Adding and Organizing References in Mendeley


Mendeley is a reference management suite available to students, faculty, and staff of Governor’s State University.  

To learn more about Mendeley’s features and how to use them, please use the following links: 

Mendeley Basics 

How to Sign In/Set up Your Mendeley Account 

Citing and Annotating References in Mendeley 

Collaboration in Mendeley 

Click one of the following links to go to that section:

To sign into Mendeley, first go to  

When you’re there, find where it says to sign in. Click Sign In and use your university email and password. If this is your first time using Mendeley and you need help setting up your account, you can view the tutorial here. 



Select Library from the top right task bar to begin organizing your references. 


Adding References to Your Library 

There are several ways to add references to your reference library: 

Uploading a PDF 

In the upper right-hand corner of the reference library there is a button that says, “Add new”. Clicking this button brings up 3 options for adding new references to your library. 

If you have a reference saved in your computer files, you can use the “File(s) from computer” option to upload a reference into your library. Mendeley will pull what information it can about the reference, but you’ll likely have to edit the reference’s information. 

Manual Entry 

You can also add a reference manually. If you click on “Add new” and then “Add entry manually” it will bring up a window where you can enter the reference’s information. 

If you know the identifier for the reference (ArXivID, DOI or PMID), you can enter it into the search bar and look up the metadata. The metadata will automatically populate the information fields. 

If you don’t know the identifier, start by selecting what type of reference it is (Journal Article, Book, image, etc.) and then fill in the information fields. 

When you’re finished inputting information click “Add entry” to generate the entry in your library. 

Import Library 

If you have references from another reference manager, you can export those entries and import them into Mendeley. So long as you’re importing supported file types (*.bib, *.xml, *.ris), Mendeley should be able to generate reference entries from those files.  

Library Catalog 

Another way you can add references to your library is through the library catalog. When you find a reference in the catalog that you’d like to save to Mendeley, click on the name of the material in the catalog, find the section labelled “Send to”, and then click on the button in the task bar labelled “Mendeley”. The next time you open Mendeley, the reference you saved from the catalog will be in your reference library.  


If it is your first time saving a reference from the catalog to Mendeley, there will be a pop-up window asking you to confirm your account. Make sure that it is your account the reference is being saved to and then click “Proceed”

Mendeley Web Importer 

Sometimes you might want to save a reference from a web page like an article from a newspaper or magazine. You can easily save these references to your reference library by using the Mendeley Web Importer, which is a browser extension you can download.  

Once you’ve downloaded the browser extension, you can save references online by simply clicking the extension icon in your browser’s tool bar. 


After clicking the extension’s icon, a window will pop-up in your browser that allows you to select which reference you’d like to save and where in your reference library you’d like to save it. 

In some instances, Mendeley might detect more than one reference on the web page. In these cases, select which reference(s) you’d like to save and then click “Add”. Only the selected references will be saved to your library. 


Organizing References 

At the bottom of the left-hand sidebar are the places to create new collections and groups. Collections allow you to group references together. You can also add the same reference to multiple collections. 

To create a new collection, find the heading “Collections” in the left-hand sidebar. Under “Collections” there will be an option for “New Collection.” Click “New Collection” and type the name of the collection. After you’ve entered the name of the collection, hit the enter key and the new collection will be ready for use. 

To find out more about groups see Collaboration in Mendeley 




Tags are another great way of organizing your references. Tagging references allows you to search and filter your references both more easily and more precisely.  

To add tags to a reference, click on the reference in the library to pull up the Info Tab. Once in the info tab, find the Tags section. Click on the plus sign next to Tags to add tags to the reference. 


You can tag a reference in whatever way is most useful to you but if you need help thinking of tags, you can use information available in the Library Catalog, keywords listed by the reference, or any tags listed by a database. 

If a reference is searchable in the Library Catalog, you can take ideas for tags from the list of subjects in the “Details” section of the catalog entry. 


Often times when you’re searching for references in a database, the database will list the subjects, search terms, or keywords associated with a specific reference. You can use these as ideas for tags. 



  • Last Updated Oct 25, 2023
  • Views 63
  • Answered By Victoria Karnes

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