Library:Citation Management/Mendeley References

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Adding references

NOTE: If, after using any of the following import options, you do not see your new citations appear in your library, remember to use the Sync Library button: Mendeley sync.jpg

Overview of adding references in Mendeley

Importing references from databases, websites, and library catalogs with the Mendeley Web Importer

First, the Web Importer must be installed: From the Mendeley Desktop application, click Tools>Install Web Importer.

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This will open a link in your browser to install the Web Importer Plugin. If the browser that is opened is not your preferred browser, open the link in the preferred browser (http://www.mendeley.com/import/). The instructions on the webpage will be specific to the browser. The Web Importer is a bookmark that will be added to the bookmark toolbar, and every time a reference is added, a popup will appear that will allow the reference to be added to the Mendeley Library. In order for the Web Importer to work, popups MUST be allowed from www.mendeley.com. To allow pop-ups, click the Pop-up Blocker Test if it is present in the browser. Otherwise, drag the Mendeley Importer.jpg icon into the bookmarks bar, or right-click the icon and Bookmark This Link. Click the newly added Import to Mendeley bookmark as a test. The browser may say that pop-ups have been blocked, in which case, right-click >Always Allow Pop-ups from This Site… Now the Web Importer is properly installed.


Next, references can be added directly from the internet in several ways:

  • From search results. After performing a search using Google Scholar, Summon, or a journal database such as Web of Knowledge, or Pubmed, click the Import to Mendeley bookmark. A pop-up window will appear with a list of articles from the search result, and the desired articles can be selected to import to the Mendeley library. Items with a PDF Mendeley Image7.pnglogo, will also import the PDF file to the library.
  • From an abstract. The same can be done from an article abstract page.
  • From an article PDF. If the article opens as a .pdf within the browser, importing the file to Mendeley will also import the PDF file. Note: If the article is downloaded to the downloads folder and opens in a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat, the Import to Mendeley button will not be present, since it only exists on the browser. In this case the file must be dragged and dropped into the Mendeley library.

Importing references from PDF files already on your computer

Drag and Drop

References can be added by dragging the existing pdf document into the main library space. This will usually automatically gather information such as title, author, date, etc., but sometimes it does not recognize the file, and data must be typed in manually. Even if the data is input automatically, it should always be checked for mistakes! Particularly for volume and issue numbers. This is easily done by double clicking the file to open it within Mendeley, then entering the information in the ‘Details’ pane on the right while the article is visible.

Mendeley Image4.png

Using the "Watched Folder"

Mendeley can be synchronized with a folder on the computer by ‘Watching’ the folder. Any article that is added to the folder will automatically be added to the Mendeley Library. To 'Watch’ a folder, click Tools > Options > Watched Folders (or, on a Mac, Mendeley > Preferences > Watched Folders, then select the desired folder from the hard drive. Multiple folders can be watched. If a recently downloaded file is not in the Mendeley Library, click ‘Sync Library’.

Mendeley watchfolder.jpg

Importing from databases using specialized file formats

Once you have saved your references in the folder provided within the database, export the references as a file type that Mendeley can read, typically an ‘XML’ or ‘RIS’ file type. Name the library file and save it to a known location. Then in Mendeley, click File > Add Files and find the library file. Or simply drag and drop it into your library.

Manual entry

If you cannot find a reference online for the resource you want to cite, you can add it to your library manually using the "Add File" dropdown.

Mendely Manual Entry.jpg

Be sure to select the right resource type (journal, book, video, etc), as this will determine the details that Mendeley asks you to fill out for the citation.