Citation Guide

1. Getting started

  1. Register for a free account at
  2. Download Mendeley Desktop for Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Make sure your word processor is closed before installing Mendeley Desktop.
  3. Open Mendeley Desktop. Go to Tools > Install web importer and download the plugin for your preferred browser. A Mendeley-button for direct import will be added to the bookmarks bar.
  4. Open Mendeley Desktop. Go to Tools > Install [name of your word processor] plugin. Mendeley will recognize which word processing program you are using. In Word for Windows the plugin will appear under the References-tab, in Libre Office as a toolbar across the top of the screen and in Word for Mac as a separate panel.

2. Collecting to your library

There are several ways to add documents to your Mendeley library.

  1. Web importer
    Press the Mendeley button in the bookmarks bar to add online content in databases or catalogues to the Mendeley library. The information the program has found will be visible in a Mendeley window. Tick ”Download PDF’s if available” in order to add PDF’s automatically when possible. When you save a reference through the Web importer, it is saved to your Mendeley account. When you sync (F5) your Mendeley desktop library it will appear in the desktop version.
  2. Adding PDF’s
    By dragging and dropping you can directly add files stored on your computer to Mendeley. The program will extract the metadata needed
    from the document to create a library entry. You can add one or several files at a time by going to File > add folder/add files.
  3. Watched folder
    You can create a Watched folder in which all files are automatically imported to Mendeley. Go to File > Watch Folder  and choose the folder you want to use for this purpose.
  4. Adding references manually
    Click File > Add entry manually. Start by choosing the correct reference type and add all relevant information manually.




If you have an ArXiv ID, DOI or PMID-number it is possible to just fill in the number in the form, hit the search button next to it and let Mendeley look up the details to fill in the rest.

  1. Import references
    You can import an already existing library in EndNote, Zotero, Jabref, Refworks etc. Export the library in the concerned program and save to RIS, BibTeX or EndNoteXML format. In Mendeley desktop choose File > Import… and add the exported file.


Note! Depending on the quality of metadata on the webpage or in the document the entries can lack bibliographic information. Always review your additions to make sure no information is incorrect or missing. You can change or add information in the details view to the right in the desktop version.

3. Working with your library

Organizing references

Mendeley automatically sorts your references in folders such as Recently Added, Recently Read and Needs Review. You can organize your library further by creating folders for separate projects.

Mendeley PDF Reader

If you double-click an entry for which you have the PDF document available, you will then be able to view the document in the built-in PDF reader. You can have multiple PDFs open simultaneously, each in their own tab. You can annotate these documents and highlight sections of the text. The PDF’s are also searchable.

Access your library from anywhere

You can keep your Mendeley library synced to your account on Open Mendeley desktop, tick F5 and your library will be synced to your account.

You are able to download a Mendeley application to your iOS or Android device. In the application there is a PDF reader and your annotations and highlights on your Mendeley desktop version will be synced with your application and vice versa.


You can create private groups for collaboration, in which you can share references and discuss with others. Open Mendeley desktop, click on EditNew group. You can also go to the Mendeley website, click Groups in the toolbar and then Create a new group

4. Adding references in your document

  1. Make sure Mendeley desktop is running. Place the cursor in your word processor where you want to insert the citation and press Insert Citation button in the Mendeley Cite-O-Matic part of the References tab..



Search for the reference you want to cite or choose Go to Mendeley to open Mendeley desktop and browse your library. Mark the desired paper and press the Cite button that now appears to the right of the Sync button.



  1. Edit a citation by placing the cursor on it and use the Insert Citation-button that is now called Edit Citation. Press the button to edit the citation by adding page number, suppressing author name etc.


If you are using LaTex/BibTex, follow the following steps to make citations using your Mendeley library:
  1. Enable BibTex syncing in Mendeley under Tools > Options > BibTex. Tick the box to Enable BibTex syncing. Choose to create a BibTex file for the entire library, one file per group or one file per document.
  2. To insert citations in LaTex you need to use the cite command and the Mendeley Citation Key:
    ​\cite {CitationKey from Mendeley
    You can find the Citation Key under the Details tab in your Mendley library.
  3. In order to insert a bibliography in LaTex you need to use the bibliography style command along with the template you are using and the bibliography command along with the name of the BibTex library file you creating when you enabled BibTex syncing in step 1:
    \bibliography{name of bibtex library file}

5. Adding a bibliography and choosing a reference style

Place the cursor where you want to insert the bibliography and press Insert Bibliography. Mendeley will automatically add all the references used in the document according to the chosen citation style. The bibliography will be updated, and if needed reordered, for every new citation added to the document.

Change citation style by choosing a different one in the list of Styles. There are more styles available under More styles…

6. Removing field codes

You need to remove the field code before sending your paper for submission, but make sure to make a copy of your documents first. It is not possible to reverse the action and recreate the codes!

Use the Export as… You can also use this function if you want to share your document with someone using another format when writing.

7. Support and contact

You are welcome to contact us at Uppsala University Library! Visit our subject libraries, chat with us on the website or send us an email to

You can book an appointment for individual guidance and support: 

Current courses can be found in our web calendar:   

Also visit Mendeley Support Center to find FAQs, guides and videos: