Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Notes from Mendeley workshop by @janeshsanzgiri

Live notes from a great workshop on basic and easy Mendeley use by my OU/PhD colleague Janesh Sanzgiri. In this workshop Janesh highlighted the most useful Mendeley functions, and how to use them in Word. He likes Mendeley as the files are stored in the Cloud, which allows you to access your account across all your devices as well as access it from internet-connected computers wherever they are.  And Mendeley is also seen as intuitive.

Overview of Mendeley use: off and online (important: use the sync button to sync all your devices).
Three main functions:
Library management (storing pdf’s)
Reference management tool
Academic networking between personal learning network

Import a file in Mendeley to Mendeley’s ‘Watch folder’ (this will automatically put the pdf’s into that folder, enabling quick structuring). The default folder for downloads can also be made the dump folder for all your pdf’s. So, each time you download a pdf, it will upload it into your Mendeley account (if you sync it).

If the document is not a pdf: add manually, manually (through ‘File’ button on main Mendeley toolbar)

Always check meta-data, so always check the meta-data.  As meta-data is the primary tool within the reference management function. Once that file is okay, it is durable for the rest of your research journey.
Important for the library management purpose: add tags that are meaningful for you.  Separate tags via comma or semi-colon. Additionally, you can use folders per theme or topic.

Mendeley does a full search of any word you might want to highlight, it goes through the full text of all pdf’s. You can do this by choosing ‘documents’ and put the search word in the search box on the right top side of Mendeley.

Annotations in the pdf’s are most of the time possible (not available in all pdf’s), but for those who do allow annotation, and add notes. Cfr memo’s.

(Look up Inge: Kizilcec attrition and achievement in online learning 2015)

Using Mendeley in MS Word
In Mendeley go to ‘Tools’: install MS Word plugin to really use the reference managing tool. This will make it much more automated, instead of manual labour. BUT provided all your meta-data is in place.

In MS Word, you can go to the ‘references’ tab in the main toolbar.  At the same time in Mendeley go to ‘view’ in the main toolbar of Mendeley, then choose the ‘Citation style’. You can always change your citation style in order to comply to the guidelines from the journal you are writing for.
Then click Alt + M and you  need to click on ‘refresh in word to switch between citation styles. How to do it: type the text, click Alt+M, type in the author, and choose the right pdf. That will add the author/s to the paragraph, as well as add it to the references.
Put any new author in through the author name and year, BUT you NEED to keep that basic citation in if you do not want to lose the full reference in your reference block.
The success depends on your meta-data.

Academic network purpose
The MOOC observatory (Southhampton, owned by Su White ), these academics tagged a lot of MOOC references. You can link to these networks. But if you link to those networks, you get a list of references, but not the full pdf’s. So if you want to get the full pdf, go to the network, scroll and explore the meta-data of these network references and find the full paper.
To find these groups you go to ‘groups’ button  within the Mendeley website, you can browse through disciplines, sub-disciplines…
You can also build private groups, but that is more for the premium model.

Link to the Mendeley guides for lots of devices.