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Categories:  Networks and relationships; R&D, innovation, commercialization

Overview: Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that helps users organize their research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. The desktop component is a workflow tool used to organize, read, annotate, and cite papers, individually or in collaboration with colleagues. The web component includes a public database of research. Readership statistics are aggregated and tracked, providing real-time data on the usage of papers within the Mendeley network. Users with shared interests may join public groups; further enhancing collaboration opportunities by highlighting popular or new works or identifying potential research collaborators.

Form: Analytical tool

Unit of Analysis: Research references

Coverage: More than 60 million unique papers covering all academic disciplines, ranging from Arts and Literature to Mathematics, Physics and Computer Sciences; approximately 1.8 million users worldwide

Key Data Elements: Paper downloads & User profile visits


  • 1.8 million users
  • 170 million papers uploaded
  • 40,000 public groups

Timeframe: Includes research references from the past 100 years

Frequency: Continuous

Data Collection Method: Users import papers into their own personal library; Mendeley extracts the meta-data and adds these records to its online database of research. Mendeley tracks readership of each paper and displays aggregated results

Access: Free for individuals; premium packages available for teams and individuals; Institutional Edition, powered by SWETS

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Mendeley may be used as both a data source to track regional research activity and as a collaborative platform to enhance regional collaboration.

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