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Owned by Elsevier, Mendeley is a reference generator that aims to help you match your research to your writing. With Mendeley, you can do everything from inserting citations in your Word document to creating a bibliography and even managing your pdf documents. Unlike Citavi which only works with Windows, the Mendeley reference generator desktop app works with other operating systems like Mac and Linux as well as all browsers. This helps you access your library from different devices and locales without worrying about compatibility.
To get Mendeley, simply download it from the website. On the site simply click on the icon that represents your operating system should it be Windows, Mac, or Linux. From there, you will go ahead and create an account by following the prompts. After you finish creating an account, go ahead and download the web importer as well from the tools menu. Once all of this is done, it is time to interact with the reference generator, starting with the library.
The Mendeley reference generator has a library that, first and foremost, allows you to save your sources and then pick them for citation. It also offers a space in which you can make your notes. The library will be your bank of sources in the process of writing your paper, therefore you must populate it first.
The reference generator does not pull sources from this air, you have to add them. You should try as much as possible to only add the relevant sources so that you do not confuse yourself during citation. Important point to note is that if you have an identifier for your source like DOI or ISBN, you can use the magnifying glass tool, and the action will auto-fill fields for bibliographical information.
You may also set the Mendeley reference generator to collect metadata using the web importer in the course of the research. The web importer detects article identifiers on the page you are viewing an automatically retrieves metadata and PDF full texts (where available) for you to add to your library. Mendeley Web Importer is available for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. You can add sources by doing the following:
Click on the red Web-importer-icon in your browser toolbar near the address bar. This will launch the Mendeley Web Importer window. Another way to do it is to use the keyboard shortcut – Windows-Shift-S on Windows, Cmd-Shift-S on Mac
Use your existing Mendeley (Elsevier) credentials to sign in. NB: If you haven’t used Mendeley before, you will have to create an account.
The Mendeley Web Importer will display references that it can import from the web page you are viewing. Available open access or subscribed full texts are indicated by a red PDF indicator.
Click on “Add to Mendeley” and the reference is added to your library!
Additionally, Mendeley reference generator has something called Mendeley Suggest which provides suggestions for papers you might be interested in. kind of like what Netflix does with your watch list.
Once you have the desktop app, you will not need to get the plug-in separately. However, you can get Mendeley Cite to use as your reference generator for Microsoft Word without the desktop app.
Consider us your personal Mendeley consultants. We know all there is to know and we can share it with you. Reach out for this and your other academic writing needs.