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Mendeley-opas: In English

Opas Mendeley-viitteidenhallintaohjelman käyttöön ja viitteiden siirtämiseen RefWorksistä Mendeleyhin

Help Guide for Mendeley Reference Manager

What is Mendeley? Mendeley-ikoni

Mendeley is a free reference management software by Elsevier. You can access Mendeley Reference Manager through the user interface installed on your computer or online on your browser. In the free version you have 2 gigabytes of storage space.

Mendeley Reference Manager allows you to:

  • Create your own reference database,
  • import references from multiple databases to your own library,
  • add and maintain citations and create bibliographies to your work using the citation style of your choice and
  • share references with others.

You can find both referencing styles used by KAMK, APA6 and Vancouver, on Mendeley. However there are more than 7000 different styles available. 

You can find help guides made by Mendeley on their website: You can also utilize guides done by University of Oulu and Hanken School of Economics

Tip: After creating an account on Mendeley, you should check your settings. For example, Mendeley automatically sends you a newsletter and weekly article recommendations based on your Library. If you do not want to receive them, remember to update your settings. You can also see how much of your free storage space you have used up on your account page.

Notifications on Mendeley

1. Create and account on

  • Select 'Create free account'
    • Input your email address and fill the required information

Login page on

2. Download Mendeley Reference Manager

  • Login 
  • Download both add-ons from the Tools menu
  1. Mendeley Web Importer and

    Mendeley Web Importer is and extension for your browser. It is available on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge. However it can work on other browsers too, like Opera, but it is not supported by Mendeley.

    After installation you should see a red Mendeley icon Mendeley icon in your browser toolbar. With it you can transfer citation data directly to your Mendeley Library. 

  2. Mendeley Cite

    Mendeley Cite is and add-on for Microsoft Word. You will need it for adding your citations and inserting a bibliography to your work. 

    You can also download this add-on directly from Microsoft Word. Go to the Insert menu, select Get Add-ins and search for Mendeley Cite and install. 

Your reference data is also available for you to use in your browser. You can diend your Library after logging in to Mendeley in the Library tab or going directly to

Tip: Mendeley syncronizes its data so you can use both versions of Mendeley Reference Manager seamlessly or just the one you prefer.

You can add references to your Mendeley Library in multiple ways. This guide contains three most common practices.

1. Save references and documents from databases with Mendeley Web Importer

After you find a suitable reference for your work in a database, click the Mendeley icon Mendeley-ikoni in your toolbar. It will open a menu where you can choose the reference of your choice and select 'Add'. The article's citation data with a possible PDF attachment transfers now to your Library.

Using Mendeley Web Importer in a database

2. Add PDF files from your computer to the Library

Drag and drop the PDF file(s) to the Mendeley Reference Manager from the file location. Mendeley searches for metadata from the PDF file and saves the data with your PDF file to your Library. 

If you add references with this method it is essential to check the metadata and fill in the missing information because it is often insufficient.

Drag and drop PDF file in Mendeley Reference Manager

3. Add reference data from databases and from other reference manager programs as BibTeX, RIS or XML formats

If you cannot for some reason export your reference data with Web Import add-on, you can save the reference data to your computer in BibTex, RIS or XML formats and add those to your Library.  This method works also if you need to transfer references from an other reference manager program, like RefWorks. 

Saving the data...

  1. Choose the references from the database by selecting checkboxes. 
  2. Locate the export option from the database.
  3. Select the right file format (BibTeX, RIS or XML).
  4. Save the file to the folder of your choosing.

...and exporting it to Mendeley

  1. Open Mendeley Reference Manager on your computer or on your browser.
  2. Click + Add New -> Import library -> choose the same file format you saved your reference data as earlier.
  3. Alternatively drag and drop the file to your Mendeley Library the same way you can do with PDF files.

Exporting files to Mendeley

Tip: You can also add references manually. You can do this by choosing 'Add entry manually' from '+ Add new' menu and filling in the information.

Tips on how to use Mendeley Reference Manager

You can organize your references to collections in Mendeley Reference Manager and also read, highlight and take notes.

Fix errors in the exported reference data:

  • You should always check your saved references for possible mistakes. When you correct them in Mendeley Reference Manager, the updated data will synchronize all across your add-ons and devices. This makes it easier for you later on while working that the citations will be correct from the start.

Take notes:

  • The program contains a Notebook for you to use but you can also highlight your PDF files while reading and use the Sticky Notes function to do more detailed notes. You can find these notes also in the Annotations tab in each reference and you can quickly navigate by clicking these back to the PDF file.

How to highlight PDF and add sticky notes


Mendeley annotations tab

Create collections and private groups to organize and share your data:

  • You should organized the saved reference data to different collections based on their intended use.
  • On the free version you can also create five groups for 1–25 users and share the references for everybody to utilize.

Creating collections on Mendeley Reference Manager

Adding citations with Mendeley Cite

When you have installed Mendeley Cite, you can access it from Microsoft Word from References tab.

Adding citations:

  • Go and select the correct place for an citation in your text. Select the reference/(s) by checking the tickboxes and click 'Insert (n) citation'. Citation should now appear.
  • You can choose the citation style you need to use from the tab 'Citation Style'. 

Editing citations:

  • If you want to, for example, add page numbers to your citation, select the citation in your text that you want to edit. Then in the Mendeley Cite toolbar click the citation name with a blue, rounded background. 

How to edit your citations

  • This will open an editing window where you can make your changes.
  • Prefix and suffix boxes will add text before or after your citation.

How to edit your citations

  • From the 'Edit Reference' tab you can also find the checkbox for the option 'Suppress author', that will remove the author(s) name from appearing for instance if you mention the name in your text.
  • You can edit every citation with the 'Override' option, but from then on the citations will not be updated from you Mendeley Library. You should use this option with caution or when you are doing the finishing touches to your document.

Inserting a bibliography with Mendeley Cite:

  • Go to to the location in your document where you want to insert your bibliography to. Click More -> Insert Bibliography on Mendeley Cite. This creates a bibliography and it automatically updates itself when you add citations to your work.
  • Remember to edit possible mistakes directly in Mendeley Reference Manager or in your Library on your browser. After this you can just update the bibliography by clicking 'Update From Library' option from the 'More' tab on you Mendeley Cite.

How to add a bibliography with Mendeley Cite

When you have finished writing your document, remember to check that it complies with the required style and formatting. 

  • Backup you document.
  • Go to your bibliography and click with your right mouse button to bring up the menu and select 'Remove Content Control'. This removes the connection to your Mendeley Library and it cannot be restored.
  • Make the edits by hand.

If you are already been using RefWorks and have saved references you want to be available for you on Mendeley, do the following steps.

From RefWorks:

  1. Choose the references you want to transer. You can transfer everything at once, one folder at a time or by selecting the ones you need by checking tickboxes.
  2. Click 'Share & Export' option and choose Export references
    1. You must now select if you want to transfer 'All references' from the folder or 'Selected References'
    2. Choose a file format (BibTeX, RIS or XML)
    3. Click 'Export' and save files to your computer Mendeley:

  1. Click '+ Add new' -> Import library -> select the file format you saved your references at RefWorks. Search for the document on your computer and add it to Mendeley. You can also drag and drop the file just like adding PDF-documents to Mendeley.
  2. You can now organize your references from 'Recently Added' tab to Collections.

HOX! You cannot automatically transfer the PDF documents you have saved on RefWorks. You must save them separately to your computer and add them to your Mendeley references.


If you have any questions or feedback concerning the guide, feel free to contact the library.


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