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Manage Citations with Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote

Provides guidance on how to use choose a citation management program and how-to use various citation management programs.

The Bottom Line

Best Uses for Mendeley Desktop:

  • Import and organize existing PDFs on your computer.
  • View and annotate PDFs.
  • Set up a Watch Folder so downloaded PDFs will be imported automatically.
  • Annotate and highlight PDFs for yourself or your group.
  • Install and use the plug-in for OpenOffice or Microsoft Word to cite sources and generate bibliographies.
  • Create public and private groups.
  • Share resources and updates.
  • Find and join or follow groups, too.



As with Mendeley Web, you can create and use groups in Mendeley Desktop.

Find and follow or join other groups as well.


Citing Documents in Word or Open Office


Use the free plug-in for Microsoft Word to cite a document and generate a bibliography.



Or use the free plug-in for Open Office.




You can pull citations from

Mendeley Desktop or Mendeley Web.





Copy and paste a citation into Google Docs or other applications. Click the document, then Edit - Copy Citation, and paste it where you want it.




Choose from a variety of citation styles.



 Choose File - Save As - to save document without

Mendeley Fields and to make the citations editable.

Import and Organize Articles


Create a folder on your computer for PDFs you want to download and add it to Watch Folder.



Now, everytime you download an article to that folder, Mendeley Desktop will grab it and import it (and in most cases be able to read the bibliographic information, too).


Add PDFs you already have on your computer to Mendeley by dragging and dropping the file onto Mendeley. Or, add them to your Watch Folder and they'll be imported automatically.




Mark articles as read or unread, and star your favorites.




Organize your files and have Mendeley rename your PDFs to make files more findable.




Annotate and Highlight


Add notes and highlight text in PDFs, for yourself or your group. Just double click on the PDF to open it in the Mendeley viewer, and annotation tools will appear at the top of the screen.


View and Annotate PDFs

Reading of PDFs from within a Mendeley PDF viewer. In the viewer, you can highlight text, create notes, and select text.