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Practical instructions for installing and using Mendeley citation manager.

Read this first!

For a variety of reasons, RRU Library is no longer supporting the Mendeley citation manager. We recommend and support Zotero instead.

The information in this guide is no longer being updated. If you are already using Mendeley, we hope the information here continues to be of assistance. However, if you are just beginning to think about using a citation manager, we encourage you to visit our Zotero Help Guide instead. That guide will walk you through the steps of downloading, installing, and using Zotero and provide further information on library support options. 

Capture single citation from database site - preferred method

The most reliably complete citations for journal articles are found in the database holding that article. You are usually more successful if you start from a page like this, rather than from an open PDF:

To add a citation like this to your Mendeley account, click on the 'Add to Mendeley' button in your browser

If you have not logged into Mendeley lately, you will be prompted to do that.

To make sure all the citation details are correct, click on the pen icon to edit the citation information.  To save the citation, click on 'Add' (though you can also specify the folder to which you would like to add this citation. (You would have needed to create this folder beforehand.)

Adding citation to Mendeley library


Export multiple citations from Discovery and into Mendeley - screen shots

To export several citations at a time out of Discovery and into your Mendeley Reference Manager' software, follow these steps:

Step 1: Do one or more searches of Discovery and select the citations you want to keep.

Step 2: When you have finished searching, open your list of chosen citations by clicking on 'My Items' in the top right corner.

Step 2: At this point you can review your list and un-select the citations you no longer want.

Step 3: Click on the 'Cite' button.

Cite button in Mendeley

Step 4: Click on 'Export to RIS'

Export to RIS - Mendeley

Step 5: Open your Mendeley Reference Manager software and import the file in RIS format.

importing RIS file to Mendeley



Drag and drop

One of the simplest ways to get PDF's into your Mendeley account is to drag and drop them into the software. Open 'Mendeley Desktop' to half your screen, click once on the file you want to import from your desktop and drag it over your citation listings in Mendeley.

The software automatically extracts citation information such as author, title and journal. If Mendeley cannot auto-fill all those fields, it alerts you that the citation is incomplete. You should always double check the accuracy of the citation information Mendeley extracts from these files for you.

dragging and dropping into Mendeley

Search the Mendley website - everyone's collective libraries

You can also search the Mendeley website for new citations. This enables you to search the combined total of all the Mendeley libraries that exist.

This can be particularly useful when wanting to add a government document or stakeholder report that you might otherwise have to enter into your library manually. Search for that document title to see if someone has created the citation entry already and just add it to your library.

You can search all of  Mendeley from the Mendeley website or you can access it from the 'Tools' menu in the Mendeley Reference Manager

Import files or folders from your computer

If you have PDFs, or even a whole folder of PDFs, stored on your computer that you would like to add to your Mendeley account:

  • open your Mendeley Reference Manager software
  • click on the 'Add new' button in the top left
  • select 'Files from computer'
  • choose the files and upload them


  • adding PDFs to Mendeley

Grab a webpage

If you want to copy a webpage to your Mendeley Reference Manager, first make sure you have the 'Mendeley plug in installed in your browser's tool bar. Then, when you are on a webpage you want to add to your Mendeley account, you simply click on the 'Save to Mendeley' shortcut in your tool bar. You will see a pop-up window where you can complete the citation information.

grabbing a webpage to Mendeley

Add references manually

Sometimes you will have to enter your citations manually. In which case:

  • open your Mendeley Reference Manager software
  • click on 'Add new' in the top left corner
  • select the 'Add entry manually'

  • in the next window, first select the type of document you are saving. Journals and books, for example, need different citation details. Once you have chosen the document type, fill out the form