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Mendeley: Starting Points

Mendeley is a free tool that offers additional features for a fee.  The basic - free - account will suffice for most users; however, if your work involves a great deal of collaboration with more than 3 people at a time or you have a large library of PDFs, then the premium account might be helpful.



Install the Desktop Application

Once you have created your Mendeley account, you should see the button to download the desktop application.  Look for the button:

Here are the steps: 

  1. Download the desktop application
  2. Run the installation file
  3. Open the desktop application and install the MS Word plugin:
    1. Make sure Word is closed.
    2. In Mendeley desktop, click on Tools 
    3. Select "Install MS Word Plugin."

Install the Save to Mendeley Plugin

Also called the the Web Importer, this plugin in the main way to gather information about web resources (e.g., articles, web pages, etc.) and put it into your library. For some databases, like PubMed, it is the only way to get information into Mendeley without having to re-type the info.  You can install it through the desktop or the web version.


From the Desktop:

  1. Go to Tools
  2. Select "Install Web Importer."

From the Web

It is a simple drag & drop process of putting the bookmarlett on the tool bar.  The link below will take you to the bookmarlett and the installation instructions.

Managing Privacy

Since Mendeley's web version is a bit like a social media tool, you may want to adjust the settings regarding how much information others can view regarding your online library and activity.  Changes were made in July, 2016, so if you had limited the information others could see about you, it might be good to double-check your settings.

In the web version, you can adjust the following settings which include whether search engines can index your profile.  If you need an online profile, this might be a helpful feature.  The settings can be adjusted anytime by using the down pointing triangle after your name.