"disgraceful that they spent their whole life as a company arguing that they were the next big thing in open publishing only to sell out to the most unethical monolith in closed publishing out there. no doubt el$evier will enjoy slowly ripping apart what's left of mendeley and continuing with its centuries-old business model of making money off the back of researchers' freely provided knowledge.
nice to see your true colours team mendeley!"
If there are more questions, we have put together a couple questions and answers here: http://blog.mendeley.com/press-release/qa-team-mendeley-join...
Finally, if there are still lingering questions, we're more than happy to answer them here or directly with us on twitter @rvidal / @mendeley_com / @mendeleysupport
And there's always email: firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Your official blog post is inane marketing-speak that has no basis in the reality of the damage Elsevier has done and continues to do to the fabric of science publishing. Mendeley should be ashamed, and you personally should be ashamed for perpetuating this nonsense. Within a year your company will be effectively dismantled and anyone left over who actually cares about open access can start over from scratch. I wish them luck.
There have been detailed discussions about how Mendeley can integrate with parts of Elsevier like Scopus and Science Direct. I don't think they would have gone through all that effort just to bury it. I could be wrong, but I think things are changing at Elsevier and I think bringing us in is part of that.
Not only are they horribly exploitative towards the academics and librarians who by and large both write and purchase what Elsevier publishes, they also ... sponsor arms fairs! whee!
Edit: If you log in to your account and go to account details there's a "delete your account" link at the bottom. When you click the link you get a dialogue box that says this:
We're sorry you want to go, but if you must...
Deleting your account will remove all of your personal data from Mendeley Web, and limit the functionality of Mendeley Desktop. Your data is still present in Mendeley Desktop so it can be archived or exported.
If your profile is visible to search engines then Mendeley may show up in relevant search results until the search engines re-index the site (this is an ongoing process but should occur within a couple of weeks.) Until this occurs, clicking on the search result link will load a Mendeley page stating that the profile cannot be found.
Good luck there in this new path!
>disgraceful that they spent their whole life as a company arguing that they were the next big thing in open publishing
Mendeley is not a publishing company.
Our vision is to crack this open by, first of all, encouraging academics to be aware of their rights, be aware of the lobbying that is going on, and also by enabling them to post their own publications over which they retain copyright, from their Mendeley profiles. A ton of papers have been made available by Mendeley in this way, by academics uploading their own papers. So, that’s our attempt at making content more accessible and science more open."
Quoted from the founder in an interview just a few months ago (17 September 2012). Speaks for itself really.
The morals of our staff haven't changed overnight, and we'll continue to try and push Elsevier towards a future with a greater emphasis on open science. There's no contradiction here, just a huge challenge on our part.
(Full disclosure, I'm a designer at Mendeley)
I don't blame the Mendeley team -- too much -- since $100M is a lot of money. Although they shouldn't try to pretend that this isn't a complete sellout.
The fault really lies in the community's willingness to fall over and over for these shiny but not-quite-free alternatives. Two years ago, I would have said that Stallman is a nut; now, I think he's quite right.
What alternatives did you consider?
That said, this isn't a buy and bury situation. Mendeley is now very well positioned to dominate so there's no reason to worry, and anyways you can always take your data with you.
FYI - I work for Mendeley.
While I don't know the specific details of your agreement with Elsevier that make you so "well positioned to dominate," I do know that your target market's principles are more closely aligned with ours than with yours, and that they aren't stupid. You can't really preach open access for years and then sell yourself to the OA movement's greatest enemy and expect that no one will notice.
In any case, I welcome the competition, although I hope that in the future it comes in the form of shipped code and not more lies about the viability of free software.
FYI - I'm a member of the Zotero core team, but I'm also a graduate student in neuroscience at MIT.
In an ideal world, everyone would pool their resources toward free software and all would benefit. In reality, it is like a multiplayer Prisoners' Dilemma: people who "defect" by using proprietary software are rewarded (in the short term) with a nicer UX, at the expense of those who "cooperate", and at their own long-term expense.
There are other problems: FOSS (especially Linux) suffers from severe fragmentation, and I also question to what extent people are willing to develop software that is not fun for free.
Anyway, I never "forgot" the excesses of, say, Y2K-era Microsoft. I have just been skeptical of the workability of FOSS. But I do think it is the ethical way to go.
Pay them to develop the features you want rather than pay the cost of using proprietary software or closed systems.
I'm very, very, very skeptical, but this could wind up being a good thing. Elsevier can't entirely make it a "walled garden" just due to the nature of research. Mendeley may not have been able to make their business model work alone. Finally, some of Elsevier's search tools are actually quite nice. Seeing them integrated into Mendeley could be very useful.
I just hope they don't smother/abandon the desktop side of it. Currently, Mendeley is the best cross-platform research paper manager, i.m.o. I'd really, really hate to see them drop linux support, but I'm worried that it's somewhat likely.
Regardless, huge congrats to the Mendeley team.
For OS X and Windows:
For OS X:
The ability to sync with the app on my iPad mini is really nice, as it means that I always have immediate access to any paper I might want to refer to in conversation, regardless of whether I have an Internet connection.
And now Elsevier is in charge of your roadmap and resources. The company known mostly for profiteering, being boycotted, paying for shill reviews on Amazon, taking payouts to publish fake academic journals and being the example case of why open publishing was desperately needed.
You have a tough road ahead of you PR wise. Hopefully you can deliver on these promises. I believe you are being sincere in your comments here. But I would put a lot of money on this going the way the cynics expect it to go.
Surely you have some ironclad clauses saying that the product cannot be killed or something along those lines?
Otherwise your roadmap is pointless since you do not control it anymore.
When I wanted to install Mendeley desktop for my brother, it was impossible to start it without an account. Is that on purpose? Can it be skipped?
I just backuped a fresh download before Mendeley gets modified more, but I wonder whether I have to take her profile to seed a new computer so that it gets running without internet access.
Of course it's quite obvious that Mendeley or Elsevier have no interest in supporting anybody who wants to just USE the programm, instead this social stuff shall be pushed...
But hopefully Elsevier can at least put some decent software engineers on it to make it somewhat less excruciating to use, e.g. http://brandon.invergo.net/news/2012-12-13-Damn-It-Mendeley....
That being said, it looks a bit better after testing for 2 minutes. Journal names seem more consistent when importing from Pubmed (although they are all in sentence case still..). Still seeing publisher cities stuck in the Journal field in some cases. Still seeing some hilariously botched names like "Smith, J Q John Q" instead of "Smith, John Q", though. All these issues make it infeasible for me to use for citations in my papers.
And can I ask one question... whose idea was it to put journal names in sentence case rather than title case? I have never seen it done anywhere else, and it just seems bizarre.
And I am sure you do have good software engineers, but at the same time, I and others have been using it for years and the consistency in references has just been so laughable for so long that it almost boggles the mind. Best of luck towards figuring it out. I still do use Mendeley for PDF reading and note taking.
I may be misremembering, but I don't think zotero is geared towards that?
Zotero can import pdfs and figure out metadata, just like Mendeley, except without using OCR.
Congratulations and I wish you the best of luck.
As you can infer from the comments here, please keep in mind (as you no doubt already understand) that Elsevier is widely mistrusted and nobody is willing to take them at their word. Indeed, with 13,385 of my colleagues I am a proud signatory to the Elsevier boycott.
Regardless of whether Elsevier is an "evil" company or not, they are mostly engaged in rent seeking rather than wealth creation, and I am convinced that academia will be better off without them than with them.
However, organizations can and do change, as you acknowledge in your blog post. You have a difficult road ahead of you. I wish you the best of luck. I have never used Mendeley, but it sounds like you have enormous power to do good if you succeed.
But I'm still not going to hand over copyrights to my work for zero compensation so they can be "published" behind a paywall that benefits only Elsevier.
Yes, it isn't as easy as the BSD or GPL licenses, and I bet there are some warts, but it definitely is not true that "publish with Elsevier" implies "lock behind paywall".
Also, lots of 'old' content appears to be freely available: http://www.elsevier.com/about/open-access/open-archives
Ok that's good, I wasn't aware of that. I don't mind paying (reasonable) publication fees to cover their costs - my main priority is maintaining copyright over my work and having the ability to make it publicly available under a creative commons license or similar (and freely redistributable, not just available from my personal homepage).
That's how you stick it to The Man. With his own money.
Elsevier is one of the biggest scientific publishers, with over 2,000 journals, including several with very high impact factors (eg. Cell).
You'd be hard pressed to not come across books/journals from them in the course of earning a STEM degree.