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Reference Managers

Using Mendeley

Add a folder:

  • Add folders for an organized research process.
  • Click the green folder icon:
  • Enter a name.
  • Add items to a folder by dragging them or by using the Add item icon.

Add from databases:

  • Search a keyword or phrase in the databases.
  • Add one or more journals to Mendeley by clicking . This is found in the top right corner of your browser.
  • Select a folder. These sources will automatically be added to your Mendeley master library, as well. 
  • Click the "Sync" button in Mendeley. 
  • This method works with Google Scholar, the library catalog, and the databases. 

Add from browser:

  • Add a source by clicking 
  • When you add from a website, Mendeley will often miss some of the reference data.
  • To fill in missing content, like author names, the publishing date, etc., click the edit icon:
    • Edit the source before adding it to your library. This function will no longer work once it has been added. 
  • Once added, click the "Sync" button in Mendeley. 

Add a source manually:

  • Unique items, like emails, maps, and other sources are often cited manually.
  • To cite, click the "Add" icon in the upper-left corner of Mendeley:
  • Fill in the citation information as prompted.

Add a PDF:

  • Drag and drop any PDF into Mendeley.
  • It will automatically find the reference information and add it to your master library. 
  • Note: This function is most effective with journal articles and may be inadequate with other PDFs. You can always add more reference information by editing it in the right-hand column of Mendeley. 

Mendeley Web Catalog

"You can search for a reference using the search tool that appears in the main toolbar on Enter a keyword and press the 'Search' button. You can now browse the results to find relevant references. Use the 'Save reference' link to quickly add a reference to your library, or click on the reference's name to view its details - including readership statistics.

When viewing a reference, use the 'Get full text at journal' link to be taken to the original publisher's site. If you have the appropriate access you should then be able to retrieve a full-text copy of the paper, which you can add to your Mendeley library using the Web Importer . Remember that you may have access to publishers and repositories via your school's library" (Mendeley).

  • If you do not have the appropriate access on the original publisher's site, look up your article's title the databases. If it is in the databases, you can request it or download the PDF for full-text articles.

Mendeley. (n.d.). The Mendeley web catalog. Mendeley.

Note: Always review your references, as no reference software is perfect. If incorrect, ensure that edits, (capitalizing proper nouns, for example), are made in Mendeley. If edits are made in Word, the reference will go back to an incorrect version whenever you refresh, because it will be pulling the information from Mendeley. 

Automatic in-text citations in Word: 

  • Go to the "References" tab in MS Word.
  • Firstly, you will need to select the appropriate style.
    • Ex: 
  • Next, click the "Insert Citation" button. 
  • A search bar will pop up. Type in anything related to your source, find it, and hit "OK."  
  • Admire your brand new in-text citation. 

Multiple sources in one in-text citation: 

  • Hit the "Insert Citation" button in Word.
  • After you select a source, Mendeley will ask if you want to add another.
  • It will look like this:

  • Find your next source and hit "OK." 

Add a bibliography in Word:

  • Go to the "References" tab and select "Insert Bibliography."
    • Ex: "Insert Bibliography" Icon
  • Mendeley will add a bibliography that is made up of the in-text citations listed in your paper. Review references for errors.
  • Note: As you add more in-text citations, Mendeley will automatically update your bibliography. 

Drag and drop references into Google Docs or Word:

  • Add references from Mendeley to Word or Google Docs by selecting a source's title and "dragging and dropping" it. 
  • Add multiple references at once by holding down "Ctrl," clicking your sources, and dropping them into a document.  


Editing your citation: 

  • Reference information, such as the author's name(s), title, etc. is referred to as metadata. 
  • Edit metadata by clicking a source in Mendeley.
  • The metadata will pop up in the right-hand column.

Adding an organization or institution as an author: 

  • If you want to add an institution's name in place of an author (required with APA 7th edition when no author is listed), Mendeley will automatically convert it to a first-name last-name format.
  • This is not ideal because it will switch the name around by default. For instance, "University of Mary" will become "Mary, University of."

  • To correct this issue, simply select the "(Institution/Organization)" option:

Suppress author for an in-text narrative citation:

  • Example of a narrative citation:
    • Bukowski (2021) reported that...
  • To change (Bukowski, 2021) to Bukowski (2021) click on the in-text citation. Then click, "Edit Citation." 
  • Click on the author's name(s).
  • "Check the box 'Suppress Author' to remove the author name from the in-text citation" (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2021).

Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (2021, March 21). Reference management tools. LibGuides.

1. Watch folders: 

  • You can select a folder from your computer and make it a "Watch Folder." All items in the folder will automatically be uploaded into Mendeley. If you add content to the folder on your computer at a later time, it will also upload into Mendeley. 

2. Mendeley note taking: 

  • If you have added a PDF to Mendeley, you can add highlights and comments with the following icons:
  • Highlights and Notes Icons
  • Navigate between comments in the "Notes" tab, found in the right-hand column. 

3. Organizing with Tags:

  • Tags are a method of grouping items within a folder.
    • To begin, select an article. 
    • In the right-hand "Details" column there will be a "Tags" box. Enter identifying information (ex. "section 1").
    • All items with the same name will be tagged together.
    • You can use a semicolon to mark one article with multiple tags. 
  • View your tags
    • Step One: Go to the drop down under "External Library." 
    • Step Two: Select "Filter by My Tags."
    • Step Three: View articles that are tagged.

4. Favorites:

  • There is a star on the left of every article. Click it to add the piece to a "Favorites" folder.

5. Mark as Read:

  • Hit the green dot   to mark items as read. 

Azam, J. (2020, August 3). How to use Mendeley to manage references, citations, and PDFs like an advanced user [Video]. YouTube.