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Mendeley: Get Started

This guide will help you use Mendeley, the reference manager and academic collaboration network.

What is Mendeley?


Mendeley is a freely available web-based reference manager that can also be used offline. Mendeley's free account offers 2GB of personal library space and the ability to create 5 private groups with up to 25 members and 100MB shared storage across all groups. Individuals can upgrade to a premium plan to access more space and/or create larger groups.

How to Get Started with Mendeley

As of September 2022, Mendeley offers the following downloads. Previously, Mendeley offered Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Desktop Citation Plugin as alternatives; anyone who still has those products can continue to use them. If you previously used Mendeley Desktop and want to move to Mendeley Reference Manager completely, see these instructions on removing Mendeley Desktop from your computer.

To manage your references and build your library:

To insert citations and bibliographies into your document:

To build your reference library while discovering articles online:

Other Reference Managers

Reference managers (also called citation managers or bibliographic management software) offer a way to save, organize and manage references. Many work with word processing software to format in-text citations and bibliographies for papers and theses, allow you to share references, and enable you to attach or link PDFs to a citation record.

Wikipedia comparison of reference management software

Zotero (recommended)

  • Zotero guide; learn how to use Zotero with this self-paced Zotero tutorial
  • Free (up to 300 MB web storage, or store pdfs in Box and sync with ZotFile)
  • Sync Zotero to access your library from any computer with internet access
  • Format bibliographies in Word, OpenOffice, and Google Docs; good integration with Overleaf
  • Capture citation data from PDFs and web pages
  • Search and annotate pdfs
  • Share and collaboratively edit lists of references
  • Install plugins to provide enhancements, new features, and integrations with other programs.
  • EndNote Guide
  • Discounted to UC Berkeley users
  • Desktop-based software (plus EndNote Web)
  • Format bibliographies in Word or Open Office
  • Capture citation data from some PDFs
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Use UC-eLinks to find the full text of articles from within EndNote
  • Share lists of references with other EndNote users.