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An overview of the citation software Mendeley- an Elsevier product that is an online and desktop reference manager.

Saving Citations

The quickest option to save citations is to use the Mendeley Web Importer. However, this does require an account with Mendeley/Elsevier. To use this tool:

  1. While browsing a website, database, or catalog, keep your Mendeley software open.
  2. Make sure you log in to the Web Importer the first time you use it (or if you haven't used it in awhile.)
  3. When you get to the page for a book, article, or other item you want- simply click on the red "M" in your upper right toolbar. mendeley M, also the icon for the software and the icon used for the web importer
  4. This will activate the Web Importer menu.
  5. Within the menu, select the folder in your library to send the citation to. Also select whether you want to try to capture the full-text PDF or not.
  6. Select 'Add'. Then you can go to your Mendeley library to view the reference.

Manually Adding Citations

Sometimes, you will need to enter new citations yourself. This might happen if:

  • The web importer doesn't successfully get all of the data itself
  • You have a print item in hand, like a book
  • You prefer to ensure accuracy rather than proofreading incoming citations

To add new citations, you can select the "add" button in the upper left of the software's menu, then pick "add entry manually," and then select from a variety of item types to get your citation started. The default is to a journal article- click that drop down menu to select a different option to get different fields to fill.

A screenshot of Mendeley, depicting the "add new" menu, as well as a blank citation that you can fill in.

Attaching Files

When adding a full text PDF document to your library, it is the most helpful for organization if you file it under a citation. There are a couple of ways to approach this.

To add an already downloaded PDF document to an existing citation:

  1. Click on a citation in your library
  2. When the right hand pane opens to display the full citation details, scroll towards the bottom to the 'Files:' section
  3. Select the plus icon or "Add file...," then pick the document from your computer

Alternatively, you can simply upload a PDF document into your Mendeley library without an existing citation, and Mendeley will often be able to search the web to find the citation details.

To add a PDF document by finding the full text on the web:

  1. Browse in your catalog or database of choice. Find the record for the item you are interested in.
  2. Click the Mendeley web Importer, and be sure the option for "Add PDFs if available" is selected.
  3. View your Mendeley library to see the PDF you just added.