Monday, December 05, 2011

These are my species - finding the taxonomic names I published using Mendeley

The latest addition to my mapping of taxonomic names to the literature ( is the ability for authors with Mendeley accounts to find the names they've published. This is an extension of the "I wrote that" tool I developed earlier.

Let's say I want to show the names that a given author has published. I could search by that author's name, but that raises all sorts of issues (see my earlier posts ReaderMeter: what's in a name? and Equivalent author names), especially for this database where I have incomplete citations and in many cases lack author names beyond surname.

Another way to tackle the problem is if I have a list of publications for an author, then all I need to do is match that list to the publications in my taxonomic database. If both lists have identifiers for the publications, such as DOIs, then the task is trivial. But, where do I get these lists?

An obvious source is Mendeley, where people are building lists of their own publications (as well as other publications that they are interested in). For example, my publications are listed at

But I don't want to have to get these lists myself, I'd much rather that a Mendeley user could go to my taxonomic database, say "I have this Mendeley account, show me the names I've published". One reason I'd like to do this is that if I want people to engage with this project it would be nice to be able to offer an immediate reward, in this case, a place where you can show your contribution to the task of cataloguing life on this planet.

Finding my taxonomic names

If you have a Mendeley account here's what you do:

Go to At the top right you will see a "Sign in using Mendeley" link.

Click this and you will be taken to Mendeley where you will be asked if you'd like to allow to connect to your account (if you're already logged in to Mendeley then you'll see an Accept button, otherwise Mendeley will ask you to log in).

If you click on Accept then you will be taken back to my site and you should now see your profile name and picture on the top right:


If you click on the Profile link then my site will talk to Mendeley and get a list of your papers and look for them in my database. If it find a paper it outputs the taxonomic names published in that paper. For example, here is my profile:


Listed are the species of bird lice in the genus Dennyus described in a paper on which I was a coauthor (

This list is incomplete as earlier papers of mine on crab and isopod taxonomy aren't listed because these lack identifiers. This is something I need to work on, but for now this seems like a simple way to enable someone to go to the mapping between taxonomic names and literature and find the names they've authored.

If you have a Mendeley account, and your list of publications in Mendeley includes papers describing new animal species, go to and try it out.