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Reference Management: Mendeley

Important Update

Due to recent change at Mendeley, the desktop version of Mendeley may no longer recognise Edinburgh Napier student email addresses. When trying to log in an error message might appear that begins "It looks like you are trying to sign in using your institution’s Shibboleth account." To fix this issue you are advised to log into Mendeley Web and change the email address associated with your account to something that doesn't have your matriculation number in it, such as a personal email address. 

What is Mendeley?

MendeleyMendeley is freemium software which is available across a number of different platforms.

You can run Mendeley on your computer or laptop, as an app on your phone or tablet, and also access it from your web browser. Mendeley’s Desktop application allows you to organise, collaborate and discover, as well as use the citation plugin to cite as you write in Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. The web and mobile apps offer you the ability to access your references on the go, as well as making notes and annotations.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to create an account at This is free to do and only takes a few seconds.

Mendeley acts as a repository for your reference information. You add papers to your library by importing PDF files stored on your computer, or by retrieving them from other locations like Library databases such as EBSCO, ScienceDirect, Pubmed or PLOS. You can also create entries for items that you don’t have access to as PDFs by manually entering details. Materials you add to your library are then stored in the cloud, for you to retrieve wherever you need them.

It might be that you want to add a paper to your Library while using the campus Wi-Fi, and then cite it while writing your paper at home later that day. Mendeley allows you to retrieve the same resources with the same enhancements and annotations wherever you need them.

The apps anywhere logo, a trio of colourful clouds.You can download Mendeley Desktop to any Edinburgh Napier University machine using AppsAnywhere.

Top 10 Mendeley Features

1. Join in! Create an account and start interacting with over 4 million like-minded researchers.  

2. Import Your References. Download the Mendeley Migration Guide from this page to get started.

3. Join a Public Group or start your own. Visit Mendeley's group directory to browse existing groups.

4. Create a Private Group and collaborate with others by reading and annotating together. Find out more here.

5. See what other people are reading. Browse Mendeley’s crowd-sourced research catalogue of millions of papers

6. Showcase your publication history. If you publish you can share the details using Mendeley Desktop, or by visiting your profile page.

7. Choose from one of 8000+ citation styles or create your own! Use the CSL Editor to explore and modify existing styles

8. Drag and drop PDFs. Add new entries to your library in just a few seconds. Verify the extracted metadata manually, or automatically using a document identifier lookup.

9. Get organised! Mendeley saves your references in the cloud, but you can also opt to download local copies and automatically rename the PDFs using a naming scheme you specify.

10. Use it anywhere. Mendeley Desktop is available on Mac, Windows and Linux. Mendeley Web functions on all major browsers.