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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 reference manager with web-based and desktop versions. You can sync your library of papers between these different versions and across different computers.

UC Berkeley Mendeley users gain access to Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) by accessing Mendeley via a UCB IP address (note: when off-campus, use the proxy browser bookmarklet, or the Mendeley link below, or the VPN Full Tunnel, to take you through a UCB IP address). This gives UC Berkeley users 100GB personal library space, 100GB shared library space, 100 collaborators in private groups, and unlimited private groups. After leaving UC Berkeley, alumni will have access to MIE for 12 months.  Contact librarian Becky Miller with questions or problems concerning MIE.

Non-UC Berkeley Mendeley users can still sign up for a free account, which offers 2GB of web space and the ability to create 1 private group with up to 3 members, or can upgrade to a premium plan to access more space or groups.

How to Get Started with Mendeley


Mendeley currently has multiple products. Which you choose may be limited by your operating system and word processor. See Mendeley's information on what browsers and operating systems are supported for the different products plus notes below.


To manage your references and build your library, you currently have two options with similar functionality (see info under Operating Systems):



To insert citations and bibliographies into your document, you have two options. One may work better with your word processing setup than the other (see info under Text Processors). Do not try to use both at the same time. Neither allows you to insert citations in Google Docs:



For all set-ups, to build your reference library while discovering articles online:

Hands-on Learning

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 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.


  • RefWorks guide
  • Free to UC Berkeley users
  • Web-based: use at any computer with internet access
  • Format bibliographies in Word or Google Docs
  • Capture citation data from some PDFs
  • Search and annotate PDFs
  • Share and collaboratively edit lists of references
  • 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.