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Guide to using Mendeley reference management and social citation sharing software

Training activities

If you are using this guide for self-directed learning, you may find it useful to work through these tasks.

Task 1a: Keep the UCL Mendeley Help guide open

Please keep this Mendeley guide open throughout the session. We suggest you open a new tab or window in your browser to access other websites.

Task 1b: Create your own Mendeley account

See Creating a Mendeley account.

In a new tab, go to the Mendeley website and click on Create account in the top right of the screen. Set up your account by entering your details. You might like to use a personal email address so you can continue to use Mendeley after you leave UCL. Remember do not click on ‘sign in via institution’. This will mean you will be unable to use Mendeley Desktop.

Task 2: Add references to your Web Library using the Web Importer

See Mendeley Web – Adding references.

If it isn’t already there, begin by adding the Web Importer to your browser. Go to some sources of journal articles or books and use the Importer to ‘capture’ some references into Mendeley. Examples of sources you might like to try include Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, Medline or Embase via OvidSP. For books: Explore (UCL’s library catalogue), Google Books, Amazon or WorldCat.

Things to think about:

  • Look at the full record you have imported. Is the record complete?
  • Do you get better results using the Importer from the results list, or from individual records?
  • Has it imported the full text papers (pdfs)?
  • Are there any other types of resource you might want to include in your library? A web page for example?

Task 3a: Open your Mendeley Desktop Library

See Getting started – Navigating Mendeley Desktop.

To open Mendeley Desktop on a Desktop@UCL PC, select Mendeley Desktop from the start menu.  When you first go into Mendeley Desktop it will automatically synchronise with the Web version and add any new references you have added.

Task 3b: Exporting references

See Adding references – Exporting from online resources.

Try exporting more than 10 references at once from a database of your choice into Mendeley Desktop.

  • Look at the full record you have imported. Is the record complete?
  • Is this method better than the Web Importer for getting large number of results into your library?

Task 4: Adding PDF documents

See Adding references – Adding PDFs.

Try downloading some PDF documents from the Web to your desktop and then try adding them to your Mendeley library.

  • Try out the different methods for getting a PDF into Mendeley: importing the file, or drag and drop.
  • Try annotating a PDF, or highlighting some of the text.

Things to think about:

  • Which method do you prefer for adding PDFs to your Mendeley library?
  • Did Mendeley find the correct details to create a record in your library?

Task 5: Organising references

See Organising your desktop library – using folders.

Things to try:

  • Create a folder and some sub-folders, move articles into your sub-folders.
  • Add a couple of descriptive tags to records you’ve added to your Mendeley library (Hint: Multiple tags can be entered separated by a semi-colon. Select multiple references (Ctrl or Shift key + click) to tag more than one with the same tag
  • Search your library for articles with a particular tag

Things to think about:

  • When you view ‘All Documents’ can you tell from looking at a reference which folder it is in?
  • If an item is in a sub-folder, does it appear within the folder above it in the hierarchy?

How can you:

  • make references a ‘favourite’ and view your favourites? 
  • indicate you have read an article? 
  • view references by the date in which you added them to your library? 

Task 6: Cite references and creating a bibliography

See Using Mendeley with Word.

Things to try:

  • Try inserting some references from your Mendeley desktop library into a Word document.
  • Try creating a bibliography at the end of your document.
  • Try changing the output style from an author/date style, e.g. Harvard, to a numeric style, e.g. Vancouver.
  • Try editing a reference to include a page number.

Log completion of these training activities in Inkpath

UCL Doctoral Students may wish to log this training in Inkpath. By doing so, you are confirming that you have worked through the activities on this page.