Mendeley is a free reference manager, PDF organizer, and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover related research. Mendeley is based on a desktop application (as well as iPhone and iPad apps) and an online account, both supported on multiple platforms. Mendeley extracts metadata from your PDFs and other files (Office documents such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and helps you to index and organize your collection for easy searching and citing.
Is Mendeley for all users? Not necessarily. If you have a large collection of digitally born PDF articles and research notes, it may help you organize your research, annotate and highlight your PDFs, and collaborate with your colleagues. However, if your collection of references is mostly based on books and scanned PDFs that were not OCR'd (optimized for full-text searching with Optical Character Recognition), this reference manager may not fit your needs. In addition, while it is currently free, Mendeley is owned by the for-profit company Elsevier, and there have been concerns that its use of a proprietary algorithm may make it difficult for users to export their data from the application.
Cross-platform: Mendeley Desktop has full support for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Secure backup: Any documents synced in the desktop client will be backed up on the web.
Mobile devices: Read papers anywhere with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
Install on multiple computers: Install Mendeley on multiple computers and access your entire library.
Full text search: Mendeley Desktop creates a fully searchable database of your papers.
Automatic metadata extraction: Mendeley automatically extracts metadata from the papers you import.
Highlight and annotate: Organize your own notes and highlights and share them with others.
Flexible organization: Groups, tags, and filters let you organize your way.
Academic Social Network
Research collaboration: Use research groups to collaborate with your peers and colleagues.
Trends and statistics: Get real-time readership statistics and view trends in your research area.
Track your own publications: Find out how many people are reading and downloading your own research.
Related research: Get personalized suggestions on relevant papers to read.
Integration with Other Apps
Microsoft Word / Open Office: Mendeley plugins let you easily insert bibliographies into your documents.
BibTeX / Endnote / RIS: Mendeley Desktop can import and export these and other formats.
Zotero / CiteULike: Mendeley Desktop can sync with your Zotero or CiteULike libraries.
Mendeley API: Mendeley API allows 3rd parties to build applications using Mendeley's data.