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Mendeley Reference Manager

Building your Mendeley Library

Your Mendeley Library is the collection of references you add to your Mendeley account.
You can add to, and manage, your Mendeley Library using Mendeley Reference Manager.
Other Mendeley tools can access your Mendeley Library. For example, you can use Mendeley Cite to insert your references into Microsoft Word documents.

Mendeley have developed Mendeley Web Importer – a browser extension that can help you import references directly from the web. For example, you can import results from a PubMed or Google Scholar search straight into your Mendeley Library. It will even automatically download and attach the PDF if it is easily accessible. Handy hint icon

Installing the Web Importer

To install Mendeley Web Importer, go to Mendeley's Web Importer page
The website will detect which browser you are using. Handy hint icon
Click on the Get Web Importer button, and follow the prompts to install the browser extension.

Mendeley Web Importer install button
Using the Web Importer

Once installed, the Mendeley Web Importer button will appear in the top right of your web browser:

Mendeley Web Importer browser button

When you have results on a webpage that you would like to add to your Mendeley Library (if you have done a Google Scholar search, for example),

  1. Click on the Web Importer button.
  2. Log in to the Web Importer using your Mendeley (Elsevier) username and password.
Mendeley Web Importer sign in
  1. Mendeley Web Importer will read the content on the webpage, and provide a list of the references it sees on the page. Handy hint icon
    Mendeley Web Importer webpage reference list
  2. You can choose which references you would like to import by ticking the boxes, and clicking on the Add button. PDFs are included by default, when available.
  3. The references will then appear in your Mendeley Library. Handy hint icon

Adding entries manually is usually necessary for reports, websites, books, and less-common reference types.
Articles can often be added from databases, Google Scholar, or by dragging and dropping PDFs. However, if these options do not work, you can create a manual entry:

  1. Open Mendeley Reference Manager.
  2. Click on + Add new in the top left of Mendeley Reference Manager, and then select Add Manual Entry
Mendeley add maunal entry
  1. A pop-up will appear prompting you to enter the details for your entry.
  2. If the document has a DOI , you can type or paste it in the DOI box and Mendeley should do the rest of the work for you.
Mendeley maunal entry details pop-up
  1. If you cannot find a DOI, proceed with adding a manual entry. Select the correct Reference Type from the drop-down menu. This step is important to get right, because it will determine what the reference looks like when you cite it.
Mendeley select reference type
  1. Enter the title of the document.
  2. Enter the author(s). For each additional author, click on the Add another author button. Use the format ‘last name, first name’. For institutional authors, simply type in the institution’s name. e.g., Ministry of Health.
Mendeley enter authors
  1. Fill in the remaining details and click Add entry.
    For documents with URLs (e.g., webpages, eBooks, online reports), you must first click Add entry, and then edit the new record to add the URL to the URLS field.
Mendeley add entry
  1. To add a URL after creating a manual entry, find the new entry in your Mendeley Library, click on it, and click on Add a URL in the info panel:
    Mendeley add URL
  1. Edit the Date Accessed if necessary and paste in the URL. Any changes made to a Mendeley record are automatically saved.
Mendeley edit date accessed
  1. To add a PDF or other file to the record, first download the PDF to your computer. Then find the new entry in your Mendeley Library, click on it, and click on FILES in the info panel:
    Mendeley add file to reference
  2. Locate the file you want to add, select it, and click Open:
    Mendeley select PDF
  3. If you have any questions about how to cite a specific document or unusual reference type, please contact us.

You can add references to your Mendeley Library simply by dragging and dropping article PDFs into Mendeley Reference Manager :

  1. Open Mendeley Reference Manager.
  2. Select one or more PDFs from your computer.
  3. Drag the PDF documents using your mouse and drop them into your Mendeley Library.
    Drag the PDF documents into Mendeley Library
  4. Mendeley Reference Manager will read the metadata contained in your PDFs and automatically create the references for these documents in your library.
    Mendeley imports Metadata
  5. It is always important to ensure that all the reference details have been added correctly. Your PDF document may/may not contain the correct metadata, and/or some of the information may be missing (see examples circled below). In such cases, the reference will need to be edited manually. (See section on Editing References)
    Mendeley check references after import
  1. Alternatively, you can add a PDF document by clicking on + Add New in the top left of Mendeley Reference Manager, and then selecting File(s) from computer.
Mendeley add new PDF
  1. Find and select the PDF file(s) you would like to import, and click Open. This will import the PDF(s) into your Mendeley Library.
    Mendeley select new PDF
Bringing in course readings from Moodle or Blackboard
  1. In Moodle or Blackboard, go to eReserve (it may be known as ‘course readings’ or ‘readings’.)
  2. Open the folder or module that contains the readings you want to bring into your Mendeley Library.
    eReserve folder list
  3. One option is to download the PDF for each reading onto your computer one-by-one, and then ‘drag and drop’ them into your Mendeley Library (see section on .

    Alternatively, in the eReserve menu, go to Export, and click Export to RIS. (Note: this will bring into Mendeley the citation information for the readings. It will not bring in the PDFs.)
    eReserve export options
  4. The way your computer handles the file is determined by your browser settings. If you are prompted to save or open the file, save it to a location on your computer you will remember (such as Downloads).
    If you are not prompted, the file will have been saved to your Downloads folder automatically.
  1. Go to Mendeley Reference Manager. Add the downloaded RIS file by clicking on + Add new in the top left, then select Import library, then select RIS (*.ris).
Mendeley add new .RIS file
  1. Find and select the RIS file, and click Open. This will import the references into your Mendeley Library.
    Mendeley import .RIS file

You can export references from most databases in the RIS format, which is compatible with Mendeley. The references only include the citation information rather than the full text. Exporting instructions are included in each of the database guides. An exception is PubMed where you must use the Mendeley Web Importer.

Importing RIS files

After exporting, the file will be in your downloads folder. There are two ways to import this:

  1. Firstly you can drag and drop the RIS file from your downloads into Mendeley Reference Manager, when the programme is open.
  1. Alternatively you can click Add new, select Import library and then select RIS.
Mendeley add new .RIS file
Importing full text files

To add the full text, it is the same process as outlined in Manual Entry.

  1. First download the PDF or other file to your computer. Then find the relevant entry in your Mendeley Library, click on it, and click on FILES in the info panel.
    Mendeley add file to reference
  2. Locate the file you want to add, select it, and click Open.
    Mendeley select PDF