Annual Mendeley References Management Training Workshop Held for PAUSTI and JKUAT Graduate Community
On Thursday 20thSeptember 2018, PAUSTI Students from the 4th and 5th Cohorts as well as JKUAT Graduate Students, a cross section of Alumni, staff and visitors from across the region underwent a hands-on training on how to manage their references using the Mendeley References management software. Participants were sourced from over 35 African Countries and were well represented in terms of gender. Mendeley is a free cross-platform reference manager, as well as a data repository, career database, and social network that supports millions of researchers across all stages of the research workflow.
The training was conducted by Gavamukulya Yahaya, a Global Mendeley Advisor and Secretary General of the Pan African University Alumni Association (PAUAA), who is also a PhD Candidate in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at PAUSTI. Mr Gavamukulya was assisted by Mr Yosef Hamba Tola as a Co-Facilitator for the Training. Mr Yosef is a PAU Alumnus and currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Pretoria.
The training was officially opened by The Director of PAUSTI, Prof Gabriel Magoma, who called on the participants to actively participate in the workshop so as to gain all the skills needed as far as referencing was concerned. He noted that the training had come at the right time as the students were currently working upon their research proposals and or theses, and that the skills gained would help them when it comes to refining their research proposals, manuscripts for publication as well as the theses. He also underscored the importance of accurate referencing as a key tool in the scientific process and notified the participants that in addition to the training, they shall be undergoing a Library use orientation week in the near future. He additionally thanked and welcomed the JKUAT Graduate students, staff, PAU Alumni and visitors from across the region who had also embraced the training.
The Director acknowledged the role played by the Alumni in the progress of the University and Institute in Particular. He further called upon the participants to embrace the spirit of giving back to the University, in whatever way they can, when they graduate and become Alumni. The Director further thanked Mr Gavamukulya for choosing to make the training an annual event at PAUSTI and pledged his office’s full support for any similar events and activities that are in the good interest of the Institute and University in General. He also thanked Mr Hamba for creating time to co-facilitate at the Workshop, despite having a very busy schedule. He finally officially opened the training workshop and wished everyone a fruitful session.
The key outcomes of the workshop included skills in creation and management of a Mendeley Library, automatically making in text citations (for Microsoft Word documents, LibreOffice as well as LaTex), automatic generation of references / bibliography lists, management of different citation styles, online literature search, collaboration as well as discovery using Mendeley among others.
At the end of the training, participants who had demonstrated proficiency in general knowledge received promotional items from Mendeley including T-Shirts, Pens, and Stickers. All participants received Mendeley Certificates for their participation.
“We hereby recognize that the holder actively participated in a Mendeley presentation session organized by the named Mendeley Advisor. This has enabled the holder to better understand Mendeley and therefore improve their research workflow”, the certificates read in part.
The participants appreciated the skills gained and promised to use the software in their graduate and research life.