Referencing with Mendeley in 8 Steps
As tasks begin to mount moving further into the university semester, for some, coursework can be a big struggle. It can be especially hard to keep track of and manage references for essays for individuals who may struggle with executive dysfunction or staying organised due to their autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or other flavour of neurodiversity. So, Niko, an autistic university graduate, with a lot of experience managing all of this, has put together a handy guide to using Mendeley to help stay on top of your coursework.
Hello from Niko
Hi hello. This is (hopefully) a short Tutorial on how to use the Reference Management Software Mendeley, as well as its associated plug-in and extension. Using Mendeley helped me greatly in my Research Project, as I can organise the stuff I have to read through and reference them quickly and easily on my reports.
Step 1: Downloading Mendeley
This step is for downloading the Mendeley desktop app, Mendeley Web Importer, and Mendeley Cite for Word. You can also use this for other word processing software, like LibreOffice or Google Docs, but for this tutorial, we will be using Microsoft Word.
- Download the desktop app on the Mendeley website.
- The other parts can be installed via the desktop app (see image below).
From my own experience, and others, it is best to use your personal email when making the Mendeley Elsevier account because there was plenty of login issues when using your university email. However, remember that your university email is the one that gives you access to the articles in the first place. Thus, use personal email for Mendeley and use university email for accessing articles.
Step 2: Find An Article To Reference
- When you get to the web page of the article, click on the Mendeley Icon on the top right of your browser.
- I’m using Google Chrome, might be different on other browsers.
- Once the extension loads, you can add the article and its PDF to your Mendeley Library by clicking Add.
- In the image below, I made a Collection in my Mendeley desktop app called Sharky McSharkface. Thus, the article will be added to that folder as well as your overall collection of references.
Step 3: Syncing Things Up
The image below shows the collection of references I have added to the Collection I named Sharky McSharkface. The reason why the Sync button is highlighted is that sometimes the reference don’t get added immediately to your library, so you have to tell the app to sync up whatever you added on the browser for it to show up on the desktop app.
Step 4: Reading on the Mendeley App
- Once you have stuff added to the desktop app, you can just read it on the Mendeley app instead.
- In this way, you don’t have those usual 50 tabs open on your browser. You can open multiple articles and shift through them via the tabs.
- To go back to your collection, just click on Library next to the Mendeley icon on the top left.
Step 5: Mendeley Cite
- Now to reference stuff on a report. Whenever you want to do that, go to References on Word and click on Mendeley Cite.
- The green circle is where you can browse through your Collections (they’re just folders really…) and the red circle is for you to search terms in your Library.
- You can search for the topic, authors, publishers, date of publishing, website etc. and the Mendeley Cite will browse through your Library to find what you’re looking for.
Step 6: Adding That Citation
When you find whatever reference you’re looking for from your Library, you can add it by ticking it and clicking Insert 1 Citation.
You should then have the citation inserted automatically.
Step 7: Changing Citation Style
- You can then change the citation style of the document by going to the Citation Style Tab on Mendeley Cite.
- Choose whatever citation style is required.
- In the image below, I clicked Select another style and searched up the citation style for a Chemical Engineering Journal.
- You can then cite as you type by having Mendeley Cite open.
Step 8: Bibliography
- Lastly, adding a bibliography is done by clicking More and then Insert Bibliography (see last picture in Step 7).
- Ta-da, the bibliography is added wherever your cursor is!
- Also interesting to note that changing the citation style also changes the style of the bibliography.
- The image above has the Nature citation style and the one below has the American Psychological Association 7th edition citation style.
- Notice the change in both the referencing style and how they write the bibliography.
And that’s it. From my experience, super helpful in organising your reading list and referencing stuff. Plus, it skips the chore of writing down references entirely.