Citing and Annotating 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 

Adding and Organizing References in Mendeley 

Collaboration in Mendeley 

Click on 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. 


Reading References in Mendeley 

In Mendeley, you can read and annotate references that have attached files.  

First, click on the reference you’d like to read and open the Info Tab. So long as the reference has a PDF attached to it you can open the file in Mendeley to read it. Find the button labelled “Read” and click it to open the file. 

You can have more than one file open at a time. 


Annotating References 

There are a couple tools available to you for annotating references. If you select the pen icon in the task bar, you’ll be able to highlight text. The default color of the highlighter is yellow, but you can change the color using the tool in the task bar. If you click the arrow next to the pen icon, you can switch to highlight a larger rectangle of text rather than line by line with the default option. 

You can also leave comments in your reference by using the comment tool. The comment tool looks like a speech bubble. To leave a comment in the text, first select the comment tool and then click where you want to comment. This will bring up a text box where you can type your comment. When you have finished typing, click away from the comment save it.  


The Info Tab by default is open when you open a file in Mendeley. There are two other menus in the Info Tab apart from Info. Click on “Annotations” in the Info Tab to switch to the annotations menu.  


This is where you can view all the comments you’ve made in the text. The top section is called “General Notes” and it allows you to make comments about the reference that aren’t attached to a specific part of the text. 

The other section called “Comments” is where you can view all the comments you’ve made in the text itself. If you click on one of the comments, it will bring you to that comment in the text.  




The last menu in the Info Tab is the Notebook. The Notebook is where you can take notes on multiple references.  

To create a new page in the Notebook, click “New Page” at the bottom of the menu. To open an existing page, click on the page you wish to open.  


After creating a new page, title the page and then begin taking notes below. 


Citing References 

Using Mendeley Cite, you can cite references and create bibliographies directly in Microsoft Word.  

For instructions on how to install Mendeley Cite into Word go here. 

To open Mendeley Cite in Word (for both desktop and online), go to the References tab. The button to open Mendeley Cite is in the References toolbar. 


The first time you open Mendeley Cite in Word, you’ll have to click “Get Started” to use the tool. 


Navigating Mendeley Cite 

Once you’re in the tool, you’ll see two tabs: References and Citation Settings.  

In the References tab, there is a search bar that you can use to look for specific references.  

If you click on the drop-down, it will bring up a menu like the navigation sidebar in the reference library. 


In this menu you can navigate and sort your references just as you would in the reference library. 


The other tab in Mendeley Cite is the Citation Settings. Using this tab, you can select the style and language of the citations generated by the tool.  

Beneath the option to change the citation language is a preview of both an in-text and full citation in the selected style and language. 



Using Mendeley Cite to Insert In-Text Citations 

With Mendeley Cite, you can add in-text citations to your document directly from your references. 

First, select which reference(s) you want to cite in your document. Next, make sure that the cursor is located where you want to add the citation. Third, double check that the preview of the citation that appears at the bottom of the References tab is correct. Finally, click “Insert”. 


Once you’ve clicked “Insert” the in-text citation should appear where your cursor was in the document. 



Creating a Bibliography 

You can create a bibliography for your document using Mendeley Cite.  

Mendeley Cite knows which references you’ve inserted into the text, so you don’t have to select any references in the References tab. 

To create a bibliography, click on the three horizontal dots to the right of Citation Settings. This will bring up a drop-down list. Click on “Insert Bibliography”. 


After you click “Insert Bibliography” a message will pop up telling you that the bibliography will be inserted at your cursor location. Make sure your cursor is located where you want the bibliography in your document. After double-checking your cursor, click “Continue”. 


Clicking “Continue” will generate the bibliography. 

You can edit and add text to the bibliography after it has been inserted into the document.  


  • Last Updated Oct 25, 2023
  • Views 87
  • Answered By Victoria Karnes

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