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Working with Mendeley

Read all about the most important functionalities of Mendeley.

Installing Mendeley

Mendeley Reference Manager is available on all university computers via the Software Center. To download Mendeley Reference Manager on your own device, go to the Mendeley website.

Importing references

There are multiple ways to add references to Mendeley, including but not limited to:

Browser extension Mendeley Web Importer makes it easy to add references to your library. Install it via this link or via your Mendeley library (Tools -> Install Web Importer). Web Importer adds a button to your internet browser. You can use it to import sources, for instance from Google Scholar.

If you have the PDF version of a text on your computer, choose Add New -> File(s) from computer to add it to your library

To import your downloaded BibTex/RIS/EndNote XML reference, click on Add new and choose the right file to add it to your library.

When importing references manually, first choose the right reference type, then fill out the fields (author, title etc). You can always edit the information if needed by clicking on the reference or DOI.

Organising references

Once you have added some references to your library you can add extra information to them like keywords, notes, a PDF or a URL. It is also possible to annotate articles in Mendeley.

Use the Collections feature to organise your library. For example, it might be useful to create collections for separate subjects, or for different chapters of the paper you’re working on. Your collections are visible on the left side of your library, and you can simply drag and drop references to the collections. References you have not yet sorted appear in the Unsorted folder.


You can use Mendeley to insert references into your Word document. By referencing properly, you keep your reasoning transparent and give proper credit to the authors of the work you used.

The Mendeley Word plugin allows citing while writing your paper (install it via Tools -> Install Microsoft Word Plug-in). For the plug-in to be installed correctly, Word has to be closed.

When the citation plugin is successfully installed, a Mendeley box will appear in the Reference tab of Word.

Read more about the Mendeley Citation Plugin

Select Mendeley Cite in Microsoft Word and use the search bar to find the reference you want to cite. Click Insert Citation to insert the citation into your text. Once you’ve made one or more reference(s), you can add a bibliography via … -> Insert Bibliography. New references are added to your bibliography automatically.

Always check your imported references. If you need to correct or update a reference, doing so manually in Word will disrupt the bibliography. Therefore, always use Mendeley, rather than Word, to edit your references.

A citation style is a set of rules and formats that specify how to reference different types of sources. There are many different referencing styles, for many different disciplines (for instanceAPA, Chicago and MLA). Sometimes the differences in style look trivial, but they can be crucial. Your teacher, or the journal you want to publish in, will ask for a specific style. Mendeley has many citation styles available, and it is very easy to replace one reference style with another. You can adjust the citation style via Mendeley Cite -> Citation Settings. If a citation style is not in the list, click on Get more styles.

Read more about citation styles.


Apart from creating folders, you can also create groups. Groups allow you to invite people, share references, PDFs and notes. This makes collaborating easier.

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