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This guide helps you step by step use Mendeley to manage your sources/references easily.

Add References

Sources can be added to Mendeley Manually or Imported from a database.


To add a reference manually, follow the steps below:add entry manually








select the type

  1. Click on the arrow next to the + sign, and select Add Entry Manually.
  2. Select the appropriate Type of entry from the drop-down list.
  3. Enter the author of your entry as: Last Name, First Name/Initial.
  4. Enter all the information that you have of the item and then click on Save.





Using DOIDOI Lookup

If you know the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) of a source, you can look up the source and add it to your library. Scroll down to find the DOI field, and type it in; the system will import the metadata.

Revise it, and then Save.


The metadata is not always complete/correct. It is essential to check each entry and correct the mistakes and add missing information.

Adding PDFs

Add PDFsSelect a group of PDF files, drag and drop then into your library. The references for these documents will be created automatically with their respective metadata.

The metadata is not always complete/correct. It is essential to check each entry and correct the mistakes and add missing information.

Watch Folders

To automatically import files that were added into a Folder, you need to designate it as a Watch Folder.

1. Choose File > Watch Folder... from the menu bar, or choose Watch Folder from the Add Files dropdown menu in the upper left corner of the toolbar. 

2. Navigate to a folder, check the box next to it, click Apply, and then OK. 


Importing from Google Scholar

A. Install Web Importer

On Mendeley Desktop, click Tools, select Install Web Importer and follow the instructions to finish the installation. 

It works best with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It does not work with any versions of Safari.

Web ImporterB. Import References

  1. On Google Scholar results page, click on Mendeley icon & Sign in. 
  2. Tick the boxes next to the articles you would like to import.
  3. Tick the box Add PDFs if available if you want to import them with the references.
  4. To edit the reference before adding it to Mendeley, click on the title and edit any fields and then click on Add or Cancel edits if you decide otherwise.
  5. Click Add  to add the references to your library. You can also choose to add them directly to a certain folder or group.

Each time you go to a new page you need to reopen the Web Importer.

You may need to sync your Mendeley Library for the new references to appear.


In order to access more PDFs, Mendeley recommends that you sign in to your institution’s proxy server when working remotely.

Importing from Databases

A. Most Databases

To insert references from a database into Mendeley, you need to "Export" them.

  1. On your search results page, select the articles you wish to add and then find the "export" feature. In some databases you might find "Send to" instead of Export (i.e. PubMed).
  2. The export options compatible with Mendeley are: BibTex (.bib), RIS (.ris), or PubMed files (.nbib). Choose one of them.
  3. When prompted to save or open the file, save it to a location on your computer that you will remember.
  4. Go to your Mendeley Library to import the file:Add button
  5. Click on the Add icon in the top left corner.
  6. Locate the Export file that you downloaded and double-click on it. Your exported references are now added into your Mendeley library.

B. Scopus

Mendeley and Scopus are both owned by Elsevier, therefore you can send your Scopus search results directly to your Mendeley library:

Export Results

  1. Log in to Scopus using your Mendeley login.
  2. Do your search and go to the results, select the articles you wish to export and click on Export.
  3. Select Mendeley and click Export.
  4. You will see a confirmation message at the top of your search results.
  5. You may need to Sync your Mendeley Library for the new references to appear.