Writing a research paper? Wondering if someone else might be researching the same or related fields of information? If so, maybe you could team up and work faster. That’s where Mendeley hopes to come in.
Those involved in building Mendeley include former founding engineers from both Skype and Last.fm, both collaborative-style sites with lots of social networking possibilities. Mendeley is billed as social networking for researchers, which, ironically, is what the Internet was to begin with.
The software is not browser-based, but is both desktop and browser-based (the download is free) and works in a way similar to the way Google Earth or WebEx do, but with extras designed specifically for researchers. This include an online library of research bibliographies (limited to paper titles/authors and summaries) for referencing to keep your team up-to-date and other utilities geared towards academic collaboration.
Several of the employees at Mendaley are still university students finishing their thesis and academic research, which likely helps focus the site and keep the engineers behind it fueled with new ideas and requests for features.
This is what Web2.0 is all about, contrary to what your local get-rich-quick schemer might think.