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Collecting on it would require something new, bold, and distinctly profitable.
As users became happier, publishers grew grumpier and investors less patient.
The company was generating lots of value, but had not yet collected on it.
Over the next eighteen months, he saw that the company might not prove as disruptive as he had hoped.
Mendeley’s main product, which Hoyt helped refine, was a reference manager app, the sort of desktop software that academics use to organize research papers. The company argued that such in-group sharing amounted to fair use among colleagues.
And by unbundling the paper from the journal, as had let music fans unbundle songs from albums, they felt like they were kicking a brick out of the outmoded publishing infrastructure.
Hoyt, however, found that his efforts to strengthen this tool increasingly revealed its limits.“I don’t want my search patterns to help Elsevier sell me closed science,” she said. Former Mendeley employee Jason Hoyt, however, was not surprised.Hoyt, a young onetime geneticist out of Stanford, had moved to London in 2010 to serve as Mendeley’s vice president of research and development.Now, even though the Internet provides a faster, freer, more flexible way to share, discuss, and archive scientific findings and ideas, the business infrastructure built around that print model still dominates and constrains the sharing of scientific information.The research paper, created as a conduit for information, has become a bottleneck.These are working papers whose authors will further develop.When scholarly publishing behemoth Elsevier gobbled up London software start-up Mendeley earlier this week, many Mendeley users felt as if the Galactic Empire had coöpted the Rebel Alliance.Which is one reason that discontented researchers loved Mendeley.Simply by searching, finding, reading, and sharing papers on Mendeley, researchers could rebel both personally and politically: they could enjoy the frisson of obtaining a paywalled paper without paying for it.Mendeley is still growing, with two million three hundred thousand users sifting through over a hundred million references.Their use patterns reveal who is reading what, which papers are popular, what lines of research are surging, which disciplines and journals are crucial, and a lot of other extremely valuable information.