Mendeley is a citation management tool that, like many others, lets you collect & organize citations, & then easily insert them into documents & format bibliographies. But it also lets you drag & drop PDFs into your library & extracts the metadata to create a library!
You can highlight and annotate your PDFs and share them with others. Colleagues can then also annotate the same document, with each author displaying as a different color.
Use more than one computer? It’s not a problem! Download Mendeley Desktop to as many computers as you want, then sync them with a click of your mouse. Need to use your library away from your computer? Mendeley Web gives you access to your citations no matter where you are.
Mendeley is social: create a profile, follow other researchers, create a network of people doing similar research. Discover the articles and journals that are being read in your field right now.
Create collections of papers. Make them public & share them with an RSS feed(great for class reading lists!).
Mendeley’s free version has some limitations on space (2 GB web storage, 500 MB each for personal shared storage) and users (3) and shared collections (1), but you can purchase premium plans for more web & personal storage space & more users & shared groups.
At Mendeley Feedback, you can suggest changes to the program, see how many votes your idea has, & if Mendeley is going to use it.
Adding & Deleting References
One of the magical parts of Mendeley is the ability to add references by simplydragging & dropping PDFs into your Mendeley Desktop library. You can also:
- Import from electronic databases, using Mendeley’s Web Importer (citations are imported into Mendeley Web) OR using the .ris or .nbib formats.
- Import existing libraries from other citation management programs (EndNote / BibTeX / RIS databases).
- Import from Mendeley’s Research Catalog.
- Import using Catalog ID lookup.
- Add references manually.
Watch a video to see how this works.
Important note: When you attach documents (such as PDFs, Word docs, JPEGs), you must keep them in a folder, somewhere on your computer or network space. If you work on multiple computers, the folders need to contain only those files that you’ve attached on that computer; that is, you don’t have to duplicate all files on all of the computers that you use.
Drag & Drop PDFs
Just drag one or more PDFs from a dedicated folder on your desktop, share space, or USB drive into your library into Mendeley Desktop. The program then extracts the metadata (author, title, journal name, etc.) to create a library record.
Note: Keep a folder for Mendeley PDFs on each computer that you use (it only needs to have the PDFs that were uploaded from that computer, not all PDFs in Mendeley) or keep them on share space)
If the program senses that there may be errors in the record, it will be placed in aNeeds Review folder until you correct the information or confirm that it is correct. Use the Search by title button to search Google Scholar, or use the research catalog entry, or PMID in PubMed to correct errors.
You can, of course, attach PDFs & other file types directly to your existing citations.
Searching the Research Catalog
Search Mendeley’s crowd-sourced research catalog on the web for specific articles or subjects. To add references from the catalog to your library, simply click theSave Reference to library or Save PDF to library button when the PDF is freely available to all to add both the record & the PDF ast the same time. If the PDF is not freely available, use the Find this paper at dropdown list to use the Library’s open URL resolver to search for the article.
Also use the Related Research below each article to expand your search.
Exporting Large Numbers of Citations
If you want to to import hundreds (or thousands) of references (for example, if you’re doing a systematic review) and don’t want to import a references a page of results at a time using the Web Importer, there are other ways to export.
.ris format in a variety of databases
- Select Mendeley on the dialog box that opens, giving you a choice to “open with” or save”, OR
- Save the file to your desktop, then import it into Mendeley.
.nbib format in PubMed
- In PubMed, from the Send to link in the upper right, select Citation Manager, then click the Create File button.
- In Mendeley, from the Add Files menu, select Add Files…
- Browse to find the .nbib file, select, & click the Open button to import the citations.
Citations & Bibliographies
Inserting Citations Within Word
Download the Word plugin (from the Tools menu of Mendeley Desktop). Have both your Word document and your Mendeley Desktop library open. Remember, you can’t insert citations from Mendeley Web.
- Place your cursor exactly where you want the citation to go in your Word document.
- On the References tab of Word, click the Insert Citation icon. The Style dropdown box will not display a bibliographic style until you have inserted your first citation.
- In the search window that opens, enter a search term to bring up the citation you need.
- Note that you can search your whole library (My Library), which is the default setting, or, using the dropdown menu, choose from your folders or groups.
- Select the citation to insert & click OK.
Create a Bibliography
From the Style dropdown list, choose a bibliographic style. Place your cursor exactly where you want the bibliography to appear, then click Insert Bibliography.
You can insert a bibliography at any time after citations have been entered into your Word document. New references will continue to be added to the list.
Can’t find the exact style that you need? Edit (or customize) a related style using the directions in this handout.
Inserting Citations From Your Mendeley Library
- Place the cursor where you want the citation to go in your Word document.
- On the References tab, click the Insert Citation.
- Click the Go To Mendeley button on the search box to view your complete library.
4. Select the citation(s) to add (use the CTRL key to select more than one citation).
5. Click the Send Citation to Word Processor icon.
Download Mendeley Desktop: https://www.mendeley.com/downloads
Download Mendeley Web Importer: https://www.mendeley.com/reference-management/web-importer#id_1