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Mendeley Basics

A guide to the basic uses of the Mendeley citation manager.

From EndNote

1.Export your references using the EndNote XML file format

  • In EndNote, highlight the references that you want to import.
  • From the File menu, select Export.
  • In the Export file name pop-up window, at File name, rename the file if you wish.  At Save as type, select (*.xml).


  • Click Save.

2. Import the file into Mendeley Desktop.

  • From the File menu, select Add Files.
  • Select the file that you exported from EndNote and click Open.
  • Click the Sync icon   to save the references on the web.

Making the Change

It's easy to change citation managers.  Here's how to switch from Papers, EndNote, or Zotero to Mendeley.

From Papers

1. In Papers, select File, then Export and select, & select Refman RIS file.

  • At the Save as field, name the file.
  • At the W’ field, browse for the drive/folder where you will save your this file.
  • Click ‘Export’

2. In Mendeley Desktop, click Add icon

  • Browse to find the file you exported from Papers & click Open to import.
  • Click the Sync icon   to save the references on the web.

From Zotero

1. In Mendeley, from the Tools menu, select Options (PC) or go to Preferences (Mac).

  • In the Options window, select the Zotero or Zotero/CiteULike tab.
  • Check the box next to Zotero integration.

2. Mendeley Desktop will attempt to automatically locate your Zotero database. Browse to the correct Zotero library if the default address is not correct.

  • Click Apply and then OK.
  • All of your existing documents from Zotero will be imported into Mendeley Desktop, & any items you add to Zoteroin the future should automatically be uploaded to Mendeley Desktop.
  • Click the Sync icon   to save the references on the web.