Mendeley Reference Manager

What is Mendeley

Mendeley, is a research management tool that allows you to organize and annotate PDFs, insert bibliographies and citations into your research paper and collaborate in groups. Mendeley offers both desktop and web access, so you'll need to download the software to get started. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Mendeley is free with an option to upgrade for more storage space.


Terms of Use: Be Aware

  • Be advised that you are using Mendeley at your own risk and peril.
  • Mendeley has a broad range of powers including being able to close a user account and remove any material posted by the user where it judges in its sole discretion that the user has failed to comply with the Terms of Use. If posting important academic material to the Mendeley site it is important to maintain back-up copies.
  • Mendeley's software 'automatically collects information' regarding a user's use of the Service and uses cookies and other tracking technologies.
  • Be aware that users' personal information can be disclosed by Mendeley not only to their parent company and its group: Elsevier, but also to agents, suppliers, service providers and affiliates.
  • There is a reference to a user having to pay a fee to meet Mendeley's costs in complying with a subject access request to access their data. Such a fee cannot be more £10 under UK law.

Using Mendeley: The Basics

To benefit fully from Mendeley, you'll need to use both the desktop and web applications.

Desktop Basics
The desktop version is great for managing a library of PDFs. Simply drag-&-drop PDFs into the desktop client tool while Mendeley extracts the citation information. Once PDFs are stored in Mendeley, the desktop application enables/supports simple annotation, note taking, highlighting and viewing. The PDF library, including notes, are a searchable library too.

Web Basics
The web application is great for accessing your library from any computer and for downloading citations when searching database. When downloading references from the web, simply use the bookmarklet to import the citation. The web application is also great for networking with other researchers with similar interests or for discovering research articles that others have imported.

Adding References into Mendeley

You can add a reference to Mendeley a few different ways.

1. You can drag-&-drop a PDF from your own library into the Mendeley client. Mendeley will automatically pull the metadata information from the PDF giving you the complete citation. Once the PDF is in Mendeley, you can highlight, annotate, and cite the article.

2. Using “Add Entry Manually”, you can Copy & Paste the PMID or the DOI into the appropriate field, click the magnifying glass icon, and  the record will be added to your library.

3. If you’re doing research you can simply click on the “Mendeley Bookmarklet” on your browser to import the citation information.


3. You can easily import a library into Mendeley from another software such as Endnote, Refman, or Zotero. Mendely can import BibTeX, RIS and EndNote™ XML files.


Creating Bibliographies

Mendeley allows you to format your citations in over 1,000 different styles. You will need to download and and install Mendeley's Word plugin from the Mendeley client. Simply go to "Tools" and select "Install MS Word Plugin"

You can add references to a Word document a couple different ways.

1. Once the Word plugin is installed, you will see an option for Mendeley in the Word menu bar.  From here you can write your paper and insert citations in the reference style of your choice. Once you're ready, you can insert the bibliography. At any point, you can add, edit, or delete content on your paper and Mendeley will make the appropriate changes with the corresponding in-text citations and bibliography. You can also change the citation style at any point during the writing process.

Mac plugin

Word plugin

2. From the Mendeley client you can quickly select citations from your library, right click, and select "Copy Citation" which allows you paste them into Word.

PDFs: Read and Annotate

With Mendeley, you can tag, annotate, highlight, and add sticky notes onto each PDF document.

You can export a PDF from Mendeley with the annotations, notes, and highlighting all saved. This is a great feature allowing you to read your marked-up PDF on your mobile device, computer or in print.

Contact Us

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Web Services Librarian
(607) 274-3674
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Health Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-1197

Search Argos

Mendeley Guides

Mendeley has a great collection of guides that offers help with the softwared on various platforms, as well as topics like using groups and the citation plugin.

Video Tutorials

Mendeley has created a series of very short and helpful tutorials on many useful features including:

Importing Documents see full size

Generating Citations  see full size

Organizing Your Library see full size

Mendeley Public/Private Groups see full size

Creating Your Profile see full size

Search Your Papers see full size

Collaborating and Networking

In Mendeley, you can create a private group and/or join a public group. Both allow you to easily communicate and collaborate with your community.

Within a group, you can:
  • Share PDF annotations, highlights and notes.
  • View all edits, comments, uploads and changes over time.
  • Share a document or folder

  • Create a profile to share and discover research interests with others
  • Search for information on Mendely in a variety of ways and add full-text PDFs to your library

Mendeley Research Blog

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