How well does Mendeley’s Metadata Extraction Work?

Making Tools for Researchers

Authors: Phil Gooch and Kris Jack


One of the most used features at Mendeley is our metadata extraction tool.  We’ve recently developed a new service that tries to automatically pull out the metadata from research article PDFs. This is currently used by the new Mendeley Web Library and iOS applications (Figure 1).  We’re often asked how well it works so we thought we’d put this short post together to answer that question.

Metadata Extraction Storyboard
Figure 1.  Steps in metadata extraction in Mendeley Library. Step 1, add a PDF. Step 2, wait a second for the metadata to be extracted. Step 3, see the extracted metadata.

The Problem

Automated metadata extraction is one of those problems in AI that appears very easy to solve but is actually quite difficult.  Given a research article, that has been well formatted by a publisher, normally it’s easy to spot key metadata such as its…

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