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Mendeley Basics: Home

A supplemental guide to the Mendeley Basics workshop offered at Marx Library


An important notice about account creation. Following Elsevier's acquisition of Mendeley, Mendeley has been integrated into the Elsevier account ecosystem. One option Elsevier provides is authentication via CAS/netID credentials. If you want to use Mendeley Desktop, do not create an account using Shibboleth or an institutional account (their wording) at this time. As of December 2018, the desktop (non-web) version of the software does not support institutional account logins.

Otherwise, Mendeley is a freemium tool — it is not included in our Elsevier subscriptions, and individuals and labs generally pay for their own access beyond the free account levels.


Mendeley logo

Welcome to this research guide on Mendeley! Mendeley is a reference manager and PDF organization tool that serves as a bridge between your literature search and your finished papers.

Mendeley stores citations to journal articles, books, reports, and other documents that you plan to consult in your research, and many researchers also use it to keep track of where the corresponding PDFs are located on their hard drives. Once you add a paper to Mendeley, you can use the software to generate bibliographies on the fly in common formats such as APA, MLA, and Chicago; venue-specific formats from ScienceNature, and other journals; and even BibTeX databases for working in the LaTeX environment.

This guide covers the basics of Mendeley, along with some exciting tricks and techniques you can use to get the most out of the software. During the fall and spring academic semesters, the Yale University Library also offers workshops on using Mendeley and other reference managers. Information on workshops is available on the Library's instruction calendar.

This guide is a resource for making the most of Mendeley and will cover:

  • Navigating your Mendeley account.
  • Using the Mendeley desktop platform for citation management, document organization, and annotation.
  • Setting your default citation style.
  • Writing with document plugins to make papers’ citations more manageable.
  • Setting up a BibTeX database that automatically updates based on your Mendeley library's contents.

In addition, Mendeley has a collection of videos on YouTube as part of their "Mendeley Minutes" series. The playlist for these videos may be accessed here: