Mendeley is a free tool that helps you to manage citations and PDFs using a desktop client or through an account on mendeley.com. Mendeley also includes plugins for Word and OpenOffice, so you can easily add citations and/or bibliographies to your papers. You can also use Mendeley to create groups and connect with other researchers in your field.
Mendeley consists of four parts:
Mendeley Desktop: the downloaded part of the software installed onto your computer. You can download Mendeley Desktop at:
Mendeley Web: the Mendeley website where you can access the web version of your library, edit your profile and search for papers, research groups or people
Web Importer: The browser bookmarklet that lets you quickly import documents from the web:
Citation Plugin: Allows you to create and format your citations and bibliography in the styles you need:
Citations and PDFs can be added to Mendeley in many ways:
Drag and Drop the PDFs or files of PDFs that you already have into the center panel of Mendeley Desktop. Mendeley will extract the citation information from the PDF. Sometimes this information is incomplete and will be put aside as needing review for you to correct.
Use the Add Documents button on the Mendeley Desktop toolbar
Import from the web or a database using the Web Importer (bookmarklet) : click on the Save to Mendeley button on your browser's bookmark bar
You can also auto-import citation information using arXIv IDs, DOIs, and PubMed IDs (PMIDs). Click on File > Add Entry Manually and scroll down until you see Catalog IDs. Add the ID you want and click save.
Video: Importing Documents into Mendeley (2 minutes)
The Mendeley plug-in for MS Word and for Open Office allow you to easily add in-line citations and generate bibliographies in the citation style you need.
You can organize your PDFs/citations by using folders. Click on Create Folder on the toolbar, name it and save. You can then drag citations from the center column to add them to the folder.
Mendeley also has a File Organizer which can automatically rename your PDFs and file them in a folder structure which makes them easier to find. To open the File Organizer, click on Tools > Options > File Organizer.
Video: Organizing Your Mendeley Library (3 minutes)
The free version of Mendeley allows you to collaborate with colleagues in either private or public groups.
Private Groups: Only one group of three members is supported in the free version. Members can share and annotate PDF's. To create a group using Mendeley Desktop, click on Tools > Invite Colleagues. Online, simply click on Create a New Group at the link below.
Public Groups: Unlimited number of members allowed and publically searchable on the Mendeley website. Groups can be completely open, or by invitation only. Public groups cannot share PDFs - only citations. Public groups are a great way to see what other researchers in your field are doing and reading: https://www.mendeley.com/community/