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What is Mendeley

Mendeley, is a free research management tool that allows you to organize and annotate PDFs, insert bibliographies and citations into your research paper and collaborate in groups. Mendeley offers both desktop and web access, so you'll need to download the software to get started. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Mendeley is free with an option to upgrade for more storage space.

Creating Your Account

  1. Create a Mendeley account:
  2. Download and install the desktop application
  3. During the software installation process, you can install the Citation Plugin for MS Word or LibreOffice. This will allow you to write, cite, and format your bibliography in MS Word or LibreOffice.

The Basics

To benefit fully from Mendeley, you'll need to use both the desktop and web applications. 

Desktop Basics
The desktop version is great for managing a library of PDFs. Simply drag-&-drop PDFs into the desktop client tool while Mendeley extracts the citation information. Once PDFs are stored in Mendeley, the desktop application enables/supports simple annotation, note taking, highlighting and viewing. The PDF library, including notes, are a searchable library too. 

Web Basics
The web application is great for accessing your library from any computer and for downloading citations when searching database. When downloading references from the web, simply use the bookmarklet to import the citation. The web application is also great for networking with other researchers with similar interests or for discovering research articles that others have imported. 

Terms of Use: Be Aware

  • Be advised that you are using Mendeley at your own risk and peril.
  • Mendeley has a broad range of powers including being able to close a user account and remove any material posted by the user where it judges in its sole discretion that the user has failed to comply with the Terms of Use. If posting important academic material to the Mendeley site it is important to maintain back-up copies.
  • Mendeley's software 'automatically collects information' regarding a user's use of the Service and uses cookies and other tracking technologies.
  • Be aware that users' personal information can be disclosed by Mendeley not only to their parent company and its group: Elsevier, but also to agents, suppliers, service providers and affiliates.
  • There is a reference to a user having to pay a fee to meet Mendeley's costs in complying with a subject access request to access their data. Such a fee cannot be more £10 under UK law.


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Laura Kuo