Skip to main content

Why Mendeley

What can Mendeley do for you? 

Mendeley is a free reference manager software package that can help you

  • Organize your research
  • Create bibliographies using Word or Open Office
  • Collaborate with colleagues and others with similar research interests by joining groups, sharing folders, tagging and more
  • Search for papers in the Mendeley library

Using Mendeley

  • Go to and sign up for an account
  • Download and install the desktop version of the program to your computer
  • Install the Mendeley web importer and drag and drop onto your browser's tool bar
  • Open your Mendeley desktop and install the MS Word Plugin (Go to Tools->Install MS Word Plugin)

You can add references to your Mendeley account though:

  • Manual Entry - On your desktop version go to "Add Files" and on the drop down box select "add files manually".  Using the web version click on the "add" button and select "add entry manually"
  • Drag and Drop - Either from a folder on your computer or from the web into your library
  • Web Importer - When viewing the article or a list of articles from a search, click on the Import to Mendeley button on your browser toolbar and directly import your references.
  • Search Within Mendeley - Using the web version you can search for papers stored in Mendeley's database of journal articles.  Results can be saved directly to your library
  • Watch folder - In the desktop version, go to File->Watch Folder and select folder(s) on your computer that you store PDF files.  Once this folder is selected, anything that  you add will automatically be added to your Mendeley library

After you have installed the Word plugin, you can add citations to a word doc/paper by doing the following:

  • In Word, select the References tab.  There should be a Mendeley Cite-O-Matic section
  • Selet the format of your citations using the drop down box beside "style"
  • Place your curser where you would like to insert the in text citation and select "insert citation"
  • A small box will appear with a search bar that allows you to search for references in you Mendeley Library.  As you type, the box will display references that match your search.  Select the reference tha t you would like to use and press OK.  
  • You can also select the "Go to Mendeley" button, which will open the desktop and allow you to select the reference that you would like to cite.  Once highlighted, select "Send the Citation to Word Processor" button in the header menu.
  • To create a bibliography, at the end of th your document select Insert Bibliography.  If you make any future changes to your in-text citations, you can simply press the "refresh" button within the Cite-O-Matic section and your bib will be updated. 

In your Mendeley library, there are a number of ways that you can manage what you have saved:

  • Editing - When you click on a reference in the library details of that reference are displayed on the right side of your screen.  Click on the space beside any field to edit info or add tags to your reference
  • To remove any possible duplicates, select Tools->Check for Duplicates.  Suspected duplicates will be displayed.  You will be notified if there are fields that don't match, and requested to indicated which fields are correct.  When this is complete, you can merge the documents. 
  • Merging Duplicate Author Names, Publications or Tags - You can choose to filter your references by author, publication, or tags by selecting the filter options on the left menu.  There are times when the name, title or tag is displayed in multiple items.  Eg: author John Smith may be listed as Smith, J, Smith, John or Smith, J.A.  To merge the identifiers, click on the one that is a duplicate or is incorrect and drag it over to the correct identifier. 
  • Searching or Annotating PDFs - this is really handy when collaborating!  PDF documents can be read within Mendeley by clicking on the file attached to a reference.  The search box in the righ corner of the screen allows you to search within a document.  Use the top menu to highlight or annotate the text on the PDF.  Changes that you make to the document will be saved in your Mendeley account.  When  you are viewing your list of references from the My Library screen, you can see the notes that you made within a document by selecting the Notes tab above the right details pane. 
  • Adding Tags - In the web version, click on the article you would like to tag, in the right hand panel, click on edit and add tags.  In the desktop version click on the article you would like to edit and select the details button in the right panel and add tags under that field (remember to use semi-colons if you are adding multiple tags). Tags are searchable.

Sharing and Neworking

Mendeley can also be used as a networking and collaborative tool!

  • Using the web version, you can join groups, create a public or private group and share folders within those groups.  Click on "create groups" in the left side bar and follow the prompts.  Once you have created a group you can add members.  
  • Using the desktop version locate the "Groups" header in your list of collections on the left, and click on "Create Group". You will see the same group creation form from the Mendeley Web, and you can set the name, a description, tags, some disciplines and the privacy level of the group. Once done, you can select your newly created shared collection on the left, and then locate the "Edit Settings" button above the centre column. From here, you can manage your group's members.
  • If you find an article in a database or on the web, you can add this to a group using the Mendeley web importer in your tool bar.
  • Create a folder on your desktop and import manually to groups

Create and Use Groups in Mendeley

Brian Jackson's picture
Brian Jackson

Phone: 403.440.5032
Office: EL4423X