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RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley: Mendeley

RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley: suites of tools and services designed to facilitate discovery and research from start to finish. Research management, writing and collaboration tools

What is Mendeley?

is a free reference manager tool that enables you to manage citations and PDFs using a desktop client or through your account on Mendeley also includes plugins for Word or OpenOffice, so you can easily create citations and/or bibliographies as you write your papers.

What makes Mendeley unique is that it enables you to leverage the power of social networking to create a global citation management network. Use Mendeley to connect with other researchers in your field and discover what they are reading. There are also groups you can join that focus on particular subject areas or research projects. Mendeley even allows you to log in using your Facebook account.

With Mendeley, you can:

  • Create and manage citations of books, articles, videos, and more
  • Import citations for databases and the Rhodes Library OPAC
  • Automatic metadata extraction from imported PDFs
  • Collaborate with other researchers online
  • Find relevant papers based on what you’re reading
  • Highlight and annotate papers and share those notes with others
  • Organize using groups, tags, and filters
  • Automatically generate bibliographie
  • Easily import papers from other research software
  • Access your papers from anywhere online
  • Access papers on your Mobile Device using apps

Setting up Mendeley is free and comes with 2 GB of storage on their web server. For an additional monthly fee you can get more storage space. Learn more about pricing & storage.

Installing Mendeley

Sign up for Mendeley

Your first step is to register with Mendeley. Create your account: Sign up for Mendeley by visiting:

The Library has Mendeley web importer and Word plug-ins installed on all workstations

You need to install Mendeley on your personal devices off-campus. Follow the easy steps:

1. Install Mendeley Desktop

Dowload Mendeley Desktop by visiting and clicking on the icon below

2. Dowload the web importer. There are two ways to do this:

Go to

1. Drag the 'Import to Mendeley' button to your bookmarks toolbar

2. Right-click on the button and choose to add this link to your bookmarks

3. Install the plug-in onto Word
Follow step by step instruction

You are ready to use Mendeley at the Library and on your personal device. All downloads will sync with each other.

Install Mendeley: 'How to guide' and Tutorial

Getting Started with Mendeley

Tutorials to get you started with Mendeley

What you need

  • Create a Mendeley acccount
    You need a Mendeley account in order to use the tool.
  • Mendeley Desktop
    This is the software that stores your content on your computer.
  • Mendeley web importer
    Install on your browser's toolbar to capture citations from the web and from some library databases
  • Microsoft Word plug-in
    This plug-in, available from within Mendeley Desktop software, allows you to drop citations into your paper as you write. When you finish your paper, the plug-in can generate your reference list.
    The video shows you how to install and use this plug-in
  • Mendeley App for iPad/iPhone/iPodTouch
    Note that this app is not very well reviewed.
  • Mendeley app for Android
    The people behind Mendeley have not created an app for Android, but with this link they point you to a few third party options.

    What is Mendeley? Mendeley is a free reference manager that allows you to collect and organize your references as well as automatically create in-text citations and bibliographies in the citation style of your choice.

    It also has a PDF viewer which allows you highlight and annotate your collected material within the software.

    It also has a social network feature in which you can create groups, collaborate and share with colleagues as well as see what other researchers have collected on a topic.

    Mendeley Logo

    Where is my material saved? Mendeley stores your research material on your computer, but it also backs up your entire account 'in the cloud' which allows you to synch your Mendeley account acrosss more than one computer / tablet / phone.

    Where do I get Mendeley? You can download Mendeley through the company's website at the following link: Mendeley Download.

    Why should I use Mendeley? The program stores your references, figures, and PDFs, which makes retrieving these items easy. Mendeley also works with Microsoft Word and Open Office to enable you to insert in-text citations and generate bibliographies with just a few mouse clicks. The social network feature lets you interact with colleagues on research as well as see what other people in your field worldwide find interesting

    What's the catch? No catch, except that there is a bit of a learning curve and the free version of Mendeley limits you to 2GB of storage space.

Secure, synchronized
and accessible

No more risk of losing your PDFs and annotations. We provide you with 2GB of free online storage to automatically back up and synchronize your library across desktop, web and mobile

Across multiple computers

Install Mendeley on an unlimited number of computers for free so you can seamlessly access your library at home, office or on campus.

On any operating system

Mendeley works on Windows, Mac and Linux, so no matter what operating system you are using, your research library is always available.

On the Web

Access your Mendeley library through any internet browser by signing into Now your library is even available on computers that don’t have Mendeley installed.

On iPhone / iPad (free!)

Download the iPhone and iPad app to access and view your library on the go - in lectures, classes and in the lab.

Download from the App Store now.

Conducting Initial Research

Starting a research project can be overwhelming. Mendeley simplifies every step in the process, from search and discovery to reading and analysis.

1. Search for research

2. Organize research

3. Read and collect thoughts

Search our open catalog of 30M+ papers, or import references from other online databases.

Create a Mendeley library to sort and organize all the research you come across in a way that suits your workflow.

Highlight and annotate in the Mendeley Desktop PDF Viewer to keep track of ideas, plan research and design experiments.

Adding References to My Library: from Rhodes Library OPAC

1. Select the book you need cited on the Library OPAC. A Pdf icon appears top right in the tool bar

Click on the Pdf icon.  "Save as" in your document folder and allocate a suitable name.

2. Open Mendeley 'My Library' Select Add Files

Select the file saved in your documents.

3. Change the bibliographic details so that you can identify the book. Allocate the book to the appropriate folder.

Adding References to My Library: from Databases

Cover Art  Select the article (individually) to be cited into Mendeley, and open it to the abstract page.

  Select Save to Mendley (in the tool bar). Once the Web Importer has open, choose the file to send the article. Save. If you have to create a new folder, save the citations and drag to the new folder when created

Cover Art  
   Select the article (individually) to be cited into Mendeley, and open it to the abstract page using article summary

   Select Save to Mendley (in the tool bar). Once the Web Importer has open, choose the file to send the article. Save. If you have to create a new folder, save the citations and drag to the new folder when created


Cover Art

   Select the article (individually) to be cited into Mendeley, and open the PDF article. s to be cited into Mendeley.  Click Adobe icon (top right corner) Convert current web page to an Adobe PDF file, and save to your documents.

Open Mendeley 'My Library' Select Add Files. Select the file saved in your documents. Change the bibliographic details so that you can identify the article. Allocate the article to the appropriate folder.

NOTE: The same export principles apply to other databases.


Cover Art

Select the article (individually) to be cited into Mendeley, and open the PDF.

Select Save to Mendley (in the tool bar). Once the Web Importer has open, choose the file to send the article. Save. If you have to create a new folder, save the citations and drag to the new folder when created

More ways to Add References to My Library

Writing a paper, review or grant proposal

How much time do you spend formatting articles for publication?
Generate citations and bibliographies and change citation styles with a few clicks!

1. Compile your bibliography

2. Organize your references

3. Cite and write

Search our open catalog of 30M+ papers, import references from other online databases and add files from your hard drive.

Create sub-folders and tags for different projects that you are working on.

Mendeley has plug-ins for Word, OpenOffice and BibTeX. We cover thousands of citation styles and you can even create your own.


Mendeley uses a javascript bookmarklet in your web browser to import citations from various databases. Download the bookmarklet.

To import citations to your Mendeley Library click the bookmarklet when you have citations displayed:

Then select the items you want to import.

Get better access to full text

To use MIT's various electronic resources in conjunction with Mendeley, go to "My Account," "My Account Details, then click the "Sharing / Importing" tab. Under "Edit Library Access Links," click "Add Library Manually," add "MIT" as the title, and add this base URL:

Adding Barton items to Mendeley

Unfortunately importing information directly from Barton is not supported at this time.

To add a citation to Mendeley from Barton, use the dropdown arrow on the "Add Documents" button and select "Add Entry Manually...".

Note: You can use this method to manually enter any item you want.

There are a number of ways to add items to your Zotero

  • Automatically capture bibliographic information
  • Add item by identifier
    Use ISBN, DOI or PMID
  • Archive web pages
    Open Zotero and use "Create new item from current page" icon
  • Import records from other reference management software, such as RefWorks  
  • Manually add items
  • Store other files, such as images, documents or spreadsheets
    Drag and drop

    Mendeley detects document details (authors, abstracts, keyword, etc.) for all documents added to your library. If Mendeley is unclear about document data for a newly imported document, it will add that document to the 'Needs Review' section of your library for manual verification.

    If you prefer not to enter this information manually, Mendeley give you two options for searching for this data:

    1. Use Mendeley's 'document details' lookup feature

    2. Use Google Scholar

    Auto-export to Mendeley

    There are two ways to export citations out of library databases such as Summon, EBSCO or Proquest. With tools such Summon and EBSCO, you can export citations directly into your Mendeley account. With tools such as Proquest, ScienceDirect and Sage you need to save citations as a text file and import that file into Mendeley. The method you can use depends on the library database you are using.

    To export citations automatically, you need the 'Save to Mendeley' bookmark stored on your browser's toolbar. When your database search results display, click on that bookmark and a new window will open. If your results are re-displayed as a list of citations in Mendeley, you can use that list to check off the citations worth keeeping and save them to your account.

    Here is a video of what that automated process look like:

    Exporting database citations as a text file

    If you do a database search and click on the 'Save to Mendeley' bookmark in your browser's toolbar, and your results are not re-displayed as a list of citations, close the new Mendeley window and take another approach.

    Mark off the citations you want to keep and export them as either an 'RIS' or a 'BibTex' file. 'RIS' and 'BibTex' files are coded text files of citations which Mendeley can interpret. Then open your Mendeley Desktop software and click on 'File' --> 'Import' and navigate to your saved file.

    Here is a video of what that process looks like:

    Grab a webpage

    If you want to copy a webpage to your Mendeley account, first make sure you have the 'Save to Mendeley' bookmark saved in your browser's tool bar. Then, when you are on a webpage you want to add to your Mendeley account, you simply click on the 'Save to Mendeley' toolbar. You will see a pop-up window where you can enter the citation information.

    Drag and drop

    One of the simplest ways to get PDF's into your Mendeley account is to drag and drop them into the software. Open 'Mendeley Desktop' to half your screen, click once on the file you want to import from your desktop and drag it over your citation listings in Mendeley.

    The software automatically extracts citation information such as author, title and journal. If Mendeley cannot auto-fill all those fields, it alerts you that the citation is incomplete. You should always double check the accuracy of the citation information Mendeley extracts from these files for you.

    Import files or folders from your computer

    If you have PDFs, or even a whole folder of PDFs, stored on your computer that you would like to add to your Mendeley account:

    • open your Mendeley Desktop software
    • click on the icon in the top left corner (of the paper and a green '+' sign
    • select the 'Add Files' or 'Add Folder' option, depending what you want
    • choose the file or folder you want to import

    PDF import to Mendeley from hard drive

    Have Mendeley import new documents from designated folder

    You can set Mendeley to monitor one or more folders on your computer's hard drive, and import whatever documents you save there. To do this:

    • open your Mendeley Desktop software
    • click on the icon in the top left corner (of the paper and a green plus sign)
    • select the 'Watch Folder' option

    • in the next window, browse to the folder you want your Menedley software to monitor

    • click on the OK button

    Add references manually

    Sometimes you will have to enter your citations manually. In which case:

    • open your Mendeley Desktop software
    • click on the icon in the top left corner (of the paper and a green plus sign)
    • select the 'Add Entry Manually' option

    • in the next window, select the type of document you want to save to your account

    • fill in the fields (author, title, publication year...)

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    Creative Commons License
    This Mendeley LibGuide by Will Meredith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License

More ways to add/import references

Attaching files

It's easy to attach files (like PDFs) to items in your Zotero library.  Just drag the file into your Zotero pane.  Dropping a file onto a collection, or in between library items, will copy it into your library as a standalone item.  Dropping it onto an existing item will attach it to that item.  This is the easiest way to attach a copy of an article to its entry in your library.

Each item also has an Attachments tab in the right column.  You can attach files by clicking the Attachments tab and then the Add button.

You can add PDFs to Mendeley Desktop in two ways:

1. Use the 'Add Document' button located in the Mendeley Desktop toolbar:

2. Drag and drop PDFs into the middle column of Mendeley Desktop

In either case, Mendeley detects the document details (author, abstract, keywords, etc.). Documents that Mendeley cannot find details for go into the 'Needs Review' section for manual verification.

Viewing and annotating PDFs

  1. Open a PDF in Mendeley's PDF viewer by double clicking on it in the central pane.
  2. Add highlights and notes by clicking on the Highlight or Note buttons on the menu.
Share annotations with groups

You can share your annotations with your co-workers:

  1. Open a PDF that is part of a Group
  2. Make your annotations
  3. Sync these annotations to Mendeley Web by going back to "My Library" and clicking on "Sync Library"


Your annotations are not stored in the actual PDF file, but rather in your Mendeley account.  To create a new PDF file that contains all annotations, you can export the PDF with all its annotations by choosing:  File > Export with Annotations from within the Mendeley PDF viewer.

Using the material

Searching your collection

You can keyword search your entire Mendeley collection, or a specific folder within it. On the left of your Mendeley Desktop software, select either 'All Documents' or the specific folder you want to search.

The search box is in the top left corner of the screen. By default, Mendeley searches your citations as well as the full articles, but by clicking on the magnifying glass you can focus your search to one of a few specific fields.

Marking up PDFs within Mendeley

You can digitally mark up PDFs saved in your Mendeley account, highlighting passages or making notes about the material.

To do this, open a PDF within your Mendeley account and use the icons - seen here - listed at the top of the page.


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Creative Commons License
This Mendeley LibGuide by Will Meredith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Indexing PDFs

First, enable PDF indexing on the Search tab of Zotero's preferences.  Zotero will download and install a small plugin.

Next, just drag your PDF files into the Zotero pane.

Right-click the PDFs and choose "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs."  Zotero will retrieve their citation data from Google Scholar and turn them into citeable items with PDF attachments.

If Zotero can't find a match on Google Scholar, don't worry -- you can still save the citation from another catalog or article database, then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.

Managing My Library in Zotero

Save time navigating PDFs

Open multiple PDFs in separate tabs. Read, take notes and switch back to your research library instantly.

Annotate and highlight

No more need for hand-written notes, sticky notes and highlighter pens. You can now annotate, highlight, and add sticky notes directly to your PDFs.

Available for Mac, Windows and Linux

Share annotations with others

Simply create a private group, add colleagues and start sharing. Every time you add notes or highlight a paper, it will be visible to members of the group.

Save and print annotations

All your annotations can be saved within your PDFs, so when you print them out, your ideas travel with you.

Organized PDFs

Organizing your PDFs doesn’t have to be a chore. Let Mendeley do it for you. Identify recently added papers, add favorites in a click and store them in multiple folders.

Easily sorted

When you add PDFs, we instantly scan them to identify the author, title, journal and other information by matching the PDF's contents with our global research library. It's like magic.

Intuitive navigation

No more complicated file names. Navigate your research library through relevant fields like Author, Title, Publisher and Journal.

Add pap

My Library is located in the left column

Clicking the button above the left column creates a new collection (a folder created and titled for your easy reference)

Organising your research citations

Use these screencasts to understand how to manage your research citations:

Collections: Folders and sub-folders

Tags: Add searchable keywords, status, anything useful to you

Tag selector box

Using notes effectively: Add fully searchable notes, quotes, etc.

Sorting Items: Display by date, author, title or other criteria in records.

Basic Search for items in My Library

Advanced Research

Zotero Screencasts

Highlighting and Annotation

Using a Timeline

1.  To organize your references, use folders. Click on Create Folder… to create a new folder, give it a name, and hit Return.

2.   Drag references from the center column on to the Folder to add them.

File Organiser:

Mendeley's file organizer can automatically rename your PDFs and file them in a clear folder structure, making it easier to find your files outside of Mendeley.  Open Mendeley's File Organizer which can be found under Tools > Options.

In the tab, you can select:

  1. Organize my files: to make a copy of all documents added to Mendeley within one folder
  2. Sort files into subfolders: to create a folder structure based on selected document details
  3. Rename document files: to rename the often non-descriptive names of your PDFs to file names that are more meaningful, including the author, journal, year, and title

Synching your collection

You can synchronize your Mendeley collection across computers, devices, and the cloud-based back up.

When you are in Mendeley desktop, click on the 'sync' button in the Mendeley toolbar.

Organizing citations

You can have one citation in more than one folder.

To copy a citation into another folder, locate the citation and click and drag it into the destination folder.

Sorting material

By right clicking on specific citations in your Mendeley collection, you can apply pre-set labels displayed below. You can also share, export or delete specific items.

reating folders

To create a folder in your Mendeley Desktop software:

  • in the top left of the screen, click on the create folder icon which looks like a folder with a green plus sign

  • on the left of your screen, you will see your new folder with an empty space for the name.
  • name the folder


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Creative Commons License
This Mendeley LibGuide by Will Meredith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Organining my library

Creating your bibliography while you write

Create bibliographies instantly

Cite seamlessly without leaving Word. Format your citations and bibliography according to your chosen style.

Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word and OpenOffice.

Once installed, the plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor which allows you to add citations to your document while your write up your research.

To add a citation, click the first button ("Insert Citation") on the toolbar. Search for the reference you want to cite and press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the third button ("Insert Bibliography"). Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the last button on the toolbar ("Set Doc Prefs").

Once you have your documents in Mendeley, you can cite and reference them within Word and OpenOffice by installing plug-ins.  Once installed, you will have tool bar buttons that will allow you to cite a document, generate a bibliography, or manually edit any entry.

Go to Tools > Install... and select the plugin you wish to add. 

  • When creating a paper, click on Insert Citation in the toolbar to cite a document from your Mendeley Library.
  • If you are using Word on Windows, a box will appear allowing you to search for references by author, title or year (note that this is only available for Microsoft Word for Windows at the moment; for Word on Mac or OpenOffice, skip ahead to the second-to-last step).
  • When you find the reference you want to cite, click OK and you're done.  You can cite multiple references by using semicolons to separate them.
  • If you prefer to find references using Mendeley Desktop, press the "Go to Mendeley" button beneath the search box, which brings up Mendeley Desktop.  Then select the document in Mendeley Desktop, and click Send Citation to MS Word (or OpenOffice). Again, you can cite multiple documents.  Just hold the Ctrl key and left click the documents you want to cite. 
  • Your citation will be sent to your word processor.  You can select your preferred citation style in the drop down menu in your word processor.  
  • Now you can generate a bibliography by clicking Insert Bibliography.
Quick cite

For quick citations in most text editors, including Google Docs, select the paper you want to cite in Mendeley Desktop and click:  Edit > Copy Citation.  Then, paste it into the document you are composing.

Alternatively, you can drag and drop the paper from the Mendeley Desktop window to the document, and a reference in the current selected citation style will be added there.

Citations (in tect etc)

Creating Bibliographies: without in-text citations

Cite while you write

You can insert citations from your Mendeley account directly into your paper as you write. When your paper is done, Mendeley can auto-generate your bibliography.

To insert citations into your paper you must first have the the Microsoft Word plug-in installed. Make sure it is set to use the citation style you want to use. When you are ready to insert a citation,click on 'References' within MS Word and then 'Insert Citation'.

You will be prompted to log into your Mendeley account. You will then be presented with a search box to find the citation within your Mendeley account.

Type a keyword from the citation, such as the author's name or a word from the article title

Click OK

The citation appears within your paper.

Mendeley generates the bibliography

  • To have Mendeley generate the bibliography for your finished paper, you must first insert all your citations as explained in the left hand column of this page.
  • Place your cursor at the end of your paper.
  • Make sure you have selected the citation style you want (see the 'Style:' menu in the screen shot below.)
  • Click on 'Insert Bibliography' in the 'References' portion of your Word software.

  • It really is that simple.

Simple bibliography

  • To make a quick bibliography of citations selected straight from your Mendeley acccount, open your Mendeley Desktop software and Microsoft Word.
  • In the Mendeley software click on the citation(s) you want in the reference list (using the Ctrl key to select more than one).
  • Drag the citation(s) into your Word software.

  • Be amazed at how easy that was.

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This Mendeley LibGuide by Will Meredith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Creating a bibliography using Zotero is very simple.  There are a two methods available to create bibliography in a specific style, without any in-text citations.

1. Create a Bibliography from selected items

2. Create a Quick copy from selected items

Using Zotero to create in-text Citations and Bibliographies in Word documents

Adding additional styles to Zotero

List of Mendeley citation styles

Citation styles for thousands of journals

Quickly search and select your citation style from a rapidly growing community managed database, or create new styles with the new CSL Editor.

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles, but you can add many more.

To install a style (Firefox):

  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Click the Install link next to the style, then the Install button to confirm.
To install a style (Zotero Standalone):
  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Download the style (right-click the Install link and choose Save As).
  4. Open Zotero preferences. Click Cite, then Styles, then the "+" button, and select the style you downloaded (a .CSL file).

The new style will appear in Zotero's style lists.

More information about styles.

Citing your sources.

Zotero Gropus

Collaborate on bibliographies

Share bibliographies with your colleagues through a private group. Any member can add or edit any cited references.

Team plans

Team plans allow you to share and collaborate with up to 50 people, create unlimited number of private groups and get unlimited group library space. Create your custom plan now.

Share papers and collaborate

Whether you’re a research team, lab, or university class - sharing papers can be a challenge. Simply create public or private groups and start sharing documents instantly.

Communication made easy

Group members can see papers and folders you add to the group on their newsfeed. Keep up-to-date with your collaborators and make working together a walk in the park.

  • See when others add documents
  • Comment and like to start discussion
  • Watch projects progress over time

All your ideas in real-time

Reviewing an article with your colleagues? When a group member adds a note, highlight or summary to a group document, the edit is visible to all the members of the group

Zotero's Groups feature allows you to share references with other Zotero users online.

Make sure you have registered your Zotero account, and synchronised your library.

To create a shared library: click the Create Groups button (top left of your Zotero window)

Log in to the website to create or join a group.

To join an existing Zotero library, search for it at or be invited by the group’s owner.

You now have two sections in your Zotero collections pane: My Library and Group Libraries.

Personal and group libraries are entirely separate, and changes made to items in one library do not affect the other. You can drag items back and forth libraries to copy items.

Zotero's Video Introduction to Groups.


Groups are a simple way for you to collaborate with your colleagues and share a collection of documents.  Any member of a group may upload documents to it.  You can create a group by clicking on "Create Group" in the left hand pane.  In general, you will want to create Private groups.

Addi\ng members and documents to grouos

Once you have created your group, you can add members and documents to it.

  1. To Invite Members to the group go to the Members tab.  You can either add people that are already your contacts on Mendeley by clicking on "Add" or you can invite people to join you on Mendeley by clicking on "Invite".  
  2. You can view the documents of a group by going to the Documents tab.  To Add Documents, go to the group and click on "Add documents" in the top bar, or you can simply drag and drop them to the group.
  3. To download the PDFs that other group members attach to a group, go to "Edit Settings" and tick "Download attached files to group."  Note:  attached PDF files can only be shared in Private Groups, not in Public Groups.
  4. To upload your group wth all its settings to Mendeley Web, hit the "Sync Library" button.

Using grouyps

The overview tab shows a summary of what has happened in your Group.  You can see updates on who has joined, who said what, and which papers have been added by whom.

You can also post status updates by entering your update into the box at the top of the overview section.

Additionally, you can post comments and discuss your research.  Just click on "comment" and start a discussion on any given topic.

Create your Mendeley profile

You  can create your own academic profile in Mendeley, available from the right side of the Mendeley website, so visitors know your credentials.

Link your Mendeley profile on other webpages

Once you have created your Mendeley profile, you can build a widget to display your profile, or just pieces of it, in other webpages.

Creating groups

You can create or join groups within Mendeley, and collaborate on writing a paper. If you use Mendeley to write a team paper without citing sources from your group account, Mendeley will not be able to create a workable bibliography.

Click on the 'Create folder' on the right hand side of the screen

Choose how public you want your group to be.


Searching Mendeley

You can search Mendeley as a atabase as well.

Log into the Mendeley website and you can choose to keyword search for research topics, people or Mendeley groups. You can either use the tabs, highlighted with arrows below, or you can use the dropdown menu as it is displayed below.

Tips and Tricks

Other browsers

If you're using Internet Explorer or a mobile browser, you can still save items to your Zotero library. A free Zotero account is required.

The Zotero Bookmarklet works with all desktop browsers and most mobile browsers (including Safari for iPad and the Android browser).

Visit the Zotero Bookmarklet page for installation instructions for your particular browser or device. You won't have to install any software -- just the bookmarklet

Getting hel[ with mendeley

Mendeley support links:

If you have questions about using Mendeley in conjunction with library-supported databases, please email

Mendeley and BibTex

What is BibTeX?

BibTex is a bibliographic tool that is used with LaTeX to help organize the user's references and create a bibliography.  A BibTex user creates a bibliography file that is separate from the LaTeX source file, wth a file extension of .bib.  Each reference in the bibliography file is formatted with a certain structure and is given a "key" by which the author can refer to it in the source file. For more information on BibTeX, see MIT IS&T's page: How do I Create Bibliographies in LaTeX.


How do I export from Mendeley to BibTeX?

Open Mendeley, and within "My Library" found on the left, select references that you would like to export to BibTeX. In the drop-down menu in the toolbar at the top of the screen, click "File --> Export" (or ctrl-E if you use keyboard shortcuts) and in the dropdown list of filetypes, chose "Save as type: BibTeX" and save to the same location as the LaTeX file.

If you're working with Mendeley on a PC and your manuscript is on Athena, you'll need to save the BibTeX export to your hard drive and use FTP or another file transfer method to transfer the file to the correct directory in your Athena space.

To link the bibliography file that you just downloaded to your document, you need to enter two commands:

\bibliographystyle{style} should go just inside your \begin{document} command. style.bst is the name of the style file dictating the format of your bibliography (see How do I change the format of the bibliography? below).

\bibliography{filename} should go wherever you want LaTeX to generate the bibliography. filename.bib is the name of the file that you just downloaded from RefWorks containing your exported references.


How do I cite references in my document?

Insert the command \cite{firstauthor _yyyy} where “firstauthor” is the first author’s last name and "yyyy" is the four-digit year. To check that you have the correct citation key for a certain reference, you can look at the .bib file using a text editor.

If you do not have any data in the Label field in Mendeley (or if the data in the Label field is not unique for all of your references, which Mendeley may not have done automatically), you have two options:

Use a text editor to insert or modify a citation key for each reference in the bibliography file that you exported. Simply enter a unique citation key just inside the opening bracket of each reference in your .bib file. An example of a reference entry where the citation key is "angell:GRL" is:


How can I correct errors I encounter when running BibTeX on my bibliography file?

BibTeX has a 5000 character limit for each field. Most fields will not surpass this limit, but for a reference where the "note" field contains a large amount of information such as the entire table of contents, this limit may be breached. When this problem occurs, you will see an error message saying "Sorry--you've exceeded BibTeX's buffer size 5000." When you encounter this problem, use a text editor to open your bibliography file and shorten the field that contains too many characters.


How can I correct errors I encounter when running LaTeX on my document after compiling the bibliography file?

If the references in your bibliography file contain certain special characters which are used as part of the syntax of LaTeX, you could see a whole host of errors when you run LaTeX on your document after running BibTeX. For example, LaTeX will view any ampersand in a journal title as an alignment character, and you will see an error message saying "Misplaced alignment tab character &." Use a text editor tofind the line that is causing the error (LaTeX should tell you as part of its error message) and replace the trouble-making character with the following commands:

Character LaTeX Command
# \#
$ \$
% \%
& \&
_ \_
{ \{
} \}
~ \~{ }
^ \^{ }
\ $\backslash$


If you receive a warning from LaTeX that references may have changed, simply run LaTeX again. In fact, the correct order for running LaTeX and BibTeX, where document is your document name, is:

latex document
bibtex document
latex document
latex document

This process should correctly create your bibliography and in-text citations for your document.


How can I make an organization name display correctly?

BibTeX reads text in the author field as an author's name or names unless told otherwise. For example, say a reference exported from Mendeley contains the line:

author={Institute of Electrical Engineers},

BibTeX will read this field as a person's name, where the first name is "Institute" and the last name is "of Electrical Engineers," and would format accordingly. Use a text editor and to add quotes around the field so that the line reads:

author="{Institute of Electrical Engineers}",

Now BibTeX will read this all as one piece rather than as a person's name, and will format correctly.


How can I override BibTeX capitalization conventions?

BibTeX attempts to correct the capitalization in the title field such that only the first letter of the first word is capitalized. While this is generally gramatically correct, it can cause problems if the title contains a proper name or an acronym, so that a line in the bibliography file that looks like this:

title={IEE Proceedings},

will appear in the bibliography as "Iee proceedings." Use a text editor and to add quotes around the field so that the line reads:

title="{IEE Proceedings}",

The quotes will prevent BibTeX from applying its capitalization rules to the title of the document and thus will preserve the capitalization for proper nouns.


How do I change the format of the bibliography?

The bibliography format is determined by the style file that you have entered in the \bibliographystyle{} command. Several default styles exist, they are explained in the section of IST's Latex Answers page entitled How to make Bibliographies in LaTeX. Style files may also be edited to produce a required bibliography style.


Where can I look for additional support?


mendeley desktop

  • Automatic extraction of document details (authors, title, journal, etc.) from academic papers into a library database, which saves you a lot of manual typing!  As more people use Mendeley, the quality of the data extraction improves.
  • Super-efficient management of your papers.  "Live" full-text search across all your papers - the results start to appear as you type!  Mendeley Desktop also lets you filter your library by authors, journals, or keywords.  You can also use document collections, notes and tags to organize your knowledge, and export the document details in different citation styles.
  • Sharing and synchronisation of your library (or parts of it) with selected colleagues.  This is perfect for jointly managing all the papers in your lab!
  • More great features:  A plug-in for citing your articles in Microsoft Word, OCR (image-to-text conversion so you can full-text search all your scanned PDFs)

mendeley web

  • An online back-up of your library:  Store your documents in your account and access them from anywhere through your browser.
  • Detailed statistics of all things interesting:  You can upload your own publications to your reserach profiles, then track the evolution of your readership.  How often are your papers downloaded or read?  From which academic disciplines and geographic regions?  Additionally, there are detailed statistics for each academic discipline and research topic.  Who are the up-and-coming authors in your discipline?  What are the most widely read papers on a specific subject?
  • A research network that allows you to keep track of your colleagues' publications, conference participations, awards, etc., and helps you discover people with research interests similar to yours.

FAQs at mendeley


Publishers Supporting Mendeley

These database publishers are currently supported by Mendeley:


mendeley resource centre

elsevier/mendeley connect

mendeley home page

brown university

Stuff to add to Zotero?


Zotero is a (free) Firefox extension that helps manage documents found online through the browser. It collects metadata (including citation information) and stores PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages for easier retrieval. Zotero can store a "snapshot" of a document, which may actually be the PDF of the document. Zotero is also available in a stand-alone (downloadable) version. Those using multiple computers may also sync their Zotero database between computers and may share citations within a work group.

  • Free Firefox extension that helps manage citations found online through the browser
  • Automatically capture citation information from web pages
  • Import citations from other citation managers
  • Store PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages for easy retrieval
  • Zotero is bound to the installation of Firefox on your computer, but you can install it on a portable version of Firefox on a USB drive to allow for traveling with your Zotero library
  • Create bibliographies in Word and OpenOffice
  • Zotero has a relatively fewer citation output formats compared to RefWorks or EndNote

» Getting Started with Zotero (UCB Library)
» Introduction to Zotero (PDF; UCB Environmental Design Library)
» Zotero Quick Start Guide
» Zotero Support: Numerous help topics, basic and advanced.


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Need help?

For a one-on-one consultation, email your librarian