Monthly Archives: May 2010

Resource for Collaboration: Mendeley Research Networks

Mendeley is a free social Web application designed for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online.  It has many associated functions to connect researchers with common interests, opening new avenues for interaction, knowledge sharing and discovery. Research articles can be fed to Mendeley, that has an intuitive, easy to use interface.  It automatically extracts data, keywords, cited references, etc, creating a searchable database that is easily accessed and shared.

The main possibilities offered by Mendeley are:

  • creation of your personal bibliographic database using automatic extraction of document details and cited references from PDFs, as well as automatic retrieval of additional information from CrossRef, PubMed, ArXiv, etc;
  • possibility to read, full-text search, annotate, and highlight your PDF research papers in Mendeley’s integrated PDF viewer;
  • synchronize your bibliographic database across multiple machines, share it with colleagues, manage it online, or embed bibliographies on blogs and websites;
  • quickly cite your papers in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer and create bibliographies with a single click;
  • capture citations from websites using Mendeley’s cross-browser Web Importer;
  • synchronize your digital library with your private Mendeley Web account and across multiple computers;
  • manage your private article library online and full-text search across all your research papers;
  • Web Importer that allows easy one-click capturing of citations from web pages like PubMed, ArXiv, Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge, and SpringerLink, among others.

And there is a lot more!  Visit the Web site of Mendeley to learn about all features of this interesting resource for information management and collaboration.


Resource for Collaboration: Protocol Pedia

Protocol Pedia, or the encyclopedia of science protocols, has just been launched.   It is a free social Web application that provides a platform for organization of protocols and promotion of interaction and collaboration.

Researchers can create personal collections of protocols which will be available under their ‘Favorites’ for easy access.   Also, users can rate, comment and help improve protocols available in the database.

Protocol Pedia provides in addition a forum platform to connect scientists, promoting discussions directed to solve specific problems.  It also hosts a blog dedicated to discussion of the latest in the world of science.

Visit the Web site of Protocol Pedia to learn about all features of this interesting resource for information sharing and collaboration.

Quotes Inspiring Cooperation

“I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow.”

Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)

How Embrapa Manages its Research and Development Programs – I

Embrapa has always invested a great deal of effort in foresight, strategic planning and improvement of institutional processes.  During its 37 years of existence, the leading Brazilian agricultural research organization experienced four different models of research and development management in response to changing realities and emergence of new trends and innovation methods.

The implementation of its current model, called Embrapa Management System (SEG) was an important move towards stronger networking to tackle new challenges, both at the national and international levels. Also, this management process incorporated the concept of integrating and aligning the organization´s efforts in R&D, communication, technology transfer and Institutional Development.

The SEG system was conceived and implemented between 2001 and 2003, when Embrapa anticipated the need to promote more cooperative efforts within its network.   Also, it was a response to a need to expand its networking capabilities beyond its borders, both upstream (with national and international scientific partners) and downstream (with users and beneficiaries of agricultural innovations).

The strategic planning process of Embrapa takes into account the fact that organizations in the modern world are subjected to many kinds of pressure and cannot afford to respond to change and undertake adaptation following the traditional cycles of planning, which are usually too long.  Organizations must plan and act strategically, in a continuous manner, and management processes must be flexible enough to accommodate adjustments and modulations any time during their implementation cycles.

In this post we present the motivations that led Embrapa to revise its R&D management system and to incorporate, since 2002, a more integrated mode of operation.

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How Embrapa Manages its Research and Development Programs – II

Embrapa Management System - SEG. Click to see a larger image.

Founded in 1973, Embrapa always pursued innovative strategies to broaden and diversify the scope of agricultural research in Brazil.  The organization always placed strong emphasis in institutional development and, during its past 37 years of existence, it experienced four different research and development models:  a)  the Concentrated Research Model; b) the Circular Programming Model; c) the Embrapa Planning System (SEP), and d) the Embrapa Management System (SEG).

The Concentrated Research Model, implemented during the organization´s early phase was based on the creation of its network of national R&D centers, concentrated on major cropping and animal production systems as well as in eco regional and national themes. The Circular Programming Model was conceived and implemented in the 1980’s and placed emphasis on new and more inclusive strategies for definition of research programs. The establishment of the Embrapa Planning System (SEP), in 1992, inaugurated a systems approach to R&D planning at Embrapa, with emphasis on society´s demand for technologies, products and services, and integrated operation through national programs.

The current model, known as Embrapa Management System (SEG), was conceived and implemented between 2001 and 2003 and brought significant change to the scope and focus of R&D organization and management within the Embrapa system.  Also, for the first time a management model promoted the alignment of the R&D process with the organization´s efforts in communication, technology transfer and Institutional Development.

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Embrapa Inaugurates a New Unit Dedicated to Strategic Studies and Training

Photo by Leonardo Carvalho

On May 10, 2010 President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will inaugurate a new Embrapa Unit, as part of the agenda of the Brazil-Africa dialogue on food security, hunger and rural development, which occurs in Brasilia.  The event, organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be attended by more than 70 delegations from African countries. 

Embrapa Strategic Studies and Training will be a Unit dedicated to promote and to coordinate studies on strategic issues that contribute to the enhancement of institutional and programmatic objectives of Embrapa, as well as to capacity building and training of local and foreign professionals in tropical agriculture. 

It will also contribute to empower new talents, employed by Embrapa or by other technical organizations, public and private.  The Unit will start in 2010 capacity building activities  in the framework of technical cooperation projects between Brazil and African countries, especially those with which Embrapa develops cooperation projects in different areas of agricultural research and development.

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Quotes Inspiring Cooperation

“In the coming century, there will be an urgent need for scholars who go beyond the isolated facts; who make connections across the disciplines;  and who begin to discover a more coherent view of knowledge and a more integrated, more authentic view of life.” —  By Ernest Boyer*

*Boyer, E. L. (1994). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities for a new century. In G. Rigby (Ed.), Universities in the twenty-first century. London: National Commission on Education, p. 118.