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Citation Management Tools: Mendeley

How to Download Mendeley

There are a couple different ways for you to access and use Mendeley. The following links will lead you to each where you can decide which works best for you. 

  • Download Mendeley Desktop: this is the actual program that allows you to organize PDFs and sync to your online account. It is compatible with Windows (XP, Vista, or 7), Mac (OS X 10.5+) and Linux.

  • Mendeley Online: from here you can sign into your account, import citations straight from databases, access your libraries from anywhere, and sync to your Mendeley Desktop.

  • Web Importer: add this to your bookmark toolbar and you can import citations directly from databases and websites to your Mendeley library. This page also lists the companies that are compatible with the importer. 

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a combination of a desktop application and a website which helps you manage, share and discover both content and contacts in research.

Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web offers users:

  • Reference Management -  Generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and LaTeX.
  • Read and Annotate -  Open PDFs and capture your thoughts through sticky notes and highlights.
  • Add and Organize -  Import and organize PDFs from your computer, EndNote™, Papers or Zotero.
  • Collaborate -  Connect with colleagues and securely share your papers, notes and annotations.
  • Backup, Sync and Mobile -  Access your papers on the web, iPhone or iPad.

Mendeley Screen Shot

Creating a RIS File for Download to Sakai

To create an RIS file from Mendeley, select items from your library or from an individual collection, using the CTRL key to select more than one, then right click to view the drop-down menu. From that menu, select "Export," then choose "RIS" as the Export Format on that drop-down menu. Click OK and then select the location on your computer where the file is to be saved and give it a name.

Use that file to subsequently upload the citations into Sakai:

  1. Go to "Resources" in any Sakai site, and then use the "Add" drop-down from the folder you wish to import to, selecting "Add Citation List" as your choice."  You can always import citations in My Worlskpace, but by default, only instructors can do this in course sites.

  2. Select Import Citations.

  3. Next to "Import File From:", enter the path to the file you wish to import, or clickBrowse...  to browse to it. 

  4. When the file name appears in the box, click Import. The citations from your file will appear in the Citations list.

Note: In some instances, when the citations originate from a Library database, the entire article is made available online in Sakai.

Additional information on loading RIS files into Sakai is available from this Web site:

For assistance using Sakai, please contact the IT Support Center.

Mendeley Contact

Sabine Lanteri's picture
Sabine Lanteri
Science Liaison Librarian
Reference & Instructional Services
Morris Library, Room 117G
(302) 831-6945

My Subject Guides: Biological Sciences, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Desktop vs. Web

Although Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web look similiar, there are some feature differences that dictate how you will use each one.

Mendeley Desktop excels at ingesting PDFs and autotmatically creating citation data from the information in the PDF. Mendeley desktop also offers excellent features for managing your PDFs on your computer and searching and viewing them.

Mendeley Web allows you to access your saved research on the go (depending on how much of your data you decide to sync) and collect citations while browsing online databases. Mendeley Web will also ingest PDFs from a very small selection of journals, but this is neither widely supported nor very reliable. Mendeley Web also provides access to "largest crowd-sourced research catalog" via its Papers collection.

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