Elsevier acquires Mendeley; cloud-based collaboration for researchers

Elsevier has long courted the scientific, research and technical community. With Mendeley, Elsevier will be able to offer tools to annotate documents, create citations and bibliographies, collaborate and more.


Elsevier, the Dutch scientific, technical and medical information provider, announced this morning that it will acquire Mendeley, the London-based company known for its cloud-based research management and social collaboration platform.

The price was not disclosed.

With the same target audience, the companies see the deal as a natural fit. Mendeley's customers will receive integrated access to Elsevier content and software; Elsevier will build out its toolkit with a proven platform that has been adopted by the audience it seeks.

Mendeley's platform, which is both desktop-based and cloud-based, allows researchers to manage and annotate documents, create citations and bibliographies, collaborate on research projects and network with fellow academics. The company was launched in late 2008 by three doctoral students seeking an easier way to manage research papers and collaborate with colleagues. Its first application extracted metadata and keywords from Adobe PDF files to allow the researcher to, in effect, create a database from a collection of papers, which was then synchronized to the cloud.


On the backburner was a data play: with all of this information collected in aggregate, the young company hoped to analyze research trends across academic disciplines in real time, show readership statistics for individual research papers and generate research paper recommendations.

The company partnered with Elsevier as early as 2009, and they have more closely collaborated since — Mendeley has built applications on Elsevier's ScienceDirect product using open APIs, and Elsevier has sponsored Mendeley conferences on the topic.

Photo: Nick "Klaus" Meullerleile/Flickr