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Citation Management Tools

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 offer users:

  • Reference Management -  Generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and LaTeX.
    • Mendeley Cite is compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Word versions 2016 and above and with the Microsoft Word app for iPad®. If you are using an earlier version of Word, you can use the existing Mendeley Citation Plugin for Word available with Mendeley Desktop.
  • 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

How to Download Mendeley

There are a few different ways for you to access and use Mendeley. Each link will lead you to the appropriate site once you 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 (7, 8.1 and 10), Mac (OS X 10.10 and 10.11) 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. 

Exporting your citations from Mendeley

To export your citations from Mendeley, you need to:

  1. Open Mendeley Desktop
  2. Select all your citations in your library by clicking on Edit and then Select All from the toolbar. Or you can press the keys Ctrl and A on a Windows computer or Cmd and A on a Mac computer.
  3. Next from the toolbar, click on File then Export.
  4. Select the location where you want to save the file, for example to the Desktop.
  5. Next, click on the dropdown box labeled Save type as and select the RIS - Research Information Systems (*.ris) format. This format is the most compatible with all the other citation managers, so it's best to use this one.
  6. Click on Save, and

The ris file of your Mendeley library is ready to be imported into another citation manager.

Mendeley Desktop vs. Web

Mendeley Desktop is the downloaded part of the software installed onto your computer. Mendeley Web (also called Mendeley Online) is the website to access the online version of your library, edit your profile and search for papers, groups or people. You can also access Mendeley's social features.

Mendeley Desktop excels at ingesting PDFs and automatically creating citation data from the information in the PDF. Mendeley desktop also offers excellent features for managing your PDFs on your computer as well as 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.

Mendeley Online Tutorials

See also