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Citation Management Software - Mendeley

Mendeley is a free desktop and cloud application that helps you manage your research.

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Citation Management Workshops at UO Libraries

Noun Project Workshop iconUO Libraries offers Citation Management Workshops

Check for scheduled Citation Management Workshops at UO Libraries and sign up at the link below:


Read about all UO Libraries workshops:

If you prefer a one-on-one or small group consultation, contact a local expert on the Help pages of the citation management guide.

This guide has a Creative Commons BY-NC License.

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This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Welcome to UO Libraries' Mendeley guide!

Welcome to UO Libraries' how-to guide for the citation management software, Mendeley. The purpose of this guide is to get you started with using the software and to share tips and tricks. For a guided introduction, please sign up for one of our workshops or contact a local Mendeley expert listed on the last page of the guide.


As a result of using this guide, you should be able to:

  • Manage searching processes and results effectively
  • Organize information systematically to address your research questions or information needs
  • Cite an information source correctly and articulate the purpose of proper citation

If you have questions, please get in touch with one of the UO Libraries' local Mendeley experts. We're here to help!

About Mendeley

Mendeley logo​Mendeley a free cloud-based application that helps you manage your research. Also known as a reference or citation manager, it has built-in tools to help you read and annotate articles. Mendeley allows you to organize PDFs, other documents, and citations into folders and collaborate with other researchers. It backs up your research library and syncs to the web and smart phone or tablet devices. It is also a social network for scholars across the globe with an online research library that you can use to discover research papers.

Mendeley was created in 2008 as a startup with open source software, and bought by Elsevier in 2013.

3 Steps to Start Using Mendeley

Navigating this Guide

Begin using Mendeley by exploring 5 ways to add citations to Mendeley. Follow the tabs on the side navigation of this guide in order to learn about how different features work.

Questions, Comments or Feedback?

Please contact one of UO's local Mendeley experts with your concerns about this guide or this citation management tool.

Thanks to IUPUI University Library for allowing UO Libraries to adapt their Mendeley Guide under a Creative Commons license. Mendeley logo by Team Mendeley, used under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Comparing Mendeley Desktop with Mendeley Reference Manager

Changes with Mendeley in 2020-22

We recommend using Mendeley Reference Manager (not "Mendeley Desktop"), installing Mendeley Cite and the Web Importer. These will work for Chromebooks and the newest Mac OS. Instructions for installing the plugin are on the Mendeley Cite for Bibliographies and and Web Importer pages of this guide as well as on

This at-a-glance comparison chart only includes some of the features. The two can be used together as long as you sync them.

Mendeley Reference Manager 

Mendeley Desktop (Retired Sept. 2022)

Cloud-based application that is being actively developed

Desktop-based application that can be backed up to your hard drive and syncs to cloud

Accessible user interface

Non responsive user interface

Compatible with Office 365 and Mendeley Cite

Compatible with MS Word plug-in and Mendeley Cite

Highlight and add annotations

Highlight and add annotations

Add quotes automatically to in-app Notebook

Does not have in-app Notebook

Finding & Organizing Sources of Information

Before you can import information to the citation manager, you must find it. Check out some of the other UO Libraries' research guides to learn:

  1. Where and how to search to find information
  2. How to organize your research process
  3. How and why we cite information