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Heather Piwowar
Re Mendeley/Elsevier one area I don't see being discussed in twitter stream etc, is that this buys Elsevier proprietary Intelligence. What Mendeley reveals in their Open API is only a tiny amount of their total data. It isn't click stream or highlighting or fine grained demographics etc. This means that Mendeley gives Elsevier a competitive...
advantage on what scholars do and how they do it. People are talking about whether Mendeley will treat all publishers equally like Scopus does... there is a difference. Scopus is built on citations, which anyone could in theory get with enough money. With Mendeley, Elsevier gets workflow information, and no other publishers get that. It is a smart move for them, but a blow to people who think that propping up Elsevier is not best for the industry. - Heather Piwowar
yes. please write that blog post. - RepoRat
Will try but no time today. Someone else free free to beat me to it, no need for attribution. - Heather Piwowar
the way things have worked before, a given aggregator only had access to individual user behavior related to their own publications, and not even always (library proxy servers protect people to some extent). Now Elsevier knows what every Mendeley user is reading and saving; they may even know some of where Mendeley users *get* what they read and save. if that doesn't seem worrisome to people, they weren't paying attention to the Attributor thing. - RepoRat
link to Attributor thing? - Heather Piwowar and I think Elsevier would LOVE to peg Mendeley users who aren't clearly downloading via library or toll-gate access mechanisms. - RepoRat
Even if they are, the shared groups (which I'll admit to having been one to encourage for cross campus collab) means all the researchers then have access. - Hedgehog
But doesn't this mean they're going to start getting sued like whoa? I mean, it was my understanding that Mendeley's provision of (some of?) this data to the publishers was one of the only reasons they weren't already getting sued like whoa. - Meg V. Meg
Meg, I hadn't heard that. Got linky? Because that's a reeeeeeally interesting angle. - RepoRat
Hard to stop thinking about Mendeley-as-elsevier-loyalty-card for data collection. I'm not thinking about it wrt subscription enforcement, but rather as intelligence for future Elsevier product innovations. Future product innovations that help Elsevier as priority #1 and scholarship and open scholarship with the same priority Elsevier has previously shown. - Heather Piwowar
Is Meg referring to something like what Jason Hoyt mentioned this moring? - Hedgehog
Heather, regarding the insight available through the API and user activity. Imagine Elsevier was out of the picture, what would you say if Mendeley used it to do the same for itself. Develop and innovate on features that it had exclusive insight to, toward its own advancement? - Ricardo Vidal
I'd be ok with that. I've been assuming that's what you've been doing till now. - Heather Piwowar
So, following that logic, because you see Elsevier as evil, you consider that they'll certainly use the same tools to their advantage. Which is therefore bad. - Ricardo Vidal
I don't consider Elsevier evil. I consider them interested entirely in their own bottom line and very demonstrably willing to make decisions that are not in the best interest of science to defend and promote it. I don't want to help them do that with papers, my review hours, or my click data. - Heather Piwowar
as somebody said recently in a different context, if you're using their products when you have a choice, then you are funding their work. Unfortunately, academic libraries don't have much choice when it comes to subscribing to the journals, but we do have a choice of citation management platforms - DJF from Android
So we've talked about the enforcement angle and they understand this would be a really dumb thing to try to do. They want us more as a application platform since the whole Sciverse Apps thing didn't go all that well. - Mr. Gunn
Thanks for the feedback Heather. I see your point and can only hope that we can keep doing our good work and proving Mendeley a valuable tool and resource for researchers. - Ricardo Vidal
We've so far been successful with the approach that Open Access papers are read more, but if all the OA advocates leave Mendeley, then it's going to be hard to keep making that case. Having a strong OA community *within* Mendeley is really important and I hope people will stick around to show them that. - Mr. Gunn
soooo... instead we should implicitly say "Elsevier sucks except when they own something we like?" That's a stance I personally am kinda uncomfortable with. Like PSuber, tho, have never been a Mendeley user, so easy for me to say -- I'll just chug right along with Zotero the way I've been doing. - RepoRat
it doesn't matter whether the OA advocates are on Mendeley or not. People will still be reading their papers a lot. That's the point of OA. - DJF from Android
yes, but having good quality data accepted by even the most conservative groups showing the OA advantage certainly helps, and that's what Mendeley can provide - Mr. Gunn
Mendeley can definitely provide that, but again, it doesn't require that the OA advocates use it to achieve that. - DJF from Android
well, there will be less data on OA papers, less people doing interesting OA-related things with the data, etc. That's why I think people should stay. Just picking up your toys and going home is the easy way out. - Mr. Gunn
Sure, if we were children, and if this were a game. However, "if you're using their products when you have a choice, then you are funding their work" - Meg V. Meg
And if I trusted Elsevier with the kind of data I would put into Mendeley. Here's the thing: I DON'T. That's not entirely Elsevier's fault (MIT and JSTOR and Attributor and Facebook own some of the blame, among others)... but I don't think Elsevier has exactly covered itself with glory, either, and it's *crystal* clear which financial side of the bread is buttered. Do I trust Elsevier to resist temptation for the sake of ethics? THEY HIRED ERIC DEZENHALL FFS. No. I don't. - RepoRat
So I'm glad that Mr. Gunn and Ricardo Vidal think Elsevier will do right by all this, and I think *they* believe that; I don't believe they're trying to blow smoke up FF's collective arse. I just... don't believe that will remain the case. Temptation much too great. Elsevier won't fsck up tomorrow, or the day after... but they'll fsck up. Guarandamnteed. - RepoRat
Elsevier is a big big place. I wish I could quote to you from the email I just got from some people within Elsevier promising their support in helping us make a business case for openness - saying they're our allies, but acknowledging that a huge organization like this isn't all going to be aligned internally. - Mr. Gunn
I got some great email about a global text mining plan too. Many people there really believed it. There was a time and a place and a scheduled tweetup. Plug got pulled. - Heather Piwowar from iPhone
no organization is immune from having plans canceled - Mr. Gunn
I agree. Though it wasn't a passive "plans were cancelled". Someone at Else cancelled the plans because they were too liberal/edgy/threatening even though had all sign offs till the day before. I just share that story to say we all know great email doesn't always work out. - Heather Piwowar from iPhone
Fair enough. Just pointed it out to show some nuance beyond the "everyone at Elsevier is evil and eats puppies" narrative extant. I have a feeling the task is even bigger than I realize, but that can't stop me from trying, and that really shouldn't stop you from supporting me, either. - Mr. Gunn
I'll try really hard not to take the quote "everyone at Elsevier is evil and eats puppies" out of context when I cite it in my next paper. :-) - Yo. Shark Dog.
I haven't seen that narrative on this thread. I'm trying hard to figure out a good way to support you that is consistent with what I believe, because I want to support you William Gunn :) - Heather Piwowar from iPhone
I support you, man. I just think they're gonna fuck you over, and it makes me sad. I do not want them to do that. - RepoRat
I do recognize the possibility, but I have to give it a shot. - Mr. Gunn
Salon commented here: Elsevier: All your data belongs to us via @Salon - WarLord
"some people within Elsevier promising their support in helping us make a business case for openness" Yes, and I'm sure all the hundreds of trillions of bacteria living in/on Hannibal Lecter and all his trillions non-neuronal cells were all nice and friendly - if only it wasn't for the measly 70-90b of neurons in his skull... Quite likely, the large majority of people working at Elsevier are really nice and friendly people - only it has had very little effect on the behavior of the corporation over the last few decades. Or should we take the acquisition of Mendeley as a sign that now, after decades of parasitism, Elsevier has become the next Gandhi? Sorry if don't find that convincing just yet and require more evidence. - Björn Brembs
I honor your efforts, Mr. Gunn. They remind me no little of my own vis-a-vis the libraries I've worked in. - RepoRat
This post captures Heather's sentiment, I think: - Björn Brembs
Maybe I will try my hand at a timeline of blog posts kinda like what John D does. - Yo. Shark Dog.
Mendeley may want to look at the fate of BioMedNet, sold to Elsevier by the Current Science Group in 1998 and shelved in 2004:; - Matt Hodgkinson
Wow, I haven't been back here in ages. Been trying to sort out my own thoughts on this...and I don't think I have a clear answer. I have a Mendeley account, I use it for a bunch of things including feeding the bibliography on my blog, and I haven't deleted it yet. Matt's point is the one that troubles me, Elsevier do have a history of running things into the ground. On the other hand it was the destruction of BioMedNet that meant Vitek could hire a bunch of people to create BMC. Of course the Elsevier of today is not the Elsevier of 2000 - I do believe things have actually changed for the better and there are lots of good folks there... - Cameron Neylon
...but there is another side to this which is that I know some of those cancelled projects of which Heather speaks and they had lots of those good people in them. So I worry about the inverse problem. What will happen to those people who have been on the inside working for change (and being shafted from time to time) now that there is a new shiny Open thing, both as the beacon everyone will look to, ignoring the expertise and good stuff already there, and also as the magnet that attracts the ire of the (still quite significant) anti-open brigade internally. Either way, I do wish people well, and am kicking myself for not demanding shares from Victor in exchange for all that early advice...maybe he'll fund my next startup :-) - Cameron Neylon
Like Cameron, I haven't made my mind up yet. Personally, I don't intend to delete my Mendeley account at present. - Graham Steel
"It was the destruction of BioMedNet that meant Vitek could hire a bunch of people to create BMC." So I should be grateful to Elsevier for my career :) - Matt Hodgkinson
I also remember when Elsevier bought the Beilstein database, and they have since greatly marked up access to that data. 1998 and 2007 were key years of that. This is kinda similar. - Yo. Shark Dog.
fwiw, i posted on it here: I'm pretty pragmatic when it comes to this sort of thing. It's not my primary reference manager (RefWorks is, sigh), but I intend to keep my account. - Christina Pikas
I also intend to keep my account, so that I can keep on putting stuff into the OA Irony Award group. A good bit of it from Elsevier. - Yo. Shark Dog.
(Slightly offtopic: here in this conversation we see what we lost when FF took a nosedive. This thread is better than all the scattered tweets and news links put together. I'm thinking it's time to re-invest in FF, since the sky hasn't actually fallen (I was a Chicken Little myself)...) - Bill Hooker
Good call. I'm in. - Graham Steel
Something slightly ironic about returning because its back to a smaller group of people though... - Cameron Neylon
"Hate" to say it - but other than monitoring Refs Wanted Room, FF is a dead donkey for me and has been for quite a while. Other than Libranians, it's a ghost town to what it was in the past.Twitter & Google+ for moi. - Graham Steel
Have to admit I saw a link to Heather's post and thought "oh yes, Friendfeed, I remember when I went there..."But it is still here and functioning clearly which is interesting in itself. There must be some measure of maintenance and upkeep going on behind the scenes. - Cameron Neylon
y'all should come back. Nothing else is as good. - Heather Piwowar
Yeah, it's still pretty awesome and unlike anything out there. - Ricardo Vidal
It remains the best. Reminds me of my empeg :-) - Björn Brembs
Cameron, it's good to read your thoughts here. It's a good point also about BMC, which is itself now a part of Springer. I hope FF is still here 4 years from now when open access is the default and everyone realizes this ;-) - Mr. Gunn
I've just blogged about Elsevier's emerging workflows here. Scopus a big winner IMO. - Garret McMahon