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Library Guides

Citation and Referencing Guide: Mendeley

This guide provides resources to support your citation and referencing practice in line with academic requirements


Mendeley is a simple, effective reference management tool. A free account with 2GB of storage space can be created on the Mendeley website.

NB: UoW does not have an institutional subscription to Mendeley. When you create an account, do not select 'Sign in via your institution' — make an individual account instead.

IMPORTANT: Mendeley updates

Mendeley is currently undergoing a transition period. Consequently, there are two different software products currently available:

  1. Mendeley Desktop — the old product which has full functionality although is no longer being updated, and will eventually be decommissioned (with all users moved on to the new product). Mendeley Desktop works with Mendeley Cite-O-Matic plugin only.
  2. Mendeley Reference Manager — the new product which is still under development, so does not yet have full functionality. Mendeley Reference Manager works with Mendeley Cite plugin only.

Which product you should choose to use will depend on the following factors:

  1. Your operating system — Mendeley Desktop is not compatible with Mac OS 10.14 or later.
  2. What functionality requirements you have — Currently, Mendeley Desktop has better functionality than Mendeley Reference Manager, but you can download the latest beta release of Reference Manager for the newest updates (typically released weekly).
  3. Your word processor  — Mendeley Cite-O-Matic (for use with Mendeley Desktop) can be installed via the Tools tab within the software, and can be used whilst signed in to MS Word with your UoW Office365 account. Mendeley Cite can only be installed via the Microsoft Store within MS Word, but if you are signed in to Word with your UoW account you will be blocked from installing any add-ins. A workaround is to sign out of MS Word, then install the add-in; however, if you sign back in later you will be prohibited from using Mendeley Cite. Therefore, if you are using Mendeley Cite with Mendeley Reference Manager, make sure you regularly back up your document manually, as it will not be automatically saving to your One Drive if you are not signed in to Office365.

YouTube videos

Chris Copeland has produced a very good three-part introduction to Mendeley Desktop from the user's perspective. Access his YouTube playlist below:

Intro to Mendeley workshop recording

Recorded 21/06/21. 

Overview of Mendeley

While of value in generating citations and references, for example, either manually or through a plug-in to Word, Mendeley also acts as a file manager, content index and fully-searchable digital library database, at an individual level and at a collective level.

As a PDF reader, it permits highlighting, copy-and-paste and comment functions on the document. It is therefore well worth considering as a tool which assists in the search, curation and analysis phases of research, greatly enhancing 'productivity'.

It has an online version and a desktop version, while it also works on tablets (mainly for reading and annotating) and mobile phones (mainly for reading).

The Westminster Harvard citation and referencing style can be installed on Mendeley desktop, to generate citations and references in the required format, and a Mendeley plug-in can be installed in Word, so that citations and references can be created automatically.