I’ve seen a few announcement on various Mendeley related twitter streams that Mendeley now works with your local library via OpenURL. I didn’t know what that meant though so it was no big deal. After five minutes’ play it turns out it could be a much bigger deal than I thought.
What Mendeley is (sometimes) good at is finding related papers to ones that are in your collections. If someone else is working on similar topics, it’s very good. If you’re the only one in your field on Mendeley then maybe less so. When you find a related paper, you then open a new tab, search through your own library’s catalogue, etc… What Mendeley’s announcement means in English is that you can very easily make a Look for this at Leicester (or your own home library) button. I have two, and I’ll explain why below.
To add the button you need to find the base URL of your library. In the UK this is done by going to openurl.ac.uk. If your library isn’t on that list, you’re probably out of luck. Other countries might have other OpenURL servers, I don’t know. Going to Leicester through this drops you at http://resolver1.sirsi.co.uk/? To add the first button clicked on my account, chose account details from the dropdown menu, clicked on sharing/importing from the row of tabs and then to the section Edit Library Access Links, where I clicked on the button Add library manually. I got this form:
I trimmed the ? off and then labelled the library Leicester and the URL as
It works. Except I tend to access the site off campus, so any links to journals from Leicester won’t work for me. The ATHENS instructions on the library’s website are out-of-date, so you need to access via the proxy. The address for the proxy catalogue is
http://resolver1.sirsi.co.uk.ezproxy.lib.le.ac.uk/ for Leicester. If you’re not at Leicester the address for your own library this will be different and without access I have no idea what it will be.
I labelled this button Leicester Ex for external and this works like accessing the proxy catalogue. If you click on it from Mendeley, a page will ask you to sign in to the proxy and then it will forward a relevant page in the library catalogue. If you’re already signed into the proxy you don’t even see that.
Update: 10:45: Thanks to John McGowan, in the comments below there’s a much better solution. Use http://ezproxy.lib.le.ac.uk/login?url=http://openurl.ac.uk/ukfed:le.ac.uk as the URL. It will work anywhere — if you’re at Leicester.
It’s not a huge change, but it’s a nice little add-on that makes working with Mendeley easier, and doesn’t require special access to anything or complex APIs.