In the Desktop:
- Option 1: Watched Folders
- In "Preferences" or "Options" go to the "Watched Folders" tab. You can set Mendeley up to see whenever you download a new PDF to a folder. Note: We do not recommend Watching your Downloads folder, as Mendeley will attempt to import anything it finds there.
- Option 2: Import Files and Folders
- Drag and drop a PDF file or folder of PDFs into the desktop application. Mendeley will extract citation information for that file.
- Option 3: Enter Data Manually
- Click the drop-down arrow beside the "Add" icon or go to "File > Add Entry Manually" to bring up the dialog box to import a file manually. Note: if you have a PubMed ID or digital object identifier (DOI), you can normally use the magnifying glass tool to auto-populate the fields.
On the Web:
Note: for each of these methods, the data Mendeley can scrape from a PDF depends on how clean the source data is — garbage in, garbage out!
Write a Paper (in Word)
Depending on your version of Mendeley, the Word toolbar might appear under either "References" or "Add-ins".
- Mendeley should install and update the Word plugin by default. Check by visiting "Tools > Install Word Plugin".
- In Word, put the cursor where you would like a citation to appear.
- Click "Insert or Edit Citation" and look up a paper. Additional options for page numbers and other material in the parentheses can be found by clicking on the "Lastname Year" in the text box.
- Another option is to select "Go to Mendeley" in the dialog box, look for the citation, and send the citation to Word.
- This process is not obvious!
- After you click "Go to Mendeley," two new buttons will appear in the icon panel between Sync and Help.
- Once you select the citation(s), click the "quotes" icon.
- To add page numbers, you can edit the citation and pull up the additional options in the same way as the previous bullet.
Create a Bibliography
Option 1: Use the Word plugin
- Click "Insert Bibliography". Note: You can change your citation style in the Mendeley toolbar or find more tools.
Option 2: Use a folder
If you are coming into Mendeley at the last minute and would prefer not to use the Word plugin (or have a different word processor), the best way to get your references into your bibliography is to create a folder in Mendeley.
- Drag and drop your references into your folder.
- Navigate to that folder, select one of the references, and then click CTRL+A (for PC users) or Command+A (for Mac users) to copy the reference.
- Right-click to pull up the menu and click "Copy As > Formatted Citation".
- You can now paste that text into your document.
Note: You will need to make sure that you are using the correct citation style before creating your bibliography frpm a folder. Citation styles can be found within "View > Citation Style".
Mendeley and LaTeX
Mendeley has many helpful features for citing in LaTeX:
- In "Preferences" or "Options", navigate to the BibTeX tab.
- Ensure that "Escape Special Characters" is selected.
- You can also use journal abbreviations or set up Mendeley to sync a .bib file to a specific folder.
- To copy .bib-formatted entries manually to paste into a .bib file (or into an online editor such as ShareLaTeX or Overleaf), first create a folder for your references.
- Drag and drop relevant references into that folder.
- Navigate to that folder, select one of the references, and then click CTRL+A (for PC/Linux users) or Command+A (for Mac users).
- Right-click to pull up the menu and click "Copy As > BibTeX entry".
- You can paste that text into your .bib file.
- More information on citing in LaTeX is available on the Bib Your TeX guide.