Alternative metrics for libraries and research productivity

Centering the library in the research workflow

Filed under: Research Productivity

Part III: The interview with David Main (Swets) and Victor Henning (Mendeley) and the creation of Mendeley Institutional Edition

Reinforcing the bond between libraries and researchers
Mendeley can be seen as a good example of how the internet has opened up new possibilities for researchers. It is now possible to embark on much larger and more intensive research studies and projects than ever before thanks to the capability for researchers to manage projects and interact with peers remotely. Many institutions are now embarking on joint studies, to increase the power and scope of their research.  As the research landscape has evolved and embraced the digital realm it’s clear that libraries and indeed research institutions must follow suit if they are to remain relevant.  Although the content contained within a library is still as valuable to the researcher as it ever was, it’s vital that libraries find a way to interact and support users within their own workflow.Mendeley Institutional Edition centering the library

“Mendeley’s initial platform was created by researchers to address their own needs and that’s one reason why it has attracted such a large user base in a relatively short time. The users recognize the value it offers them” says Main. “What users are overlooking in many cases is the support that libraries can offer them. The traditional library skills are still as important as ever and what we’re looking to do with Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) is connect the knowledge and experience of the library, and the wealth of content they have at their disposal, directly to their researchers. This will enable the researcher to receive better support and guidance from the library without having to change their existing workflow.”

Initial response and future development
The launch of Mendeley Institutional Edition has attracted a lot of attention within the academic community, with institutes around the world signing up for the platform.

“The first institutes to sign up for the MIE hail from locations as diverse as Canada, Finland, Japan and Korea, as well as several institutes in the San Francisco Bay Area and the east coast of the United States,” says Main. “This highlights the global appeal of the product and gives an insight into how valuable and wide reaching the service could be.”

Moving forward, both companies have stressed their commitment to developing and expanding the service. “We have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg as far as the MIE is concerned,” says Main. “Over time we will be further developing the MIE tool to give increasing visibility on the research activities and integrating it into the libraries workflows.”

“We’re delighted with the initial response to MIE,” says Henning, “and we’re looking forward to welcoming more institutes into the community. For us, the goal is straightforward, the greater that community becomes, the greater the research possibilities. We think the potential of the platform is there for all to see and we’re enthused and excited about realizing that.”

In conclusion
Altmetrics and ‘Big Data’ are certainly hot topics among today’s academic community and the Mendeley Institutional Edition can fuel discussion in both areas. It is clear that Mendeley Institutional Edition offers something a bit different to many of the traditional library tools currently available. The analytics give librarians an accurate, real-time insight into the use and relevance of their acquired content. That data can be used to validate and analyze their purchases to a much more detailed level than they could previously and should provide the library with a great deal of ammunition when having to defend their purchase and collection strategy to internal stakeholders. The other important, and unique, possibility MIE provides is the collaborative nature of the platform and how it connects the librarian, or research director, with their researchers. MIE creates an environment where libraries can monitor the research undertaken at their institution and beyond, address the information needs of their users directly and direct researchers to like-minded peers and research groups in a straightforward and elegant manner.

The statements of both Mendeley and Swets, and the goals they have outlined for the MIE, are bold but it is clear that the platform contains some inherent value for both researchers and libraries. The Mendeley Institutional Edition powered by Swets has sparked a fair amount of debate and discussion among the academic community this year but if institutes adopt the platform at a similar rate to what researchers have done with Mendeley’s original platform, then it could quickly become a very powerful and leading research tool in its own right.

“We’re convinced of the value MIE can provide to libraries and research institutions,” says Victor Henning “It has been developed to closely address many of their burning issues directly. As we attract more customers to the platform hopefully the true potential of the product will become apparent.”

“The MIE tool is the only tool of its kind that offers value to both researchers and librarians,” says David Main. “The wealth of usage and trending analysis, combined with the social collaboration features, result in a unique and fluid research environment. We are sure that our customers will see the benefits the service can bring to them and look forward to a rewarding and influential future for the product.”

Read the earlier posts here: Part I | Part II

Would you like to find out more about Mendeley Institutional Edition?

Mendeley triangleWatch the introductory video on YouTube to see what MIE can do for you
Mendeley triangleRead a whitepaper on research collaboration 
Mendeley triangleDownload a product factsheet 

Mendeley triangleRequest a demonstration



Mendeley Institutional Edition powered by Swets is available exclusively through Swets.