So – my microBEnet project has spent a lot of time working on this reference collection that we have currently in Mendeley.
In addition to just collecting these 700+ papers we have also added our own tags to the references in regard to the types of environments sampled, the type of analysis done, and so on.
For example here are the papers in the collection tagged for “fungi”: http://www.mendeley.com/groups/844031/microbiology-of-the-built-environment/papers/added/0/tag/fungi/
And here are the ones tagged for hospitals: http://www.mendeley.com/groups/844031/microbiology-of-the-built-environment/papers/added/0/tag/hospitals/
But – for many reasons we would like to at least test out this collection in other reference management tools. We are especially interested in those that are “socially aware” like Mendeley. Why do we want to try other tools? Well, for one, Mendeley is not an open / open source tool and we prefer such openness (and Mendeley was bought by Elsevier which generally I am not a fan of). Also – we just don’t really like the tagging system and the (lack of) features in Mendeley. So – we are hoping that something else out there is better / complementary / super duper.
I am familiar with many tools out there and from first glance it seems that Zotero is the obvious alternative. Zotero is open source / open / non commercial / nice in many ways.
So I exported the Mendeley collection (or at list some of the information about it). And I imported it into Zotero. Seemed to work ok. And I created a Zotero group “the microbiology of the built environment network.”: https://www.zotero.org/groups/microbiology_of_the_built_environment_network. And the papers all seemed to make it there.
But alas our custom tags from Mendeley did not seem to make it (other tags that are part of the Mendeley / Pubmed / references did make it — but these are not what we really wanted). And it is unclear just what features are available in Zotero for “socially aware” activities like discussions, etc.
So – I am writing this up to ask for suggestions and help and input from the world out there. Here are some questions:
- What online reference management tools do you like?
- Which ones allow for group / social / sharing activities?
- Which ones are open?
- Which ones have good tagging systems?
- What do people recommend we do? Should we stick with Mendeley? Ditch it?