LONDON, Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mendeley (http://www.mendeley.com/), one of the world's largest research collaboration platforms, and the Columbia University Libraries (http://library.columbia.edu/) have agreed to jointly develop a graphical and user-friendly Citation Style Language editor. The tool will enable academic researchers to develop their own citation styles, significantly simplifying the creation of manuscripts for publication in academic, peer-reviewed journals. Both partners are proud that the project is being funded by a $125,000 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (http://www.sloan.org/).
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The objective is to make the open-source tool as flexible as possible so that users can freely develop their own bibliographic styles for annotated bibliographies, personal resumes or cases where citation conventions are unnecessarily complex. The final code will be deposited into an open-source repository, which will enable the larger developer community to build upon the advances in visual manipulation of markup language made possible by this collaboration.
"A large amount of researcher time is spent formatting documents, rather than getting on with the creation of great research," says Ian Mulvany, VP Product at Mendeley. "By working on an open implementation of an editor for an open citation style standard that works with a variety of reference managers, including Mendeley, we can help take some of the pain out of the research process. By building on top of an open standard, we can help to accelerate the adoption of that standard to the benefit of many academic communities."
Mendeley has a track record in developing popular, user-friendly work-flow and research tools for scientists and is responsible for development of the CSL editor. The Columbia University Libraries will draw from its top-tier academic community and experience in user assessment to provide in-depth feedback on the prototype CSL editor from the point-of-view of practicing researchers.
"Collaborating with a talented group of developers like those at Mendeley really affords us, as an academic institution, the opportunity to provide useful tools to our community that we wouldn't have been able to provide otherwise," says Jeffrey Lancaster, Emerging Technologies Coordinator at Columbia University Libraries. "By ensuring that these tools are open-source and available to the larger academic community, we can also provide direction and a foundation upon which others can then build. Our goal is to make contributions both locally and broadly, and this collaboration presents us with a tremendous opportunity to accomplish that goal."
The grant was sponsored by The Digital Information Technology Program at Sloan, an initiative focused on scholarly research and public engagement through digital information technology.
Mendeley is one of the world's largest research collaboration platform, with over 1.4M researchers worldwide. Mendeley provides real-time statistics, trends by research area, and recommendations for related research based on its crowd-sourced database of over 140M research documents. Launched in January 2009, the company has offices in London and New York, and its investors include former founders and executives of Skype, Last.fm and Warner Music Group.
About Columbia University Libraries/Information Services
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.
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