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Reference Management

Elsevier has migrated from the older (legacy) Mendeley Desktop to the new Mendeley Reference Manager

This page refers to the legacy Mendeley Desktop software, and you can still use both. However, you can no longer download and install Mendeley Desktop. Existing users of Mendeley Desktop will still be able to use it, but Elsevier will stop supporting it altogether in the longer term.

Manage Your References

Mendeley Desktop is a reference manager that allows you manage, read, share, annotate and cite your research papers. 

Download Mendeley Desktop for personal devices.

Make sure you check to see if your Operating System and Word Processor are compatible with Mendeley Desktop, see What browsers and Operating Systems are supported?

Install MS Word Plugin

To install the MS Word plugin, select Tools > Install MS Word Plugin.

Image showing Mendeley menu to select Tools then Install MS Word Plugin

When installed the plugin will appear as below on Microsoft Windows:

Image of Mendeley Cite-o-matic plugin in Word

Add Files to Mendeley Desktop

You can add files to Mendeley by:

  • Dragging and dropping a pdf into Mendeley
  • You can also add files by selecting file and then clicking add files or folder. 
  • Another way to add files is by selecting file and then clicking "watch folder" to choose a folder to put on watch. Mendeley Desktop will now automatically add files that are added to that folder.

Export references directly from other Elsevier products such as Science Direct or Scopus to Mendeley by:

  • When reading an article click the export button then choose Save to Mendeley.

                                 Image showing database with Save to Mendeley button‚Äč 

Using the Mendeley Web Importer with your favourite web browser you can import references and documents from academic databases.

Image of Mendeley web importer button in browser bar. Button reads "Save to Mendeley"

Generating Citations with MS Word

Here is a video showing Generating Citations with the MS Word and OpenOffice Plug-ins.

Note: There is a slight difference with MS Word on Mac as the Cite-O-Matic will appear as its own toolbar.

Read and Annotate your PDFs

You can edit PDFs that have been added to your Mendeley Library. You can do this by double clicking to open the file in a separate tab within Mendeley Desktop. You have the option to:

  • Highlight text in multiple colours
  • Add sticky notes to specific locations
  • Make document-wide notes
  • Search within text

Choose a Citation Style

Click View → Citation Styles → More Styles to search for citation styles on Mendeley Desktop.

 Image of toolbar showing selecting View then Citation Style

Advanced: The Citation Style Editor

Need a custom referencing style? Start editing your own citation styles with the open source Citation Style Editor. To get started we recommend this tutorial - What is the CSL Editor?