A while ago, in a post titled Yet Another Publication List?, I ranted about the proliferation of online reference managers and speculated about their business models. A comment by William Gunn, Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, sheds some light on Elsevier’s strategy.
Cerstin Mahlow recently had a very good blog post on storing your publication list online with services such as ResearchGate, Mendeley, or Academia.edu. Cerstin expressed a preference for CiteULike, and I agree with her on that, and I also agree with the rest of her post. I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own.
During the last couple of weeks I had to use Google Docs quite heavily in order to work on a large, collaborative document. Without any doubt, Google Docs is a convenient platform for collaborative work, offering collaborative real-time, browser-based, WYSIWYG editing for various types of documents. However, the experience was not a good one, as the 150-page document clearly tested the limits of Google Docs. Loading the document was slow; navigating even more so. I wasted a lot of time trying to export the document as PDF file; sometimes it worked, but most of the time, I could only download an empty file, regardless of whether I used Safari or Google’s own Chrome browser. For editing, however, Chrome eventually turned out to be required, and I was forced to use it, even though I have serious issues with Chrome.