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Mendeley Citation Manager Version 2.1 or later: Importing Citations

Importing Citations From Databases

Mendeley offers direct citation exporting from a number of database publishers, however it is usually easier to import the citation using the browser plugin. 

To use the plugin, navigate to the webpage where your article is located, click the Mendeley plugin, Log in to your Mendeley account at the prompt if you're not already logged in. 


Using the Web App to Import Citations

Once you've navigated to an item you would like to add to your Mendeley collection you can click on the Cite button in your browser. Depending on your browser you will see a screen similar to the one below. You may also be asked to sign in to your Mendeley account depending on your browser security settings. From here you can choose to accept the citation as is or make edits before saving it to your collection. Once the citation is to your liking, click the Save button. The citation will automatically sync up with your Desktop App, though sometimes there can be a short delay. You can speed up the process by clicking the "sync" button in the Desktop App. 


Importing Full Text Articles

Mendeley allows you import full text articles and store them in your account. Any open source/free download will work using the import PDF option in the browser plugin.

However Mendeley is not always able to directly import full text directly from paid databases which are behind an access wall, i.e. most of our databases. Though it is possible to download the full text from a database to your local computer then upload it to Mendeley. 


Importing PDFs directly to Mendeley:

If you're using a website which provides open access to its articles you can use the browser plugin. Click the browser plugin at the article level and make sure the "Download PDFs if available" option is selected and it should bring in the PDF and the citation in to one record. 

Sample web browser plugin.

citation example

Desktop App entry with attached PDF.


Importing PDFs from your local computer: 

First, download the article to your local computer. Then from the Mendeley Desktop App click the Add New  >> File(s) from computer option in the menu . Select the file you would like to upload. Mendeley will bring in the file and create a citation at the same time.

add file

Make sure to check the citation for accuracy. The quality of the citation is only as good as the hidden metadata attached to the file. It is possible to import the citation and the file separately then merge them later if you find the citations created by the file upload process are inaccurate.

Drag and Drop Files

The following video shows alternative methods of importing articles in to Mendeley.