This presentation was given at the 2013 Charleston Conference with Jeffrey Lancaster of Columbia University. We discussed how researchers are using social media, how librarians can connect with them, and what to look for in a scholarly networking tool (openness).
The Social Side of Research
William Gunn, Ph.D.
Head of Academic Outreach
Three perspectives on scholarly
•Early career researchers
Opportunities for building
A historical perspective
• I grew up with the internet
• Chatting over ICQ and Usenet with people
• Reaching beyond my local environment
Change and Disruption
• The music industry was first
• futile resistance
• worst fears not confirmed
• providing a project very many people want
is in fact quite sustainable
• IF you don’t try to control how they use it.
More Change and Disruption
• Blogging changed how we communicated
– but not as drastically as some predicted
• business models shifted
• A service that gives people what they want
is a quite sustainable business model
• IF you don’t try to control the channel
through which they receive it.
Watching the ship sail away
After all this, scholarly publishers
were still debating:
– Should we put our work online?
– Should we allow search engines to
– Should we use DRM on PDFs?
– Should we dictate both how content is
used and the channel through which
they receive it?
• We never went into the library
• We did use library services all the
• I initially blamed the library for
my frustrations with scholarly
• How wrong I was!
–big deals, monopolies, hands tied
• Library technology is
empowered by Open Access
From consumer to provider
• Mendeley was neither from libraries nor
• Bringing tools and user experience from
other parts of the web to scholarly
• People expected to easily share and
discover music and photos, why not
Building an open infrastructure
• Web native tools expect that data has no
• Mendeley had to create an open sharing
platform to deliver the experience we
• A free desktop manager got us on desktops
around the world.
Instrumenting the Research
Instrumenting the research
• 2.6 Million users
• 470 M documents
• 4-700K uploads per day
• 90% coverage of Pubmed
• Accessible alternative to citations
New forms of discovery
• Mendeley Suggest
– personalized recommendations based on
• related articles
– relatedness based on document similarity
• recommender frameworks
– implement recommendations as a service
• third-party recommender services
– serve niche audiences
What would people build if they
could get the data?
• Impact Story – get credit for all your work
• PLOS ALM – article-level metrics for
• Plum Analytics – bespoke analytics for
• Altmetric.com – altmetrics for publishers.
(from Digital Science/NPG)
Becoming embedded in the