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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.

2020 update

**Mendeley Update**

Mendeley is moving away from Mendeley Desktop to a new "Mendeley Reference Manager," which is currently available in beta. However, as of Fall 2020, it appears that many of the features users appreciate in Desktop are not yet available in Reference Manager, so you may want to use Desktop while it's still available (Mendeley Reference Manager replaced Mendeley Web as of 9/7/2020).

Reference Manager

  • Not fully developed yet and there is no timeline for development
  • Ability to watch folder, organize files, integrate with Zotero, etc. is not available
  • Citations can be organized into notebooks (still in development)
  • You need to create an account with an email and password


  • Fully functional. If you want to use Mendeley for anything other than saving citations, you need Desktop.
  • You need to create an account with an email and password

About Mendeley

Mendeley is a reference manager that allows you to create a personal database of references related to your research, access or upload data, and insert citations into Word using any one of thousands of citation styles. If you are collaborating with other researchers, Mendeley allows you to share references.

Mendeley logo


Mendeley users can still sign up for a free account, which offers 2GB of web space and the ability to create 5 private groups with up to 25 members, or can upgrade to a premium plan to access more space or groups. This guide shares how to sign up for the free edition.


4 Steps to Getting Started with Mendeley

Mendeley YouTube

Mendeley's YouTube account has short tutorials and videos available for troubleshooting issues or problems.


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Mendeley Help Resources

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