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PSYC 399.03 Comps Seminar Bridging Differences

Professor Sharon Akimoto, Fall 2020

What is Mendeley

What is Mendeley?

  • Mendeley is a free citation management program.
    Mendely enables you to save citations to a personal research library. From here, you can organize and keep track of documents used in your research.
  • Mendeley is both a desktop and online application
    Because it is both available online and in desktop formats, you can quickly access your citation library from different computers and devices.
  • Mendeley is a PDF reader
    Not only can you save your research to Mendeley, but you can also read, full-text search, and mark-up documents within your research library. 
  • Mendeley is an academic social media tool
    With Mendeley, you can share your citation library with others, which allows you to easily collaborate on projects. You can also explore the research and bibliographies of public groups.

Using Mendeley

Download and Install

Mendeley is free to download for Mac, Windows,Linux, and iPads/iPhones.

Click here to Download Mendeley

When to Use Mendeley Desktop

The Desktop version of Mendely should operate as your home resesarch library for three reasons:

1. You can add citations to Microsoft Word from Mendeley Desktop

2. It is easiest to move documents to and from Mendeley when using the desktop application.

               You can drag and drop pdf articles directly to Mendeley desktop

3. Mendeley Desktop allows you to view and edit PDF documents without opening Adobe or Preview.

In short, Mendeley has more useful functions than Mendeley Online or the Mobile App version of Mendeley.

               --Mendeley Online and Mendeley's Mobile App are best used as supplements to Mendeley Desktop

Create an account

When you create a Mendeley Account (you can create an account Here), you gain access to an online research library:

You can add citations/documents to your library by using Mendeley's Web Importer, or by syncing your content from Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Online is best used as a way to move & sync citations to Mendeley Desktop.

Syncing your desktop and online libraries

Your Online Mendeley Library best operates as a intermediary for your Desktop Library.

  • You can use your online library to:
    • Access your library on computers which do not have mendeley installed
    • Add citations via the web importer to your library on computers that do not have mendeley installed
      • Once added to your online library, you can sync these citations to your Mendeley Desktop library

To Sync content from your Mendeley Online Library to your Mendeley Desktop Library (and vice versa), click the "Sync Button" on the top of the Mendeley application

Web Importer

The Web Importer can be installed Here.

Once Installed, the Web Importer will appear in your Favorites/Bookmarks Bar.

If you cannot view this bar, you can add it using the instructions below.


  • Preferences--> Appearance--> Always Show Bookmarks Bar


  • View--> Show Favorites Bar


  • View--> Toolbar--> Bookmarks Toolbar

Once you have found an article that you want to import to your library, select "Save to Mendeley" in your favorites bar.

This box will appear in your screen:

Add any additional information you need, and press Save.

Adding References

There are several ways to add references to Mendeley:

  1. Import citations from the web importer onto Mendeley Online
    • From here, you can sync citations to your Mendeley Desktop library
  2. Drag and Drop downloaded documents from your computer into Mendeley Desktop
  3. Manually enter citation information (Mendely Online or Desktop)

Once a reference is added, you will be asked if the citation details are correct.

You will want to make sure your details are as accurate as possible. 

Create a Watch Folder

You can set Mendeley up to automatically add the PDF's you download into a specific folder.

Mendeley will "Watch" selected folders on your computer, and automatically add any files that are put in this folder into your library.

  • To Watch a folder, go to Mendeley Desktop.
    Select File-->Watch Folder...

Creating Folders

Once added, your references will be filed under the "All Documents" section of your library.

There are several other sections in your library, which you can drag and drop your reference or document under.

You can add folders and sub-folders to organize your library.

  • To create a folder, go under File-->Add Folder...

Searching through your library

Mendeley essentially operates as a private library. Like the library collection at Carleton, you can search your Mendeley Research Library.

Your library, whether online, on your desktop, or as an app, has a search bar. Mendeley's search function operates as a keyword search.

  • This means the search will pull results from your library that contain your search term (anywhere from the title, author, abstract, journal title, notes etc.)

Mendeley indexes popular articles on various subjects. The Mendeley "Literature Search" searches across this index. This tool is not great for elaborate research (use a database instead), but Mendeley's indexing does have a useful function:

  • On Mendeley Desktop you can find references that are related to whichever reference you are viewing.

Taking Notes

When you click on any reference, you can choose to add notes in the details pane. 

If there's a pdf attached, the Mendeley pdf viewer lets you annotate the document and you'll see all those annotations in the Notes tab.

Add the Microsoft Word Plug-in

Mendeley allows you to create citations and generate bibliographies seamlessly into Microsoft Word Documents.

In order to set up Mendeley to do this, you need to install the Microsoft Word Plug-In.

To install the plug-in:

  • In your Mendeley Desktop Library, go under Tools-->Install MS Word Plug-In

Once Installed, Microsoft Word will now have this toolbar:

Use the Citation Toolbar

To make a citation anywhere in your paper:

1. Choose a style from the bar's drop-down menu.

2. Select where you want the citation to go, and click the "Insert Citation" button on the bar.

This will prompt you to search for the citation, or to go to Mendeley and click on the desired citation.

3. After placing all your citations,  add a biliography by clicking the "Insert Bibliography" button.