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Mendeley Citation Manager

A how-to guide on using Mendeley, a citation management tool that collects, organizes, and cites your references.

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Mendeley or another citation manager?

How do you decide which citation manager to use?

Pick the one that works best for you workflow, after all the best manager is the one you actually use.

You may want to pick Mendeley over Zotero if you don't plan to use the group/share functions or archive web sites. Mendeley is owned by a for-profit company and collects data on which articles you save, annotate, and share.


Mendeley is a citation management tool and it can help help with other aspects of your research, such as:

  • Organize PDFs
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Create bibliographies/citations into a word processor.
  • Share and collaborate with others.

You can find Medeley online and a downloadable desktop version for free. When downloading the Mendeley Reference Manager, there is also an option to download a Citation Plugin for Microsoft word, as well. 

Installing Mendeley for your Desktop

1) Go to the Mendeley Download page at in one of the supported internet browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari).

2) There's a different version for each operating system: Windows, Mac or Linux. Choose the right version for your computer.

3) Follow the prompts to download the program to your desktop. 


Downloading the  Mendeley Web Importer 

Mendeley offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. You will be able to save articles from your browser and add your notes.

For Chrome, click on Install Chrome Browser extension, then click add to Chrome. 

Once you have clicked Add Extension, you should see a green box that says "Added to Chrome" Your web extension has successfully be downloaded!

Content on this guide was originally created by Mendeley Ltd and it has been adapted and added to for the Mendeley Research Guide at CSUDH.