Mendeley recently announced an institutional version of their service. In partnership with Swets, a world leader in content management services for libraries and publishers, the new service will provide valuable analytical tools for libraries and institutions, along with the usual reference-management and social networking features for researchers.
With tighter budgets and the competitive landscape research institutions face, live data on how researchers use library resources, how they collaborate and what they are producing is clearly valuable. This data could be put to use to better target journal subscription (which have been enormous and rapidly increasing budgets), favor collaborations and help show return on investment to the funding agencies and the public.
It is also a sound commercial move on Mendeley’s part. Institution-wide adoption of the systems will help go pass that user-number threshold needed for such social network services to work the best.
Labroots is a pioneer in the science social network. The site was founded in 2008, “with the goal of creating a destination where scientists could come together from around the world to share information and advance science“. With a steady growth since, it now claims nearly 500,000 users, over 250,000 posts and thousands of uploaded documents.
The new website includes design improvements and increased functionality such as facebook and linkedin integration, posting files and media, more referenced journals and a brand new “companies and institutions” feature. These new features enable users to share more and better than before.
Labroots aims to offer an all-in-one platform, where researchers will find all desirable features. Greg Cruikshank, Labroots founder and CEO says: “With the features we offer, most scientist don’t need to leave the website. They can search or post publications, join communities or groups for specific communications, there is an event and job board, we have a video library with thousands of videos, a review feature for criticism and promotion”. Labroots now seems well armed to compete with other major scientific social networking sites such as Research Gate.
Labroots’ effort to create a all-included service, reflexes well the current trend seen for scientific social networking sites. More than just message boards they wish to create a rich ecosystem, that could in turn complement or replace traditional scientific conferences or publishing groups for example. When asked about the future of the industry, Greg Cruikshank says he views social media essentially as a communication tool “just like email and cell phones“. Over the next few years, Labroots foresees that social networking will increase in functionality and associated features and will inevitably go mobile.
– Labroot press release
– Written interview with Greg Cruikshank, Labroot founder and CEO
Have you ever heard of the Academic bubble? If you have, that may have been for good reason. Research organisations are designed to bring all necessary tools and complementary expertise in a single site to optimize research. But at many occasions must a researcher get out of his/her comfort zone to seek other experts, potential collaborators or investors. Alas, the industry, government, and the not for profit sectors function in very different ways than the academic ecosystem. This makes it hard to pinpoint the ideal partner you are looking for.
Knodewas launched recently to address this difficulty. They aims to catalyze interactions between these different ecosystems with an impressive searchable database of pharma, academic and researcher experts. One main innovation here is Knode’s ability to automatically index experts and their associated content such as publications, patents, clinical trials, and grants and make them easily searchable. This way, at launch Knode is already filled with millions of entries.