Corrected JMIR citation style for Mendeley desktop


100 out of 100 academics agree that working with Endnote is about as enjoyable as putting your genitals through a rusty meat grinder while listening to Justin Bieber’s greatest hits at full blast and being waterboarded with liquid pig shit. I’ve spent countless hours trying to salvage the broken mess that Endnote leaves and have even lost thousands of carefully cleaned and de-duplicated references for a systematic review due to a completely moronic ‘database corruption’ that was unrecoverable.

Thankfully, there is an excellent alternative in the free, open source (FOSS) form of Mendeley Desktop, available for Windows, OS X, iToys and even Linux (yay!).

One of the big advantages of Mendeley over Endnote, apart from it not looking like the interface from a 1980s fax machine, is the ability to add, customise and share your own citation styles in the .csl (basically xml/Zotero) markup. While finishing my last revised paper I found out that the shared .csl file for the Journal of Medical Internet Research (a staple journal for my niche) is quite off and throws random, unnecessary fields in the bibliography that did not conform to JMIR’s instructions for authors.

The online repository of Mendeley is pretty wonky and the visual editor isn’t too user friendly, so I busted out some seriously nerdy h4xx0rz-skillz (which chiefly involved pressing backspace a lot) .

Get it.

Well, with some judicious hacking, I present to you a fixed JMIR .csl file for Mendeley (and probably Zotero, too). Download the JMIR .csl HERE (probably need to click ‘save as’, as your browser will try to display the xml stream). It’s got more than a few rough edges but it works for the moment. Maybe I’ll update it some time.

According to the original file, credits mostly go out to Michael Berkowitz, Sebastian Karcher and Matt Tracy. And a bit of me. And a bit of being licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Don’t forget to set the Journal Abbreviation Style correctly in the Mendeley user interface.

Oh, I also have a Mendeley profile. Which may or may not be interesting. I’ve never looked at it. Tell me if there’s anything interesting there. So, TL;DR: Mendeley is FOSS (Free Open Source Software), Endnote is POSS (Piece of Shit Software).

Update: A friendly blogger from Zoteromusings informed me in the comments that I was wrong: Mendeley is indeed not FOSS but just free to use, and not open source. Endnote is still a piece of shit, though. I was right about that 😉

Academic journal recognition, not of a very savoury kind

You know an academic field has come to full maturity when the null results come rolling in. But you really know an academic discipline has come to maturity when the first shady academic journals pop up. Enter “E-Health Telecommunication Systems and Networks” from Scientific Research Publishing (love their description “An Academic Publisher“!).

Much publish. Very journal. So impact factor. Wow

An invitation mail mass-spam just popped into my spam e-mail box alongside invitations to submit to other “rapid peer review and publishing” journals with names that range from could-be reputable (‘British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research’) to downright weird. The basic premise of these journal is well-known to me as a musician: the much-maligned pay-to-play‘ principle has many a musician grunting (ha!) and complaining – it looks like the pay-to-publish racket is not very different.

Should you send an eHealth-related manuscript to these people? Is Scientific Research Publishing a predatory journal? Who knows. But the word on the virtual streets is not good. And a company publishing 200+ English-language journals in just over 6 years is ambitious, to say the least. Oh yes, and they gladly accepted a randomly generated maths paper (read: total bullshit) for publication after a mere 10 days of review – only the lead ‘author’ didn’t pony up the processing charges.

Long story short, if you want to publish your eHealth-related manuscript in one of my 666+ Bottom Of The Barrel Research Publishing Co. journals, just send me the manuscript and $2000. I’ll personally do some ‘peer-reviewing’. Or do it the boring old way and send your eHealth-related manuscript to reputable academic journals like the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Internet Interventions or the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.