Skip to Main Content


This guide provides on overview of how to use Mendeley to create a personal database of references that can be inserted into documents created with Word.

Enter a Citation Manually

Select the 'Add entry manually’ option in the '+ Add new' menu to manually input the details of a reference. Select the appropriate document type and complete the fields to create a library entry.

Tip: You can use a DOI to look up the details of a reference.

Collections in Mendeley

Mendeley allows you to create collections and sub-collections (essentially folders) to organize your library by topic, project, or other logical grouping.

Mendeley differs from some email or file systems in that putting an item in a collection does not move the item to that collection. Instead, the collection functions more like a label. This way, you can delete a collection after it is no longer relevant without deleting the contents of that collection; the articles that were in the deleted collection will still be under "All Documents."

For more details, see the Mendeley Guide on Organizing Documents.

EBSCO Databases

FSU Libraries subscribes to many databases provided by the EBSCO company. The Web Importer does not work well with EBSCO database, but you get references from those databases into Mendeley by following the steps below.


  • Add results to the Folder. This can be done for each article or by page [Share > Add to folder: Results (1-10)]
  • Now click on Folder View.
  • In the Folder, click on Export on the right.
  • Click on Save. Make sure the 1st radio button is selected (Direct Export in RIS Format).
  • A dialgue box will open at the bottom. Save the file to a place where you can locate it easily, such as the Desktop.


  • Click on File.
  • Mouse over Import and select RIS - Research Information Systems (*.ris).
  • Locate the RIS file that you saved.


Be sure to double check that there are no problems with the imported citations.

Importing From EndNote, Zotero, Etc.

If you already use Zotero to manage your references, you can set up Mendeley to continuously import any documents you add to Zotero.

If you currently use Endnote™ or RefWorks for reference management, you can easily import your library into Mendeley:

  • ​Export your library from EndNote (.xml format) or RefWorks (.ris format) and name/save the file accordingly.
  • In Mendeley, import this file you just created:
    • Web: Click "+ Add" and select one of the options.
    • Reference Manager Desktop:  +Add New > Import library >  and select the type of your exported file > choose your export file.

Do you already have a lot of articles/PDFs?

Mendeley can often read through a PDF and create a record for the item based on the information it finds. You can load files individually or even upload a whole folder of PDFs.

Note: Mendeley will try it's best to create an accurate record from an article. Most PDFs that are directly from the publisher do well, but you should always check for any errors.

Adding Files to Mendeley

You can add files to Mendeley by:

1. Dragging and dropping a pdf into the middle pane of Mendeley

2. You can also add files by selecting file and then clicking add files or folder. 

*Note: not all PDFs have information that can be extracted by Mendeley, and sometimes the citation information will be missing, incomplete, or incorrect. You may have to enter citation information manually, search the Mendeley catalog, or enter the DOI, PMID, or ArcXiv ID under Catalog IDs and use the Lookup (magnifying glass).

Export references directly from other Elsevier products such as Science Direct or Scopus to Mendeley by:

  • When reading an article click the export button then choose "Save to Mendeley"


The Florida State University Libraries

© 2022 Florida State University Libraries | 116 Honors Way | Tallahassee, FL 32306 | (850) 644-2706