I’ve always found it a shame that for getting access to many scientific papers you have to pay quite a lot of money to organisations like the IEEE, ACM or someother acronym. Researchers write these papers for free or even have to pay money to publish them.
I understand that IEEE and the like have to make some money to keep the organisation alive but in my opinion they should do this by organising conferences and not charging for papers they received for free.
Luckily with the advent of the Internet you can quite often find the paper by a simple search. If you cannot find it you can always sent an email to the author and usually within a day the paper is in your email box.
I’ve always hoped that Google would expand Google Scholar with a feature where authors can upload their own papers and manage their paper library which they use for their research. Today I discovered a cool European startup called Mendeley which does just that.
Mendeley is furthermore a kind of social network for Researchers. The site is pretty nice and it has companion desktop software that works on Windows, Mac and Linux (yay!) where you can also manage your paper library and subsequently sync it with the web. Personally I don’t really see the need for the desktop companion because you can do everyting also quite easily on the web.
Things I still would like to see implemented in Mendeley
- Ability to rate papers
- Ability to discuss a paper. That way if things are not clear in the paper you can ask a question or if it’s already been asked you can find the answer
- A good search engine with which you can find papers you are interested in
- Get an automatic email notification (like Google News Alerts) if papers are meeting certain criteria
- All kind of statistics. Most popular paper, most cited, highest rating etc.
I think this would really help humanity to innovate faster because knowledge will be easier accesible.