I would like to draw your attention to an article in the jobs section in the current issue of Nature on recent developments in social networks for scientists, including Mendeley:
Virginia Gewin. Collaboration: Social networking seeks critical mass. Nature. 468 (2010). pp. 993–994. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nj7326-993a.
As you may conclude from the title, the author comes to the conclusion that social networks for scientists have not yet gained ground against all-purpose social networks such as Facebook. The main reasons seem to be that most scientists are not willing to share research results with their competitors. Another important case in point is privacy: Will the data provided in social networks for scientists be sold to third parties by the company running the network, even if they promise not to do so?
Social networking platforms for research institutions seem to have become a recent trend, providing sub-communities for the communication between peers within the same camp. ResearchGATE aims at attracting institutions rather than single users, providing a solution for internal communication. The social-network bibliographic tool Mendeley we have discussed in this thread also pursues that approach. Networking is not an end in itself, Mendeley’s founder Victor Henning says. It should improve productivity.
Forenbeitrag, Xing-Gruppe: Scientific/ academic publishing, 21. Dezember 2010.