Getting Started with the Mendeley Citation Machine

Mendeley is a free reference manager and citation machine with many capabilities.  It allows for saving and storing research documents in a cloud based system for easy use across devices.  It is a powerful annotation tool that allows for notes to be typed directly on documents as they are read.   Mendeley integrates well with many word processors including Microsoft Word and OpenOffice allowing for the direct import of citations and subsequent bibliographies, practically eliminating errors created in this type of documentation.  There are a host of other features that one can implement within the program but the above are the most often used applications of the software.  It’s  easy to use so let’s get started!

Adding journal articles to Mendeley is as easy as downloading the document and then dragging and dropping into Mendeley.  However, there are times Mendeley fails to extract the correct information for citing the document.  An example would be for a title to be incorrectly labeled as an author’s name instead.  This flaw is relatively rare, but when it occurs, you need only reenter the information manually.  As the group at Mendeley have great tutorials, let’s take a look at one concerning this topic.

Mendeley has also made it easy to read and comment on research articles as you go. Highlighting and commenting (via “stickies”) are buttons found on the Mendeley interface that allow for quick place-marking for ideas.

Perhaps the most powerful and time-saving aspect of Mendeley is its in-paper citation capabilities. To get started, you first must add Mendeley to your word processor.  If you are using Microsoft word, click Tools and then install “MS Word plugin.”  When you next open Word, Mendeley will now be present in your Reference tabs.  To utilize it, let’s watch another Mendeley video.

You should now have a good enough grasp upon the inner workings of Mendeley to get started.  Enjoy!