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Citation Management Tools

This guide includes information about citation management tools, or applications used to organize your references, generate bibliographies, and collaborate with others.

About Mendeley

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.

Mendeley's Features 

Technical Compatibility

  • 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.

         Reference Manager

  • 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.

Vendor Information

How to download, install, and use Mendeley

Mendeley Homepage: Download the desktop application and learn how to use it.

Mendeley Video Channel (YouTube): Step-by-step video instructions on Mendeley

Mendeley Resources: Guides, videos, tutorials, and support pages.

Mendeley Support: A q&a knowledge base arranged by topic.

Mendeley Cite

If you have trouble adding Mendeley's citation tool Mendeley Cite to Microsoft Word, please try the following:

  1. If you are an ASU student, login to your Microsoft account with OR if you are an ASU employee login to your Microsoft account (employees) (replace asurite with your personal asurite id).
  2. Go to "Apps & Devices" and Install Office (if you already have Office installed, go to step #3).
  3. Open Microsoft Word.
  4. Look for Mendeley Cite in Microsoft's Add-In Store under Admin Managed. You can find the store by going to the “Insert” menu of Word and selecting the downward arrow next to Add-Ins. From the Add-Ins menu, select the Get Add-ins link and search for Mendeley Cite. Click the Add button to install the Add-In. After the Mendeley Cite Add-in has been installed, it can be accessed by clicking the Mendeley Cite icon on the Home menu.

If you are still having issues, please contact the ASU Tech Studio at 1-855-278-5080 or (480) 965-2843.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.