What is citation management? And what is Mendeley?

Mendley is a citation management software program:  a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Think of it as a personal research assistant:  it helps you manage your information by downloading citations directly from publisher websites or databases (where available) or directly importing full-text PDF articles. It also allows  you to enter citations manually.

Mendeley will also insert citations and create bibliographies in your papers; it works with Microsoft Word and LibreOffice, an open source word processing program.

Getting started with Mendeley

To get started using Mendeley, go to the Mendeley download page:  https://www.mendeley.com/download-mendeley-desktop/​.  Install the program-- choose "Download Mendeley Desktop" and add both the plugin for Word or LibreOffice and for your web browser.  

Importing references into Mendeley

You can easily import PDFs from TEEAL, AGORA and other websites into your Mendeley library.  There are many ways to import files into Mendeley.

Try dragging the PDF link into your Mendeley collection.  Or save PDF to your computer, then import to Mendeley using the green circle (“new item”) and “store copy of file (below).   Or when you download the PDF file, choose Save to Mendeley.


In Google Scholar or for other websites and some databases, use the  “save to Mendeley” icon in the web browser’s address bar to import the citations (you will have this if you installed the web browser plugin).  Mendeley will also try to import PDFs if they are available. 


Other Useful Mendeley Tips

Managing PDFs

  • In order to cite resources in a word document using Mendeley, each PDF file in your library must have an associated 'Parent' file containing the citation information.  Right click on the PDF in your Mendeley library and select “retrieve metadata for PDF.”  If this does not work, import the citation from Google Scholar or enter by hand.  To attach imported pdf to Google scholar citation, drag the pdf and drop when citation is highlighted.
  • Then, right click again and select “rename file from parent metadata”.
  • To open PDFs in Adobe Reader (with highlighting and notes options), go to Firefox>Options>options>applications.  Then change the program that opens Acrobat PDF files to Adobe Reader.

Citations and Bibliographies (Word)

  • In Word, select “References” 


  • To insert citations, select the first icon  
  • Then search for citations, or click "Go To Mendeley" at bottom of window popup. When you have found the desired citation, select the title to add it to your list. 

In-Depth Style Guides

For more about citation styles, use this free resource from Purdue University, The Purdue Online Writing Lab.  It covers APA, MLA and Chicago styles.

OWL  THe Purdue Online Writing Lab


Practice Safe Writing!

Citing the works of authors that you use to form your own research is a critical part of the writing and research process. Citation provides evidence to back up our own ideas and statement. It demonstrates where our work fits into the greater body of knowledge.  And it gives proper credit where credit is due. 

Read these best practices to avoid accidental plagiarism and check out these proper paraphrasing techniques.

Cornell University's Plagiarism Tutorial and Code of Academic Integrity

More Mendeley Help

We will have covered the basics and intermediate steps of Mendeley in the WACCI on-site library workshop. If you should need further advanced instruction, please visit the tutorial section of the Mendeley website.  There is a lot of great online help on the Mendeley website. 

French-language Mendeley Resources

By default, the user interface of Mendeley is displayed in the same language as Firefox, but options are available to change the language of the bibliography.

For some great video tutorials in French, check out the following:

Introduction à Mendeley

Mendeley : insérer les références dans le traitement de texte (Word)

Zotero: Création de listes bibliographiques & Intégration dans un traitement de texte