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Mendeley Basics   Tags: bibtex, citation_management, health_sciences, latex, mendeley, thl  

A guide to the basic uses of the Mendeley citation manager.
Last Updated: Dec 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Install Mendeley

Mendeley is available for the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Sign up and download Mendeley Desktop here:


Mendeley Handouts

Use Mendeley Quick Start to learn the program fast.  Use Mendeley Basics to find more details and functions.

Tips for Using Mendeley

  • All PDFs must be kept in a folder on each device that you use Mendeley on, in order for the program to work properly.  When you download the desktop version of Mendeley, a folder is automatically created:  on PCs - C:\Users\[name]\AppData\Local\Mendeley Ltd\Mendeley Desktop\Downloaded, on Macs - Home/[username]/.local/share/data/Mendeley Ltd\Mendeley Desktop\Downloaded.  If you work on more than one computer, these folders will not contain the same files; each device will have the PDFs that you added to your library from that computer.
  • Use the desktop version of Mendeley in order to insert citations & create bibliographies in documents.
  • To create a bibliography in your document, first place your cursor where you want the bibliography to go (in most cases, at the end of the document), then click the icon.  If you forget, your bibliography will appear wherever your cursor was last (in the middle of your document, for example).  If this happens, just delete it & add it the bibliography the correct location.

    About Mendeley

    Mendeley is a citation management tool that, like many others, lets you collect & organize citations, & then easily insert them into documents & format bibliographies.  But it also lets you drag & drop PDFs into your library & extracts the metadata to create a library!

    You can highlight and annotate your PDFs and share them with others.  Colleagues can then also annotate the same document, with each author displaying as a different color.

    Use more than one computer?  It's not a problem!  Download Mendeley Desktop to as many computers as you want, then sync them with a click of your mouse.  Need to use your library away from your computer?  Mendeley Web gives you access to your citations no matter where you are.

    Mendeley is social:  create a profile, follow other researchers, create a network of people doing similar research.  Discover the articles and journals that are being read in your field right now.

    Create collections of papers.  Make them public & share them with an RSS feed (great for class reading lists!).

    Mendeley's free version has some limitations on space (2 GB web storage, 500 MB each for personal shared storage) and users (3) and shared collections (1), but you can purchase premium plans for more web & personal storage space & more users & shared groups.

    At Mendeley Feedback, you can suggest changes to the program, see how many votes your idea has, & if Mendeley is going to use it.

    If you need more help with Mendeley

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        Use LaTeX?

        Here are some helpful links to use Mendeley with LaTeX.  Note:  It's not perfect yet.

        Mendeley also works with WriteLaTex.  Read this blog post to find out more.


        We welcome your feedback on our web site.


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        Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. For details and exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.

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