A couple of weeks ago I met with the founders of Mendeley, a tool for researchers and students that because of a commonality of investors, it could be called the Last.fm for research. As Last.fm tracks the music you listen to and, basing on your taste, helps you discover new music and people, Mendeley helps you manage, share and discover research papers and find new articles and people with similar research interests using a recommendation engine. Mendeley also allows you to keep track of what is going on in your research field and shows you statistics about up and coming topics and authors.
The application automatically extracts metadata from academic papers and saves it into a library database. Users can then search across all their papers, share their library with others and receive recommendations based on their interests. I saw a demo and was very impressed. It´s been a while since I was doing my 2 Master´s at Columbia University and I had to do research but I certainly wished I had had Mendeley back then in the 80s.
Mendeley was founded by two Ph.D. students (Victor Henning and Jan Reichelt) and one Computer Science grad (Paul Foeckler) living in London. They have been recently joined by Stefan Glänzer, who was the first investor and executive chairman of Last.fm.
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