Allow file storage on any server.
I like the idea of syncing my library with a server, but find it undesirable to use Mendeley's. I understand that Mendeley is trying to run a business, but making your server side storage system more open really would encourage people like me to stick with your software. I don't like the idea of uploading my library to foreign servers.
I think giving the users the possibility to pay one off for the basic account server space will bring more people into Mendeley. Actually even the monthly subscription basic plan (solar system) is too expensive compared to other PDF organizer application which you can pay one-off (Papers).
Companie's research labs unfortunately suffer often from constraints arising from privacy policies and confidentiality issues imposed by the companies themselves, banning tools like Mendeley and thus making work quite more complicated as it should be.
Being able to deploy a privately hosted Mendeley server / repository allowing collaborative reference management, document sharing, reading, and writing supporting user and groups management would make Mendeley a bibliographic near-by killer-app for commercial environments too.
(Previous discussions addressing this problem at http://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-mendeley-feedback/suggestions/334586-allow-file-storage-on-any-server-?ref=title )
I have documents I'd like ot organize. But, they should never be public. I liked Mendeley as a student. But, now that I'm working, I cannot share my library as I used to. Maybe sale a server that could run and be managed locally? I bet a number of companies would be interested.
PS: Although the ability of running your private Mendeley host would be a solution for your situation too, this (http://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-mendeley-feedback/suggestions/283362-synchronization-pdfs-between-computers?ref=title) might more reflect what you've got in mind. You might want to vote for that one too, just in case... unfortunately I'm afraid we wouldn't see any privately hosted Mendeley server during the next few years (/ ever?!? : S)... :(
Jun Li, I'm sorry you felt mistakenly addressed by my statement regarding people not willing to reward a service they are in need of. I meant, you–and the people sharing your use-case in mind–would probably have good reasons for this. But apart from these people, there are those other ones voting for this thread because they simply want to detour Mendeley's business model, but this statement was in regard to a comment other than yours.
My point was, I wanted to clear out that there are several classes of people with different use cases in mind voting and commenting for their particular feature but on the same feedback-thread which is not so precisely defined: Somebody belonging to the same class of voters as me posts "We need to be able to deploy an in-house Mendeley-server.", then somebody from your group posts another comment which says "Actually we only need to be able to relocate a single user's local data store, or be able to set the directory for a user's local storage to a WebDAV directory or whatsoever...", then I absolutely have to insist emphatically that "NO, latter won't do it!!! We need a collaborative tool, capable of handling multiple users and groups (desirably even with customizable user roles/rights/privileges per group)... "yet another" single-user bibliography tool–no matter how powerful this might be–is useless for us!" I want to avoid waiting until the feature arising from this thread is being released, only to realize it's not at all what we were in need for.
At a second glance, I might have been wrong and there's no similar feature to sync files between two machines without passing via Mendeley's centralized online repository... except perhaps pumping the entire local DB from the default storage directory on one machine to the default storage directory on another machine by some sync-tool. The minimal requirement you have, would be a user DB import-export function I guess?!
But let me recap–again–that we don't have the same requirements and that there might probably have to arise two different feature requests from this thread!
Jun Li commented
I am definitely preferring the first option (private server). But IMHO, the second one is much easier to implement. And I do want to pay for Mendeley with this feature.
You have mentioned that there are ways to file sync. May I ask how can I do the following task ("easier" than file sync in fact):
There are approx. 5G pdf files, many of them are noted, renamed and meta-info-edited in Mendeley. The are now in a directory E:\Docs\Somewhere\
For some reason, I want them to go C:\User\me\Somewhere
What is the lest painful way to do this?
Well, I'm completely aware of the fact, the in-house server would not provide the users with global statistics or papers' information arising from the community/cloud. So, not seeing this data would simply be the trade-off to live with in companies, unless that company would allow the in-house server to talk to home and get this kind of data, and–if there is a mechanism to determine (passively as well as actively) what exactly is leaving the company's walls–provide Mendelay's global network with the local paper usage/readings stats.
Thanks for your feedback. The case where you cannot sync files with Mendeley Web for privacy reasons is something I am pretty sure we will address in future. If you want to discuss this with someone who can give you a more detailed answer you can email email@example.com.
One point to be aware of is that what Mendeley Web provides is not just file storage but we also process the files in order to provide some features. If you opt not to sync files with Mendeley Web, then some features would not be available for these documents - or they may be more limited. Some of these are obvious (eg. the previews that appear on some catalog pages on the web) and are not relevant for private documents. Others are less obvious (eg. we make use of the attached PDF content in determining readership count for papers). This would be analogous to Google's web search vs. their search appliance for example.
OK, now I guess, we've got two groups of people voting for two different things: One group (e.g. Thomas, Ben, Jeff, Andreas.Wagner, to name only a few of them) voting for ability to deploy "Private Mendeley Server" instances because they (we ;) ) have privacy constraints imposed by their companies/labs, and the other group of people (Jun Li, etc.) opting for the ability to synchronize between multiple computers (although–IMHO–this is already available... but I guess there are good reasons for this second demand, apart from asking the people from Mendeley to do additional work in order NOT to have to pay for their service, not reward them for their great efforts... dimatura, your comment is just an effrontery!!!)
Jun Li commented
This feature is essential for ppl with more than one computer to work with.
I keep watching on this session for a long while. In all the top-ranked suggestions, others are all "making more comfort", this one "reduces your pain".
In fact, it would be enough to add an option to let the user select the "root" directory of the pdf files, then any sync tools can make a shift. E.g., let me setup one Mendeley on my laptop 1 based on E:\Docs\, and the other on my laptop 2 based on "/Users/me/Shelf/". Then I can sync E:\Docs and /Users/me/Shelf with any tools. This is not online or realtime, but would be much better than the current situation (You need to decide the directory structure for your documents at the moment you set-up a new OS and mendeley, otherwise you would need to hack its database file to manually change the filenames. This is ugly anyway.).
PS: I really think Mendeley has definitely the potential to become the researcher supporting killer app, it would just be a pity to implicitly ban it from companies' research labs... :(
Perhaps Mendeley had never been intended for our needs, but it definitely fits our needs much better than most bibliographic tools I've found out there, except the storage issue.
There are several other tools which adress our usecase way less than Mendeley does: web-based bibliographic repositories which are often quite buggy, lack the ability to create different repositories using a single installation (for different groups/confidentiality levels); other tools do not include document-sharing (not even speeking of annotating etc.); then again if they support almost any feature we're interested in, they're not cross platform.
One of the former mentioned solutions would have to do the trick as a workaround then, or there is another workaround which would be using JabRef on top of a SVN/HG repository, but common... there must be a state of the art application fitting our needs?!
I spent a lot–way too much–time in finding a solution without success. There are two more applications very similar to Mendeley (but apparently lesser known) which both lack the ability to deploy a locally hosted shared repository too.
I agree that there are always some more features one personally would like the application to implement, but I can't imagine we would be the only ones using Mendeley this way.
> I would really appreciate a statement about whether this will ever
> happen or not as I'm currently retaining my bibliographic work by
> using poor temporary workaround solutions.
Can you elaborate a little about your needs and what your workaround solutions are?
I would really appreciate a statement about whether this will ever happen or not as I'm currently retaining my bibliographic work by using poor temporary workaround solutions.
If this feature would unfortunately never be available in Mendeley for some reason, I could definitely drop Mendeley from consideration and make one of the poor temporary workarounds to a medium or long term solution.
I'd even already considered–and doing so more and more every single day I wait for this feature–to start an OS project by myself which would implement this feature... but this would be an unnecessary but very expensive reinvention of the wheel.
It would be a pity if Mendeley was spoiled only by the lack of this issue! :S
Generic WebDAV (+SSL) support would be great
Maxime Parenteau commented
Totally agree that a pro version or a server app could make both Mendeley and its users happy.
Please keep an option to synch with the global server though ^_^
true...i recently have noticed this. i had to to turn of folder watching because a lot of duplicates were being generated.
Mendeley currently only syncs information (that is, the hash of the file) about file attachments if file uploads are enabled, so your explanation is correct.
The Dropbox method only works as long as you don't manually curate citations. This is because Mendeley is unable to automatically match a PDF in the watch folder to a manually curated citation. As a result, duplicate entries are generated in the database.
Someone mentioned Mendeley syncs file hashes. I don't think it does. Otherwise this would work.
Just an update...
Can we at least get this (currently 8th ranked) request classified as "pending" in the system with an estimate on a completion time frame (2012, 2013?).
Yeah, best wishes for the wonderful trait that can syn Pdfs in different computers without space limitation.
i am doing something like this with dropbox, which is a separate file storage utility than Mendeley. the way dropbox works is that you designate a folder in our computer as your dropbox - any file/folder in that folder will be synced real time with their server and any other computer you have dropbox installed. I have my papers in a subfolder in dropbox and I set Mendeley to watch this folder (on every computer I have Mendeley and dropbox installed). That way the files are local to my computer and the dropbox server I am syncing to....not Mendeley's. And Mendeley watches these folders and puts the pdf's next to the references that it syncs from its server. Works!!
This is a real opportunity for the Mendeley team. I'm currently working in a private organisation and would like to implement Mendeley for our reference management.
Adding this idea would definitely make Mendeley the best in the market!