly, the rest require checking. Mendeley has algorithms that recognize when things might not be right, and highlights with a big yellow box asking if the details are right. You can open the file within the application, make sure things are right, edit where needed, and then let the program know things are kosher. I've checked several articles, but still have hundreds to go Razz

One problem is that it doesn't let you copy content from the opened file. You can include things like the Abstract in the metadata, but, if it's not already there, you'll have to find the source file, open it in another program that will let you extract the text from the pdf and then paste it into the abstract field in Mendeley. I haven't started doing this yet.

The Mendeley mobile app is handy, but only offers access to the library. The site includes a user profile, group info, etc., which, unfortunately, isn't available in the mobile app. This seems to be something of a shortcoming to me. Perhaps they'll update and include that in the future.
Ankhanu on Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:57 pm
Great blogpost Ankhanu, thanks for the suggestion. Am going to check it out at work tomorrow.
deanhills on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:12 pm

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