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Reference Management Software

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a free reference management tool and academic social network.  

You can:

  • Import references from library databases or the internet into folders
  • Manually input references
  • Drag and drop pdf files to generate references
  • Organise your research by creating folders for different areas of research
  • Create bibliographies
  • Create a profile, follow other researchers, set up a network of people doing similar research.  
  • Create collections of papers.  Make them public & share them with an RSS feed

Getting started with Mendeley

Mendeley is a free online resource available at 

1. Create an account

2. Install the Mendeley Web importer. This places 'Save to Mendeley' in your favourites bar so you can easily import items into Mendeley from compatible sites

3. Install the Word Plugin  so you can create a bibliography. Close Word, and in Mendeley go to Tools, Install MS Word Plugin. (In Word you will find the Mendeley plugin under 'References') Mendeley should detect what word processing software you have and offer you the option of downloading the plugin that matches that.

Importing book details from the library catalogue

1. Search the catalogue.  

2. Display the full record of the book.

3. Click on the 'Save to Mendeley' icon on your favourites bar. Only the basic details will be transferred. In Mendeley desktop you need to edit the record to include place of publication, publisher, date and author.

How to create a bibliography

1. In your Word document, click on Insert - References - Insert Citation - click on the 'Go to Mendeley' icon

2. In Mendeley check that the correct referencing format is selected (e.g. View - Citation style - Harvard)

3. In your Mendeley folder select the items that you want to create your bibliography (e.g. Ctrl-A to select all of them)

4. Click on Cite

5. Always check that the format is correct, and that it matches any instructions that you have been given by your lecturer or in the module handbook

Removing duplicates in Mendeley

There is a guide on the Mendeley blog about removing duplicates.

There is also a video on the Mendeley YouTube page about how to remove duplicates.

Positive features

You can use the desktop version, the web version or use the app on a variety of devices

Create folders, so you can organise your research instead of just having one huge list of references

The Save to Mendeley web importer feature that you set up when you sign in, automatically takes the bibliographic details of the article and translates them into the correct format. However, this depends on database compatibility and also needs to be checked that it has been done correctly.

Negative features

Items from Library Plus and books from the library catalogue do not import the full details. You need to edit the record in Mendeley to add place of publication, publisher, date and author.

The Save to Mendeley web importer can save time by automatically taking the bibliographic details of the item and putting them into the correct  format, but depends on compatibility so sometimes needs careful checking and editing.

It's easy to delete results. If you delete an item from a folder that you have created, the item remains in the main list. If you delete an item from the main list it will also delete it from the folder; so don't delete it from the main list unless you really don't need it!

Help and Guides

Help guides and video guides are here.

If you need further help, please contact the Library as there are Librarians who use some of the reference management software listed in this guide and they may be able to help with queries you may have.

You can also contact the supplier for help with any particular issues you may be having by using the Support section of the product website.