Mendeley, makers of a desktop and web application designed to make it easier for academics to manage and discover relevant research papers on any topic, has raised $2 million in early-stage funding from some high-profile investors, including Stefan Glänzer, early seed investor in and former Chairman of Last.fm....
The connection with the popular social music network Last.fm doesn’t stop there, since the company is pushing to become the “Last.fm for research”, which means the startup essentially aims to enable academics to manage and sharing their research paper inventory and at the same time discover like-minded people and papers thanks to a recommendation and matching algorithm....
The desktop app is actually quite nice: after installation, you can import PDF files using the tool’s “Automatic Medata Extraction” or import your existing library from EndNote XML, BibTeX or RIS files. Mendeley also features a Word Plugin which lets you insert citations and create formatted bibliographies in documents using Microsoft Word 2003/2007. Academics can also upload their own research papers and syncing files and information with the web-based version with just one click of the mouse. Mendeley also boasts features that let members connect with their peers online, and - taking a page from Facebook - the tool also features a newsfeed that displays newly shared or uploaded documents etc.
Mendeley claims to have “scrobbled” data on almost 3 million research papers in just two months, so it’s likely to become one hell of a resource if growth continues and enough academics take notice.
Here's more on the OA connection from Mendeley Founder and Director, Victor Henning, quoted with his permission:
We're encouraging people to self-archive their papers on their Mendeley Web profiles, and we'll begin with making our Mendeley database public soon (of course we'll respect the publisher's copyrights and only enable full-text downloads for self-archived documents at first). We're also planning to harvest and mirror existing OA databases and combine them with the documents captured and tracked by our system. The goal is to become the largest publicly accessible research database a few years down the road with as many documents as possible being OA.
This may sound overambitious, but consider the background of our investors, co-founders and board members: They created the largest openly accessible & ontological database of music with Last.fm, built the largest free voice-over-IP network with Skype, and helped populate iTunes and YouTube with content.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.