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Citation Management: Mendeley

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a free reference or citation management software that can offer the usual citation management tools, including organizing reference, sharing citations with colleagues, reading and annotating full text, and easily inserting citations into documents.  

Who can use Mendeley?

Mendeley is open source and available to anyone to download.

Why Mendeley?

The Mendeley desktop is comparable to the EndNote desktop in terms of functionality, but freely available. The Mendeley web importer is also useful.


Download Mendeley Desktop

  • Go to and register
  • Select the green button Download Mendeley Desktop for free

Install Microsoft Word Plug-In and Mendeley Web Importer

  • Open Mendeley Desktop > select Tools > choose Install MS Word Plugin
  • Open Mendeley Desktop > select Tools > Choose Install Web Importer

Install Mendeley App (iPad, iPhone, Android)

  • Go to your App Store > search for Mendeley > select Get

Sync between Mendeley Desktop, Mendeley Web and the Mendeley App

  • Click on the Sync Library icon > Mendeley will upload or download any changes to files

Entering References into the Mendeley Library

  1. Manually 
    • All Documents > File > Add Entry Manually > Choose reference type and enter bibliographic information > Save
  2. Through a PDF
    • Save the PDF to the computer > drag and drop the PDF into the central column of Mendeley Desktop > Check that the bibliographic information Mendeley imports is correct
  3. Web Importer
    • Navigate to the web page or article that you’d like to import > Select the Web Importer icon in the toolbar of the internet browser
    • A Web Library box will appear > make sure the bibliographic information is correct > Save > select Sync in Mendeley Desktop to download the reference
  4.  PubMed
    • Perform a search in PubMed and select references using checkboxes
    • Select the Web Importer icon in the toolbar of the internet browser > a Web Library box will appear > select references again using checkboxes > Save > select Sync in Mendeley Desktop
  5. Web of Science (Web Importer unreliable)
    • Perform a search in Web of Science and  select references using check boxes
    • Select Save to Other File Formats > under File Format  choose BibTeX > in Mendeley click Add, Import document >  click Downloads file > choose the file named saverecs.bib
  6. EBSCO Databases (does not work with Web Importer)
  •  Perform a search > select the Add to Folder icon next to the references in EBSCO that you’d like to import to Mendeley > select Folder View > choose Export > select Direct Export in RIS Format > Drag and Drop the saved file to Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Cite-O-Matic

  • Open Word > click on References tab > ensure you are in the Mendeley Cite-O-Matic section > choose your referencing style from drop down menu > Place the cursor where you’d like the reference to go > select Insert Citation > type keywords to locate the correct citation (e.g. title, author) > click OK
  • Add page numbers through selecting the citation > click Edit Citation > fill in the page numbers box > click OK
  • Add a bibliography by placing the cursor at the end of your document > select Insert Bibliography
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