Mendeley is a reference manage program that operates on the web, as well as across mobile and desktop platforms. In part 1 of the review there was a brief look at videos explaining Mendeley. Having spent a little time I thought to give my first impressions of using Mendeley.
1. One particular strength amongst many was in the processing of PDF’s. PDF’s stands for Portable Document Format which is an electronic document format which has been developed by Adobe. They have become a universal electronic document and are extremely useful and can be ported to mobile platforms. Mendeley allows you to import PDF’s and will automate the process of classifying them as they are entered into the library. For instance, Mendeley will try to extract details such as the author, year and title. Even if the automated processing missess the date of the document (for instance because of idiosyncratic documents which highlight the date on which the PDF was generated) there is the option for you to amend the details.
2. Additionally you can add tags to PDF’s which is a useful way of organising the collection. A group of documents can be selected before selecting a tag to save time.
3. Although Mendeley is targetted towards an academic audience the processing and organisation of PDF’s as well as the options for sharing means that there is a more generic potential. For instance Word and Open Office documents could be exported as PDF’s and then imported into the Mendeley library.
4. As Mendeley organises PDF’s, you are able to use external programs to modify and then save the PDF’s back into the library. This means that you are not limited by the PDF functions within Mendeley.
5. Another neat feature was citation generation. If you have a PDF document, Mendeley can autogenerate a citation in multiple formats. There is an addon for Word and Open Office so you can port across citations for specific references in the collection or more than one reference at a time. In other words there is batch processing.
Mendeley is a versatile program which enables you to organise PDF’s in multiple ways. This is a limited review which doesn’t extend to the other community capabilities.
Appendix – Related Resources on this Site
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