With the recent announcement of the end of the University of Alberta’s subscription to RefWorks on October 1, 2021, we wanted to give those interested in trying a new reference manager some information about alternatives to RefWorks. Over the next three weeks we will be sharing information about three commonly used citation managers. First up is Mendeley…
What is Mendeley?
It’s a free reference management software that helps you to collect, organize and cite the references in your library. Mendeley is very user friendly and requires a minimal amount of training in order to be able to use the software effectively. Mendeley is owned and operated by Elsevier.
What types of users might benefit from using Mendeley?
Those who frequently work on multiple computers (or users who may face security issues downloading software to a workstation) and users who work extensively with PDFs, will find Mendeley a good option. Mendeley is popular in the sciences. Its social-networking functionality and ability to see what others are reading and citing may be of particular interest to researchers.
- Options for working at different workstations without loss of references; The web version can be accessed anywhere you can access the internet and syncs with desktop version automatically
- Mendeley Cite helps automatically generate in-text citations and reference lists as you write; Most popular citation styles are pre-loaded, but there is also the option to edit an existing style or create a new one; Mendeley Cite is compatible with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and BibTeX
- Very easy to access support via Mendeley Support Center and Twitter
- Mendeley Web Importer makes it easy to “grab” PDFs and other documents with the click of a button; BUT non-traditional sources, such as web pages, may need manual adjustment to citation metadata and you cannot take snapshots of the web page
- Easily annotate PDFs and make notes
- No mobile app – web or desktop access only
- Literature search function recently removed on desktop version
- Desktop application not currently compatible with Mac OS Big Sur
- Limited PDF storage using the web version online (unlimited local storage using desktop version); BUT when we say “limited” you should be able to store 1000+ PDFs in the cloud (number is dependent on the size of your PDFs)
Mendeley Training Resources can be found on Mendeley’s Youtube account.
Are you looking for information on how to transition reference data from your RefWorks account, or a comparison of various RefWorks alternatives? Visit our RefWorks Transition Guide.