Mendeley,, could be world’s largest online research paper database by early 2010

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mendeley[UK] London-based Mendeley, which calls itself “the 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 “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 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.

  • Robin Wauters

    Congrats to Mendeley, very capable team and great product

    • Gene

      Nice product, but current revenue = 0 and negative cash flow?

      • Victor

        Hi Gene,

        yes, current revenue = 0, because we are still in beta. However, we’ll be rolling out premium accounts very soon, and have also had a number of requests for enterprise licensing.


  • Mutimba Mazwi

    Thanks! Are they ahead of, or the


  • Toby Clarke

    The clouding feature and the way in which i shares similarities to last fm’s scrobbles is pretty exciting. I wish i had known about this site when i was a student.

    Toby Clarke

    Experts/those with skills can now sign up with our beta testing service ad monetise their spare time.

  • Kushal

    Why compare to last fm and not pandora?

  • Thomas Oppong

    I hope they stick to their core competence and do an better job. Google scholar tries to solve a problem like that, but I think mendeley has got it right.I find it useful.

  • elvirs

    congrats to the team and everything but i thought i could search inside the program for papers available on the web, i was disappointed when i clicked on ‘add documents’ it opened window for browsing files on my computer. search the web is a must.

  • Bob G.

    8 million *unique* articles? Sounds highly suspect. If not unique then the comparison to Thomson is spurious.

  • Graham

    @elvirs They frequently roll out new features. For now, there are browser linklets for adding a doc to the database. The thing I have found most useful so far, though, is Zotero integration. I go to jstor or whatever and add something to Zotero, which automatically takes a copy of the pdf, and then that pours into Mendeley, which doesn’t depend on Firefox and lets you view the PDF.

    Anyway, I’m glad they’re doing well, and I hope copyright isn’t a big ugly brick wall down the road.

    –Grad student.

  • Otis

    @Victor – how many of those 8 million papers are unique?

    • Victor

      @Otis and Bob: It is indeed 8 million unique papers. Many more have been uploaded if you count duplicates.

      On top of that, since Mendeley Desktop also extracts cited references from PDFs, we have a further 140 million citations in our database.

  • Bob G.

    How many more? Are those 140M citations also unique?

  • jccalhoun

    I’m downloading it to check it out but the fact that the dropdown menu for what discipline I am in lumps all non-science or tech stuff in as “humanities” doesn’t make me too optimistic that it will be too useful for me…

  • Alan Bradford

    I’ve been using Mendeley since last April, and it just keeps getting better. If you’re a college student who writes a ton of papers, this is a must have.

    I love the tagging features, and the web/desktop sync. It helps keep everything in one place, and helps organize papers during the research process. SO MUCH EASIER than throwing files onto a thumb drive, or printing out PDF copies.

    I do my research through Google Scholar (using the Arizona State University library proxy), use the Mendeley bookmarklet to import references into a folder in Mendeley, and access them wherever I want.

    These guys and gals are up to something good, and I hope they continue.

  • wunderbarb

    Are you aware of the Open Source initiative ZOTERO ( ? This initiative offers many (if not all) similar features. I’m managing all my bibliography using it.

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  • Mayer

    Great company.
    Victor job well done.

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  • Holger

    Hey Victor, Paul et al.

    thumbs up! Well done so far…

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  • SciPlore / PDF Management


    if you like mendeley our software “sciplore mindmapping” might be interesting for you. sciplore mindmapping is a mind mapping application that allows you to integrate your pdfs and references with mind maps. the big advantage of this approach is that you do not only have a list of your PDFs but a mind map in which you can add additional information and arrange PDFs more flexible. And in case you really like Mendeley, you even can use Mendeley in addition to SciPlore MindMapping.

    For a short demonstration of sciplore mindmapping see

    To try the software (open source, Java):

    and to read about how to write a phd thesis (or academic papers in general) with sciplore mindmapping see

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