One of the main goals of microBEnet has been to improve cross-talk between disciplines with the field of the microbiology of the built environment. One way we’ve attempted to accomplish that is through a manually curated collection of all publications relevant to the field. At the time we began, Mendeley seemed the obvious choice for such a collection and so that’s where we started it. The collection now has over 1300 articles, each one of which has been manually tagged from a list of searchable keywords.
The idea was that one could search (using Mendeley Desktop) for terms like “HVAC” or “Aspergillus” and get all the papers with that term. Pretty handy we hoped.
But then Mendeley got purchased by Elsevier and we started looking for alternatives. Much ink has already been spilled by others explaining why Elsevier is so unpopular but suffice to say that we wanted a truly open-source reference collection and Elsevier seemed unlikely to provide that. Some research suggested that Zotero might be nice… but when we tried to transfer over our collection we lost the carefully curated tags. And so we were stuck. But thanks to some useful Zotero forums and a little custom script we got everything figured out and can now announce the location of our current reference collection at Zotero.
As with Mendeley, you should really download the desktop version to actually peruse the collection, the web interface is clunky at best.
We would love it if you would join us there, and please help contribute to the collection if you’d like!