Annual Meeting Reports

Reference and Networking Tools: New Ways to Read, Store, and Share

The scholarly publishing environment generates increasing numbers of peerreviewed articles, and there are numerous digital platforms for accessing them. New ways to read, organize, and manage content are needed. Personal digital libraries and enhanced PDFs offer solutions that enable users to interact with their articles as never before. Laura Kuo and Christine Buske described two bibliographic tools, Mendeley and Papers, respectively, and Jeff Lang demonstrated the ActiveView PDF. Roy Kaufman reviewed basic copyright issues in this landscape.

Mendeley and Papers enable users to discover new content, organize and store references, collaborate, and access content from many platforms. Kuo highlighted the Mendeley features that she uses when teaching, and Buske presented an overview of functions that Papers offers. PDFs can be annotated with both tools, and Mendeley offers color coding to distinguish users. Mendeley and Papers both feature personal libraries that contain all documents and folders of saved searches or content in interfaces similar to iTunes; metadata are automatically populated from imported PDFs, but users can also enter information manually. Users can search and find results in PubMed by using such identifiers as PMID, DOI, or ArXiv ID. Mendeley offers a Word app that can insert formatted citation information into the text of a new manuscript. Papers allows citations to be added in almost any application without plugins. Both programs offer multiple citation formats.

Papers’s unified search function, which scans multiple search engines at the same time, can retrieve articles on related topics or from authors in the user’s library. Papers supports various document types, including images and video. A share feature allows users to publicize content on social media or email. Mendeley has a free version, and Papers has a one-time licensing fee and offers discounted student subscriptions.

Lang noted that PDFs are a static medium. They are portable, sharable, and annotatable, but they offer no interactivity. Metrics are limited to downloads and can yield no data about user interaction with the content (such as what areas are being visited first). The American Chemical Society ChemWorks launched ActiveView PDF (a flash tool) to enhance the PDF experience with HTML.

The enriched PDF provides references in a navigation bar and makes it possible to find a citation in text or a reference quick view. Annotated articles are linked to members’ IDs from the American Chemical Society website and can be viewed on desktop or mobile devices. Apps allow offline work that can be synced online later. A citation tool aggregates content. Rather than force readers to choose print or online, ActiveView creates options: some tasks are possible only online, and users can choose which version to use on the basis of their objective.

Digital sharing of content and the increasing availability of open-access material have created a number of copyright issues. Kaufman explained that copyright grants the right to copy and make derivative works. Sharing is essentially copying in the digital world. Various legal concepts and licenses are relevant to the use of copyrighted materials: de minimis use (copying so little that it does not give rise to a claim), infringement (unlawful copies), fair use (excused infringement, such as some teacher use for limited educational purposes), implied license (such as a share button provided by a publisher), and express license (for example, when a publisher gives a right to use content in a direct subscription agreement or through a third-party aggregator, such as JSTOR). Academic or corporate collective license agreements that are offered by the Copyright Clearance Center and collecting societies can provide consistent reuse rights throughout a corporation or institution. For open access, publishers may reserve all rights, and a variety of Creative Commons licenses are available, which may or may not allow commercial reuse and the making of derivative works without further permission of the copyright owner.

Digital content is constantly evolving, and ways to search, find, and share it are changing, too. This session met its objectives of introducing new reference-management tools and an enriched PDF, and highlighting aspects of copyr ight agreements for electronic material.