Mendeley officials have gone on the offensive on social media (see in particular the comments of that Danah Boyd post), trying to convince their users and the community of their continuing good intentions and their commitment to the integrity of their product. While there have also been voices pointing out that Elsevier’s move shows that even a publisher known for its corporate ugliness and greed is willing to expand its open data efforts and promote easier access to its content, disgruntled scientists are not buying it. This is partly because the glass between the scientific community and Elsevier had already been broken. Last year, another grassroots movement was started against Elsevier by mathematician Timothy Gowers to protest their support of SOPA and their business model. The protest has so far managed to convince more than 13,000 scientists to promise not to support Elsevier journals until they change their practices.
Users retain the right to chose their own platform. Even if Mendeley provides a good product, and proves eventually that their new affiliation will not fundamentally change their practices, the fact remains that they are now part of Elsevier and therefore, for many, on the wrong side of the fence. Scientists are free to abandon the software if they still have strong enough feelings about this.
Among them, myself. I pledged last year to avoid supporting Elsevier in any capacity if I can help it, and I feel that now this extends to Mendeley. Yesterday, I jumped on the bandwagon and #mendeleted, moving all my literature database to zotero.