[UK] London-based Mendeley, which calls itself “the Last.fm of research”, has announced that it’s reached something of a milestone today – claiming 100,000 users and 8 million research papers uploaded to the site in less than a year since its launch. Furthermore, the online database is doubling in size every 10 weeks, says the company.
That’s pretty impressive stuff and should Mendeley’s database continue to grow at the current rate they’ll overtake Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science, the world’s largest online research paper database, in April 2010.
Mendeley offers a secure online database for scientists, academics and researchers to store their research papers in the ‘cloud’, making it easier to share those documents with their peers but there’s an important ‘social’ element too (if that’s the right word). The system helps researchers find and connect to like-minded academics in similar fields to foster collaboration. It does this by looking at and extracting relevant meta-data from the millions of research papers stored in its database, similar to way that Last.fm “scrobbles” tracks, hence the reference to the music discovery service. Mendeley is currently free but the company plans to evolve into a ‘freemium’ model, charging for additional storage, access and aggregated data.
Of course, we’re not all that surprised by Mendeley’s impressive growth having seen the company win the award for “Best Social Innovation which Benefits Society” at our very own TechCrunch Europas 2009, along with “European Start-up of the Year” at the Plugg Conference 2009 held in Brussels.
In February this year Mendeley secured $2m of investment in a funding round led by ASI (the Skype founding engineers’ fund), Stefan Glaenzer and former Last.fm COO Spencer Hyman, Alejandro Zubillaga, former head of Digital Strategy at Warner Music, and academics at the University of Cambridge and John Hopkins University. They’ve also received funding for research from Eurostars, the R&D initiative funded by the European Community and the UK’s Technology Strategy Board.