Playing around with Mendeley earlier today, I started to wonder whether it might be an appropriate tool for publishing reading lists, and it seems that this is on of the possible use case that the Mendeley team have been exploring: Share recommended readings using Mendeley’s Public Collections.
The idea is to create a collection, add the reading list items you have selected to it, and then publish the collection as a public one. Once published, the recommendation list appears on it's own web page with tools that allow individual items to be added to another user's personal collection, as well as letting them subscribe to the whole list either in Mendeley or via RSS in a generic feed reader:
The list can also embedded in a third party site as the following example demonstrates:
References collected using Mendeley
This approach looks like it might be particularly useful for reading lists that are built around journal references. A good example of such a list can be found at the Department of Plant Sciences in Cambridge - Part II Reference Lists: Module M1:
That said, it seems like the Plant Sciences folk have a pretty good system in place already - list contents can be displayed for the course as a whole, or for individual lectures, which I suspect is really handy; citations by author and journal can also be identified. What they don't do, though, is provide the portability that Mendeley Public Collections do via the Mendeley Collection subscription feeds...
PS just in passing, it's also interesting to note how the Plant Sci lists link trhough to documents - via DOIs: e.g. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0605129103; I wonder - could they also offer a link for Cam users by running the resolved DOI through something like libezproxy to handle authentication issues?