I’m as bad as anyone else.  Sometimes procrastination just happens, and some of it happened this weekend.  I started playing with Mendeley rather than working on my presentation.  [I did get the presentation done, but I should have done it first and THEN played with the new toy.]

I ran into a couple of problems, and since I know that several of you use the software I would appreciate any suggestions.

  1. The import from Zotero went relatively smoothly, but it put almost all of the items into the Needs Review folder.  When you click on an item that needs review, it lets you search google scholar and try to update/complete the item.  However there doesn’t appear to be a way to say “just take them as they are”, and google scholar‘s throttling won’t allow for sending all of them at once.  (Nor would you want to; I did a few and what came back was worse than what I had before in some cases.)  Not major but annoying.
  2. I have a LOT of citations.  5 years worth of accumulated stuff, totaling several hundred citations.  They weren’t well organized, which I admit is my fault, but I am struggling with figuring out the best way to GET them organized now.  Anyone know if there is a search that will look at titles so that I can grab all the ones on specific topics to put into their own folders?
  3. The biggest issue is with the citation generation.  it comes in two parts.
    • First, Mendeley does not appear to have been updated to APA 6th edition yet.  While I realize that it is hard to keep up with all the different formats, that is one of the core ones they support.  It’s important to get it right.
    • Second, I regularly used a Zotero feature to basically create the citation for a single item, copy it to my clipboard and then paste it into something else.  I needed that this weekend to put a citation for some data into my presentation.  When I tried it from Mendeley, the citation was wrong.  Specifically it was missing the title field.  I tried a few and they all had the same problem.  This is a big deal.

The sum results of this little trial are that I’m not sure I can use Mendeley for my dissertation.  Item 3 is a big deal when faced with the evil people who check dissertation formats, and if I have to spend a day cleaning up my library it may not be time I can spare.  My hope is that the folks from Mendeley are working on the APA issues and coming up with better tools for cleaning up existing citation libraries.  I can’t believe I’m the only one to have problems with dirty data being imported.

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