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This is a Unitec Library guide to help you use the cloud based reference management tool Mendeley


After downloading Mendeley Reference Manager software, please ensure that you download the Web importer and MS Word Plugin or Mendeley Cite  which are available from the website or from your desktop (under the 'Tools' tab).

Web importer sits in your browser which make it easy for you to import citation. MS Word Plugin allows you to add citation and bibliographic references from Mendeley to your document.

Download the software from Mendeley website

Mendeley Web Importer normally detect a catalogue and allow us to save all/selected items' metadata into our Mendeley Library. However, with the new Primo interface introduced early Semester 1, 2019, Mendeley had issues with our Library catalogue. Mendeley does not detect the metadata, instead detect our catalogue as a website.


What is your option? Follow these steps, as an alternative:

-> Click individual title -> click 'Export to RIS -> click 'Download' -> then Open with Mendeley


To save several titles simultaneously:

-> 'Pin' (save item in My Favorite) the titles you want to save -> Go to My Favorite by clicking 'Pin' on top right -> select all items -> Select the three dots (Push to Action) -> click 'Export to RIS -> Click 'Download' -> Open with Mendeley

Note: 'Pin' means "Keep this item in My Favorite"

Mendeley is a reference management software that enables you to do all of the following:

  • collect and create new references
  • store references in both desktop and online account that can sync
  • organise and search references
  • add notes or annotate your references
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • import PDFs and be able to highlight, add notes, or annotate PDFs
  • cite your references and create bibliographies in MS Word or other word processors

Mendeley has these additional features:

  • free storage for up to 2 GB
  • create your own academic social network by adding your profile and your work
  • share references with groups/colleagues by creating groups
  • search literature within Mendeley which is useful as Mendeley users are exponentially growing to include many experts in various fields.

If you have any problem/issue, please visit these sites

You need both the Mendeley Web and Mendeley desktop to effectively use this software. The Web version allows you to access your 'Library' from any devices, import references, update your profile, and so on. However, when you are working on your document, it works better with Mendeley desktop.

While both referencing management software have Web and desktop versions and both assist you to manage your references, the following are some distinct features,

  1. You get 2GB free storage from Mendeley while Zotero offers you 300MB free storage
  2. You can add notes, annotate and highlight PDFs that you saved in your Mendeley Library.
  3. You can use both as your 'academic social networking' platform. However, Mendeley offers more features than Zotero 

*Social network comparison between Mendeley, Zotero, ResearchGate and Academia is also available here

Since Mendeley users are increasing and they include experts in various fields, you can search literature within Mendeley. Click the link below for further details.

Mendeley and Google Doc is NOT compatible unfortunately. A solution to this is to download your Word document and work offline.

For Office 365 Word or Word Online, we can use the application 'Mendeley Cite'. Get this application from the link below,

All features of Mendeley are similar for both Mendeley Cite (Word Online) and Mendeley Desktop (Word offline).