What I read with my morning coffee: why Mendeley and Twitter deliver

Along with the morning caffeine, I need a cerebral mix of real world pathos, an academic feed, and a dash of excitement. And that’s why Mendeley and Twitter are the double duo that deliver the goods to start my day.

Here’s a bit of insight into why they work for me.

Mendeley mendlogo

As reference software goes – it’s a little bit sexy. Why? Mendeley is more than just a tool. It’s a whole social platform and it’s why I’m spending morning coffee time with my mate Mends.

If I want to socialise with some “virtual” others I check out the groups area. This is where I’m a member of various groups, some local, some international, across a range of interests. I can also check out the Macquarie Group and see if anyone I know has published and uploaded recently.


If the coffee is doing the job, I might be alert enough to look in the suggest panel for new reading. Friendly Mendeley might even send me a little pop up note – “We’ve got news for you” and point me to something the algorithm has factored I’ll be interested in. Although I don’t like to think of it as a calculation, more like a friendly little green person, residing in my laptop.

If I’m feeling collaborative and open, I might even decide to set up a new group and invite people to join, or post a paper to one that I’m already a member of. On a cheeky day last week, I direct messaged a colleague from his Mendeley profile to ask why his profile pic is a famous footballer.MendCoffee

Mendeley does lots of other things too, like allowing me to work on papers with others in real time, and share annotations instantly. I can check out my reference library. But later.  At 8 am I need more time to warm up.

Twitter twitter

I’ve talked about Twitter in a previous post with tips on how to use it best in an academic environment. So, what draws me to twitter in the morning with a steaming cuppa? What might I be reading?

Today I saw that one of our Macquarie academics has published a new book, then I read on to find out that #onthisday in 1960 Penguin books was found not guilty of obscenity for publishing D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

I move on to read some news from ABC and I’m reminded why digital storytelling is so effective, and a live image is worth a thousand 140 letter tweets.

An ERA Australia tweet alerts me to a workshop which is taking place on critical success factors for an academic career @thesiswhisperer

Along the way I can quickly absorb that it’s Movember and time to think about men’s health. I browse the wonderful and amusing #GifitUp competition run by Trove, and read that our Macquarie Professor Meredith Makeham has been appointed as Chief Medical Officer @AuDigitalHealth

My whimsical feed from Jamie Oliver gets me thinking about dinner (only 10 hours away! Such joy considering whether it will be pukka yellow curry or ratatouille?) Onto Huffpost which facilitates teeth grinding with delicious pleasure at the latest outrage from Donald Trump.

The beauty is that I can absorb all this in the time that it takes to drink a flat white, and even re-tweet things I think my colleagues and followers might like to see. I can dig deeper if I want, but sometimes all it takes is a little bit of knowledge. You can see my feeds on my twitter handle @TastyLens.

Curate your feed for you.  Remember that it’s only as interesting as the people you follow.

What do you read with your morning coffee? Share your favourite twitter hashtag, Mendeley group,  or any insights in the forum below.