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Library Services




Guide to using Mendeley reference management and social citation sharing software

Using the Web Importer to ‘capture’ references

One of the great features of web-based reference management software is being able to quickly ‘grab’ the reference you’re looking at online in a couple of clicks by installing the Web Importer plugin or bookmarklet into your browser.

To install the Web Importer, navigate to There is a link to install the Web Importer from the Downloads section at the bottom, right of the page. Follow the instructions to add the Web Importer to your browser.

mendeley bookmarklet

Once installed, if you are using Firefox or Chrome, you will see a red and white Mendeley Web Importer button at the top right of your browser. Other browsers currently use a bookmarklet importer which is saved to your favourites bar.

The Web Installer is also available for Safari and Microsoft Edge.


To use the Web Importer:

  • Click on the Web Importer icon when looking at papers, web pages and other documents online. The Web Importer will scan your current browser window for references, and present you with its findings, which you can then choose to save as a reference in your Mendeley Library.

You can try to import references from all sorts of sites, but some sites will not work or the reference details might vary in their completeness.

Adding references manually

You can add details of references manually by clicking on the Add new button in the top left corner, and then Add entry manually. Select the type of reference from the drop-down menu, fill in the fields accordingly, and click on <Add entry>.

Adding documents

If you have PDFs saved on your computer which you want to add to your library, Mendeley can create a bibliographic record from the PDF.

  • First click on the collection in Mendeley to which you want to add your document or click on All References if you want to decide later.
  • Click on the Add new button in the top left corner, and then File(s) from computer.
  • Navigate to the folder on your computer where the document is stored, select it and click on Open.
  • Alternatively you can click and drag the PDF from the folder where it is held on your computer directly into the central pane of the Mendeley Library

Bibliographic details may not always import correctly. If information is incorrect or missing you can correct this. See Editing references.

Adding a reference from the Mendeley Web Catalog

When a Mendeley user adds a reference to their library, the reference is then included in the Mendeley Web Catalog. Any Mendeley user can then find the reference and add it to their library.

To search for references within the Catalog, start from and search from the main box on the page. From the results, you can save selected references to your library.

Editing references

  • Select any reference to see the details in the right pane. 
  • You may edit the details by typing in the fields. The reference type can be changed by selecting from the drop-down menu at the top. The fields will change accordingly.
  • Use the TAGS field to enter your own tags, or labels, to your references. This can help with organising your library. Press the enter key to finish entering a tag.
  • If you have a copy of the article, you can click on the files field to add your file.

If you have a PDF attached to a reference, you can annotate the PDF. Double-click on the reference to bring up the PDF in a new tab. Use the tools at the top of the page to select and highlight text, add a sticky note, change the colour of the highlighter, and navigate around the document.