Mendeley is a free reference management tool and academic social network which helps you to organize your research effortlessly. With Mendeley, you can: 

  •  easily manage citations and PDFs, insert citations to document and create a bibliography.
  • collaborate with other researchers to communicate, share, and discuss on research topics that you wish to work together on.
  • organize all your research findings in a personalized research library.
  • explore and consult other reliable researchers work based on the topic you are working on.
  • access and make changes to your research library anywhere and anytime. Changes will automatically synchronized between Mendeley Web (accessed through  and Mendeley Reference Manager seamlessly.
Getting started with Mendeley
    1. Create your free account at Mendeleyusing your APU email account. If you have an existing online account that you use to access any Elsevier’s products such as ScienceDirect, Scopus etc., you can use the same login details for Mendeley (as Mendeley is an Elsevier product too).
      With a free account, you get: 
      • 2GB personal storage for personal documents 
      • 100MB shared storage across all groups 
      • to create 5 private groups of up to 25 collaborators for sharing common papers 

      If you need more personal storage, you can upgrade your account by purchasing one of the plans available in Premium Packages.

      Note: Upgrades are only available for personal storage and not for shared web space.


    2. Download and install the Mendeley Reference Manager application on your desktop depending on which one of the following operating systems you use. The web version (Mendeley Reference manager online) can be accessed at with your login details.
      Mendeley Reference Manager, (both the desktop and web versions) are identical. You will see that all the references that you have added to your library can be accessed from one place. The private groups and your personalised collections of your papers appears on the left pane. Take note of the sync icon which helps to auto-synchronise your works between the desktop and web  versions of Mendeley Reference Manager. You can also click the sync icon to synchronize your works whenever you wish.
      Note: Sometimes, the extension may be hidden from your toolbar. You can unhide this by following the steps given in the respective browsers’ help section. For example, in Chrome – click on the puzzle icon in  your  Chrome  toolbar.  You will see a list of installed  Chrome extensions. Next, click on the pin icon to have the extension always visible in your toolbar.
    3. Proceed to install Mendeley Cite which is a plugin that is available for Microsoft Word. With Mendeley Cite, you can insert citations and create bibliographies effortlessly. You can find the Mendeley Cite plugin added promptly in your Word document under the References tab as shown below.
Adding references to your Mendeley Library

You can add your references to Mendeley library in the following ways and each one of these methods are explained in detail in this section. 

  1. Import from search engines or academic databases using the Mendeley Web Importer 
  2. Import PDF files to your library 
  3. Add references manually. 
  4. Importing existing libraries from other citation management programs (BibTeX / EndNote.xml / RIS). 
  5. Search and import your findings from Mendeley’s Literature Search (commonly known as Mendeley Web Catalogue among other universities and users)

Using Mendeley Web Importer

  1. Sign in to Mendeley website. Ensure that you have already installed the Mendeley Web Importer browser extension. Read “Getting started with Mendeley” section for installation help if you have not installed the web importer.
  2. Choose your preferred academic e-database and enter the keywords to search for articles on your preferred subject. The browser extension identifies articles in the database that you are viewing and automatically retrieves its information and full text PDFs (if available) for you to import to your library. Example below shows the list of articles resulted from a keyword search for the topic “vaccination and Covid 19” from Google Scholar database. 
  3. Click on the Mendeley plugin icon located on your browser toolbar. Choose your preferred articles or check the “Select All” option; and click “Add to Mendeley” button to import the selected articles to your Mendeley Library.

Importing PDF files to your library

  1. Click on “+Add new” button and choose the “File(s) from computer” option. 
  2. Browse and select the PDF files from your computer. The file uploading process will be shown upon selection of files. (Note: You can also “drag and drop” multiples files to the library at the same time). 
  3. Files are successfully added to the library.

Adding references manually

  1. Click on “+Add new” button and choose the “Add Manual Entry” option. 
  2. Manually enter the details of a reference. Ensure that you choose the appropriate document type (i.e. Journal article, Book, Magazine article etc.) from the “Reference type” field.  
  3. Complete the details in the rest of the fields. Click on “Add entry” to create a library entry.

    Optional: You can also use a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) to search for the details of a reference automatically. An automatic lookup will be performed and if the DOI is found then the metadata will be populated. 

Importing existing libraries from other reference managers

If you are have your existing libraries created in other reference managers, namely BibTeX / EndNote.xml / RIS, you can transfer them into Mendeley Reference Manager. You can do this by following the steps below: 

  1. Choose the “Export” option within the other reference managers to extract your references in BibTeX, EndNote XML or RIS file format. Save it promptly in a location you will remember. 
  2. In Mendeley Reference Manager, click on “+Add new” button and choose the “Import library” option. Choose the exported file from the saved location; to add its contents to your Mendeley library. 

Importing articles from Literature Search

You can access Mendeley’s  literature searchto look up for articles once you have logged in. In the desktop version of Mendeley Reference Manager, you can access  literaturesearch from the “Tools” menu and by selecting the Search  for  articles online” option. 

You can apply filters on the left pane to narrow down your search results. Once you have found the desired articles, click on “+Add to library” to import them to your library. 

Organize your collections

You will find the feature “Collection” in Mendeley Reference Manager very useful to organise your research library by topic or subject of your research.  

  1. Click on the text “New Collection”. Enter a name for your collection. In the example below, a new collection has been named as “Covid 19 Vaccination”.
  2. Select and drag the references that you want to add to your new collection. In the example below, the article “Rapid COVID-19 vaccine development” has been added to the Covid 19 Vaccination collection.

Adding a reference to a collection in your Mendeley library gives you a filtered view of your references and helps with easy retrieval of your papers to read or even to share with your groups. Any references added  to or deleted from a collection does not remove or relocate the references from its original location. It will be still displayed in  ‘All References’.  

Read and annotate your references

Mendeley comes with an in-built PDF viewer which eases your reading process. You can also edit the PDFs that have been added to your library using the annotation tools located in the toolbar. Tools are numbered and its usage explained briefly below. 

  1. Selection tool – Select the text within the document to copy and paste the paragraphs or to highlight them.
  2. Highlighter – Use this to highlight the text within the document. The highlighted text can then be either deleted or added to notebook. You can also change the highlighter colour here. Do this by selecting the highlighted text and you will be prompted for actions: “Change color”, or “Add to notebook” and “Delete annotation”.
  3. Sticky note Use this to add a sticky note wherever you want it  to be displayed within the document. You will see a note looks like a chat-bubble displayed where you have added the sticky note.

  4. Width and height adjustments – Use this tool to adjust the PDF’s width and height to fit it to your preference.

  5. Zoom – Use this tool to enlarge or reduce the PDF view depending on your preference.  
  6. Rotate – This tool allows you to rotate the individual pages clockwise in the PDF reader.  
  7. Save – Use this to save the document in your local drive. 
  8. Search – Use this to do a quick search within the document. You can also use shortcut keys: Ctrl + F / (Command + F for Mac users) to do this. 
  9. Info – Use this to open the Info panel. Info tab displays information related to the selected PDF (author, DOI, etc.). The panel also includes two tabs: “Annotations” and “Notebook”.  These tabs display all the annotations and notes entries, highlighted texts that you have made to your PDFs respectively.
    Note: Notebook pages aren’t linked to a specific reference only. You can add highlights and add notes from other references into a single page. Access the notebook to create add and organise your notes by clicking on the “Notebook” button above the PDF.
Private group sharing and references

As a free account user, you can create and own five private groups. You can share references and ideas with your group members by invitation. While the number of private groups free users can join is unlimited; each private group created by a free account limits to only 25 members maximum.  

Free account users are entitled for 2GB storage space only. All your PDFs shared with the group contributes to the file size limit. Hence, you are recommended to monitor the volume of files being added by your group members to ensure the storage space can be used optimally.  

You and your members are allowed to view, share notes and work on the PDFs at the same time. However, the following permission levels are in place and they are determined by the member type as shown in the table below: 

Action Owner Admin Member
Invite new members to the group Yes Yes Yes
Add new references to the group Yes Yes Yes
Delete references in the group Yes Yes Yes
Edit group reference metadata Yes Yes Yes
Read and annotate group PDFs Yes Yes Yes
Delete the group Yes No No
Leave the group No Yes Yes
Rename the group Yes Yes No
Promote/demote members and admins Yes Yes No
  1. Click on the text “New Group”. Enter a name for your private group. In the example below, a new private group has been named as “Effectiveness of Covid 19 Vaccination”.
  2. Right click the group name, and select Manage Group”. Then, you will be prompted to enter email addresses of your group members by clicking on “+Invite members” button.

Mendeley Cite

Mendeley Cite is a Microsoft® Word add-in that allows you to insert references, restyle your citations and created a bibliography. You can do all these without leaving the sight of the document you are working on. Mendeley Cite works best for Microsoft® versions 2016 and above, with the Microsoft Word app for iPad® and with Microsoft Word Online.  

Accessing Mendeley Cite

  1. Install Mendeley Cite if you have not already. The add-in will be located in your “References” tab as shown below. Click on the Mendeley Cite add-in to sign in using the login details you have created (or you can register one if you don’t have one already by selecting “Create account”).

Once you have signed in, you will see your complete library in the “References” tab in Mendeley Cite.

Inserting citation

  1. Place the cursor where you wish to insert a citation in your working document. Select the check box of the reference you wish to insert. Tick more check boxes if you have multiple references to include.
  2. If you have a long list of references, you may also use the “Search” field to do a search. References will automatically starts to display as soon as you start typing. 
  3. Click on “Insert citation” to insert the selected references into your document.

Editing a reference in citation

You can edit the attributes for a reference within Mendeley Cite by following these steps: 

  1. Click to select the reference within a citation which you wish to edit. 
  2. The editing pane within Mendeley Cite will display the selected reference along with the attributes field. You can now enter all the necessary information in the fields; and click “Save changes” to complete the process.



Generating a bibliography

With Mendeley Cite, you can insert the bibliography of all the references you have cited in your Word document. 

Place the cursor where you the bibliography to be displayed (usually on the last page of your work). Select the “More” menu and followed by the “Insert Bibliography” from the drop down menu.  

Your bibliography will automatically reorder and restructure itself every time you add an additional citation. 

Choosing and changing citation styles

APU uses APA citation style. Hence, you would choose APA style as your default citation style. If required,  required you can also choose from difference citation styles listed in Mendeley Cite easily within a few clicks.  

Mendeley Cite displays the current citation style that you are using. It also allows you to change the citation style even after you have finished adding all your citations and generating your bibliography.

Help and Support

Explore the following help guides or  Mendeley support center for comprehensive information in using Mendeley.