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Citation Management

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Mendeley is a combination of a desktop application and a website which helps you manage, share and discover both research content and research contacts. Mendeley also allows you to drag & drop PDFs into your Mendeley account and then highlight and annotate those PDFs and share them with others. 

Mendeley's free version has some space limitation (2 GB of web storage, 500 MB each for personal storage), 3 users and 1 shared collection.  Premium accounts are available.

NOTE: Mendeley is hosted on a US server and does not comply with  BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) which  requires that the mandated use of systems located outside of Canada must be with prior written consent if the user has to provide personal information.

Using Mendeley - Basics

Installing Mendeley

  1. Go to mendeley.com
  2. Click "Create a Free Account"
  3. Create a free account, which will begin the download onto the computer (instructions are prompted). This will also open up a ‘Getting started with Mendeley’ page with several video tutorials.
  4. Open Mendeley Desktop, and sign in with the created account ID, which will open the desktop window

The Mac window is similar; with different icons at the top that perform the same functions.

TIP: There is an existing file titled ‘Getting Started with Mendeley’ that is in the ‘All Documents’ folder. This file has is a detailed introduction to using Mendeley.

Adding References - Web Importer

Use the Web Importer bookmarklet to save references into your Mendeley account.

  1. Drag & Drop the bookmarklet into the toolbar of each browser that you use.
  2. Click on the bookmarklet, sign in to Mendeley
  3. Find a source (article, book or webpage)
  4. Click the "Save to Mendeley" bookmark
  5. Review the details and Save

Adding References - Drag & Drop

Drag one or more PDFs from a dedicated folder on your desktop, shared space or USB driver into your library on Mendeley Desktop.  Mendeley extracts (as best it can) the relevant metadata: author, title, journal name, etc... to create a record.

NOTE: Keep a folder for Mendeley PDFs on each computer, network drive or USB that you use (it only need to have the PDFs that were uploaded from that computer, not all PDFs in Mendeley).

If Mendeley senses that there may be errors in the record, that record will be placed in a Needs Review folder until you correct the information or confirm that the information is correct. 

Creating folders

  1. Sign in to Mendeley Desktop
  2. Click the folder icon at the top or use the Create Folder link in the left hand panel
  3. Type in the name of the new folder in the box

 

To add items to folders

  1. Select, drag & drop

 

Inserting Citations Within Word

  1. Download and install the Word plugin (from the Tools menu of Mendeley Desktop).
  2. Open your Mendeley desktop application AND your Word document.
  3. In your Word document, place your cursor exactly where you want your in-text citation to be placed.
  4. In the References tab of Word, click the Insert Citation icon.  The Style drop down box will not display a bibliographic style until you have inserted your first citation.
  5. In the search window that opens, enter the search term (author, date, keyword) to bring up the citation that you need.
  6. Select the citation to insert and click OK.

Create a Bibliography

  1. In Word, click on the References tab.
  2. From the Style drop down menu, choose a bibliographic style
  3. Place your cursor exactly where you want the bibliography/reference list/works cited list to appear.
  4. Click Insert Bibliography

There are 3 types of groups:

  • Private groups: Share references and full-text files. Only group members can see the group, good for sharing in private. 
  • Invite only groups: Share references only. Public can follow the group only, good for sharing references or reading lists.
  • Public groups: Share references only. Public can become a member or follow the group, good for crowd sourcing reading lists.

NOTE: Mendeley's free version has some space limitation (2 GB of web storage, 500 MB each for personal storage), 3 users and 1 shared collection.  Premium accounts are available. If you are needing a group of more than 3 additional users besides yourself, consider using Zotero (instructions coming soon).

Create a Group

  1. Sign in to Mendeley Desktop
  2. Use the Edit menu and choose "New Group" in the pull down menu.
  3. Enter the name of the group, description (if you wish) and select the type of group that you are creating: Private, Invite-Only, or Public.
  4. If the group is Private or Invite-Only, send invitations to the group.

From RefWorks

  1. Export your citations from RefWorks [insert link here]
  2. Open Mendeley Desktop and login.
  3. Select Add Files and choose Add Files
  4. Browse your computer for your RefWorks file that contains your exported citations, select the file and click Open to import them into Mendeley.
  5. Click the Sync icon to save the references to the web.

Note: If you have attached files in RefWorks, they will NOT be imported.  Save the files to your desktop and save tehm into Mendeley using Add Files.  Mendeley will use the metadata to attach them to the correct record.

From Zotero

  1. In Mendeley Desktop, select Tools and choose Options (PC) or Preferences (Mac)
  2. In the Options window, select the Zotero tab.
  3. Check the box next to Zotero Integration
  4. Mendeley will attempt to locate your Zotero datase.  Click Apply and then OK. All of your existing Zotero records will be imported into Mendeley Desktop.  Going forward, any items that you add to Zotero will be automatically uploaded into Mendeley Desktop.
  5. Click the Sync button to save the referneces to the web.

From EndNote

  1. In EndNote, export your references in XML file format.
  2. Import the file in Mendeley Desktop.
  3. Open Mendeley Desktop and login.
  4. Select Add Files and choose Add Files
  5. Browse your computer for your EndNote file that contains your exported citations, select the file and click Open to import them into Mendeley.
  6. Click the Sync icon to save the references to the web.
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Mendeley Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Built-in tools for for highlighting and annotating pdfs
  • Has social networking features that allows you to connect with other researchers
  • Does a good job of pulling citation metadata from PDFs

Cons:

  • Need to pay for extra storage
  • Limited group sharing on free version
  • Syncing between computers not automatic
  • While currently free, recent acquisition of software by Elsevier may place this status in question.