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Getting Started with Mendeley: The Basics

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. You can use it to collect references and the associated PDFs, when the PDF is avai

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a free citation manager and academic social network that enables you to manage citations and PDFs using a desktop client or through your account on mendeley.comMendeley also includes plugins for Word or Open Office, so you can easily create citations and/or bibliographies as you write your papers. Mendeley users can connect with other researchers in their field and discover what they are reading. There are also groups you can join that focus on particular subject areas or research projects. 

How to Get Started with Mendeley

1.  Get started by creating an account.

2.  Create your profile.

3.  Download the Mendeley Desktop.

4.  Install the Mendeley Web Importer.

5.  Install the Mendeley MS Word Plugin.

Mendeley Desktop

Use the Mendeley Desktop to build and organize your collection of references and documents, which you can sync with the web and mobile versions. Drag & drop PDF files into the Desktop to instantly create references. Annotate PDFs with highlights and sticky notes as you read them.

Features of the Mendeley Desktop - short video tutorials on how to use the features of Mendeley Desktop

Web Importer

Install the Web Importer .

With the Mendeley Web Importer, you can easily save references and PDF files into your personal library.

You just need to be viewing an article or a list of references in the browser. This can mean that you're looking at an actual PDF file, an article entry in an online catalog, or even a list of search results. The Mendeley Web Importer will scan the page for metadata, and provide you with a list of the results it finds.

To begin the import process, click on the red Mendeley button next to the address bar in Chrome, or click the 'Save to Mendeley' bookmarklet in your Bookmarks/Favorites if you're using another browser. Depending on the number of results the Importer finds, you'll be provided with a list of different items, or specific details of a single item. You can then review the details, and even make manual corrections within the Importer itself, before choosing to add the references to your personal Mendeley library.

Citation Plug-In for Word

The Citation Plugin allows you to quickly and easily cite materials that you’ve added to your Mendeley library.  

  • It is a free, simple plugin for Microsoft Word (Windows, Mac) or Libre Office (All platforms).

  • Allows you to quickly and easily insert styled citations to reference materials from your Mendeley Library.

  • Automatically generates a bibliography for your paper using all the materials you’ve cited.

Ensure your word processor is closed before attempting to install the plugin.

Open the Tools Menu and select the appropriate option. Mendeley will detect which word processor(s) you have installed, so the options available to you may vary.

The citation tool installs very quickly and will confirm once it finishes.

Using the Citation Plug-in