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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Anyone use/familiar with Mendeley desktop research app

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bobross's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 28, 2009
Location: Summerville, SC
Posts: 47
bobross is an unknown at this point
Mac Specs: MacBook Intel 2.4, 10.6.1, XP Partition | 1st Gen Time Capsule | 5th Gen 30GB iPod

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** I will avoid any and all rants regarding academic/grad school research being behind the times, as this will no doubt strike an argument with some grad student (or prof. jaded into low expectations) with a terrible organization schema that believes it works wonders when in reality it is individually tolerated as doable**

So far Mendeley is the best app I have personally come across ( and I have tried many ) for assisting academic research, still it falls short in some crucial areas.

1.) Sharing files? This can easily be avoided by simply, not doing so, as you have that option. Still, it annoys me to no end because it can in no way be legal. In one word C-O-P-Y-R-I-G-H-T-S. No, it doesn't fit what is and is not allowed by most academic database/journal terms of use.

2.) While it's organization options are off to a great start the program is basically a glorified folder archive and pdf editor. I personally would enjoy the option to include other documents than just pdf's.

3.) It leaves a very large gap between storing your collection of documents and the end result of your own paper, notes, or personalized citation and collection of key studies. Basically it doesn't go 'from here to there'.

4.) This is exactly the kind of app that makes me wish I was fluent in app development as it seems to me it only needs a few key tweaks to be a more advanced research tool.

5.) Even if it were more impressive, it is still bugged. When attempting to import mass files it creates duplicates and randomly chooses not to import many files at all. Obviously this is a horrid outcome. If I were to use this app and even One file that I considered important enough to keep did not make it into my archive - my entire project will be lacking to some unknown degree if I were to rely on Mendeley to remember what I have in my collection of documents for me

6.) It cannot collect metadata for renaming pdf's any better than any other app or Automator for that matter [we are typically talking about hundreds if not thousands of carefully selected documents]. Journal downloads are very sophisticated in making mass rename virtually impossible in any productive way. If you need accurate information about your document you have to rename individually. So don't claim or even try to do so if your program is not smart enough to evaluate a document on a case by case basis to retrieve useful information. Hmm, I wonder why that is so difficult? Could it be...copyrights?

In the end it doesn't approach replacing one's own rigged method - which cannot avoid tedious hours of extra documentation just in effort to utilize a computer to assist with some aspects of a competent research method.

"Don't anthropomorphize computers; they hate that!"
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