What is Mendeley?

Mendeley Reference Manager is a free web and desktop reference management application. It helps you simplify your reference management workflow so you can focus on achieving your goals.

With Mendeley Reference Manager you can:

  • Store, organize and search all your references from just one library.

  • Seamlessly insert references and bibliographies into your Microsoft® Word documents using Mendeley Cite.

  • Read, highlight and annotate PDFs, and keep all your thoughts across multiple documents in one place.

  • Collaborate with others by sharing references and ideas.

  1. Add new - Use this to add new references to your Mendeley library.
    For more details on how to add references to your library see  02. Adding references.

  2. All References - Select this to return to your personal library in Mendeley Reference Manager.

  3. Smart Collections - Mendeley Reference Manager automatically organizes aspects of your library into smart collections.
    For more details on how to use smart collections see  03. Searching and organizing references.

  4. Custom Collections - Keep your references organized in custom collections.
    For more details on how to create and use custom collections see  03. Searching and organizing references.

  5. Private Groups - Any private groups you join or create will be listed under this heading.
    For more details about private groups see  09. Sharing references.

  6. Search - Use this field to search your Mendeley library.

  7. Library table - All of the references in your selected collection or group will be visible here.

  8. Action panel - Select the check box next to a reference in the library table to bring up the action panel.
    For more details on what you can do with the action panel see  03. Searching and organizing references.

  9. Info panel - Select a reference in the library table to view the metadata in the info panel.

  10. Library - Select ‘Library’ to return to the main library view.

  11. Notebook - Use Notebook to keep all your thoughts in one place.
    For more details about how to use Notebook see  04. Reading and annotating documents.

  12. Sync - Mendeley Reference Manager automatically syncs any changes you make to the cloud. This means that your work is always saved and available on other devices.
    For more details about sync see  07. Syncing.

  13. Profile - Use this drop down to access your online profile page, access support or sign out of your account.

Before you get started, here are some terms you should be familiar with:

Mendeley Desktop: Mendeley Desktop is the downloaded part of the software installed onto your computer.

Mendeley Web: This is the Mendeley website where you can access the web version of your library, edit your profile and search for papers, groups or people. You can also access Mendeley's social features.

Sync: The process of synchronizing your Mendeley data across devices.

Web Importer: The browser extension that lets you quickly add references to your library from anywhere on the web.

Citation Plugin: A plugin you can install that allows you to create and format your citations and bibliography according to your chosen style.


Adding Articles

Import references from the web directly to your Mendeley library with Mendeley Web Importer. The browser extension detects article identifiers on the page you are viewing and automatically retrieves metadata and PDF full texts (where available) for you to add to your library.


Mendeley Cite add-in for Microsoft® Word allows you to cite seamlessly.

Easily insert references from your Mendeley library into your Word document, change your citation style and instantly generate a bibliography - all without leaving your document.

Mendeley Cite is compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Word Online, Microsoft Word versions 2016 and above and with the Microsoft Word app for iPad®.

See their dedicated guide to  Mendeley Cite for more details.

Creating Collections

Custom collections offer a way to quickly filter the view of your library.

Adding a reference to a collection in your Mendeley library does not relocate the reference, but instead acts as a label. This means that any reference added to a collection will still appear in ‘All References’. If you delete a collection the references inside will still be available in ‘All References’.

To create a new collection, select the ‘New Collection’ button in the left hand navigation panel.

To add a reference to a collection, drop it onto a collection in the left hand navigation panel.

Removing Duplicates

You are able to review your duplicate references by viewing the 'Duplicates' smart collection, from here you can see duplicated references grouped into sets. You can delete any unwanted references to resolve a duplicate set.

Mendeley Reference Manager will also detect duplicates when importing new references, it will prompt you with a button that takes you to the Duplicates smart collection, if clicked, to review and resolve your duplicated references as necessary.

Right now now can only deleted duplicates in Mendeley. Unlike Zotero you cannot merge them into one record. Please compare your duplicates carefully.

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