"Mendeley Desktop Academic Reference Manager"
Mendeley Desktop is a feature-rich research management tool. It is a free desktop and online database and reference manager designed for academic researchers of all levels from students to PhD’s. Mendeley allows users research, share, edit, comment and collaborate online. It gives access to thousands of academic articles published in scientific online journals and magazines. Searching for reference material becomes a tad faster, as well as creating references to related publications.
While the market of research, collaboration and citation libraries and managers is abundant in high-quality, complicated, professional applications, Mendeley takes a step forward with this free accessible multi-functional tool.
Mendeley Desktop comes fully compatible with Windows Word 2003, 2007, 2010, as well as Mac Word 2008, 2011, OpenOffice 3.2 and BibTeX. The installation is surprisingly quick and simple - my paranoid firewall has not prompted for action a single time. Users are required to register a free account with Mendeley website to be able to download and access Mendeley Desktop. Registration is necessary because you will want to access the immense library of scientific works, upload yours, and, what is more important, synchronize your library across your devices, and with other compatible libraries, such as Zotero and BibTex. As you sign up, you will be asked your email, password, field of study and degree. Once you verify your email address, you get access to your online Dashboard in the browser and can integrate the Add to Mendeley plugin, which allows you to easily add publications from outside Mendeley to your Mendeley library.
Both web and desktop interfaces are intuitive and easy to navigate. You can access My Library, Papers, Groups, People from online Dashboard, as well as your account. The toolbar and navigation panel resemble email clients. One of the nifty features is synchronization with your Desktop and external libraries. The Desktop interface is intuitive and simplistic, although attractive. With the overwhelming amount of functions and options, you do not want to be distracted with stripy or starry interface. Interface for software of this kind must be functional and simple, and Mendeley developers did a great job here.
You can add your documents; you can search the online library for thousands of published articles in various scientific fields. Irrespective of your field of study, you can search for works in any area, making it a gold mine for students who do their term papers by diligent research rather than outsourcing the job on freelance websites.
There are video tutorials and tips wizard for newbies. Integration with Facebook and Twitter allows you to ask savvy users whatever you encounter about desktop’s features and performance. Mendeley, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, allows you to invite collaborators to work on a project in a synchronized environment.
- 2 Gb personal storage.
- Integration and sync with other citation sites.
- Web browser and Microsoft Word plugins.
- Reference manager Unlimited access to the world’s knowledge base of articles, research and publications.
- Convenient PDF manager.
- Convenient citations manager.
- Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and all web browsers.
- MS Word plugin requires Visual Basic.
- Loads system resources.
- Slows down browsing.
- 100 Mb shared space. Above that, you need to upgrade to a paid account. This is not a Con per se, but you must be aware of limitations.
Zotero free, Papers 2 ($79), EndNote X7 ($249).
Overall, Mendeley is more than just a desktop application, or research tool. It is an online academic community that enables students, teachers, scientists collaborate, share and do research in a variety of scientific fields. Mendeley is undoubtedly a capable and solid academic toolkit and a research platform created by passionate developers. No wonder they managed to succeed with a free product.
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