Archive for the ‘Tips&Tricks’ Category

12 June 2015 by Sarah Hoey

For the second consecutive year, Mendeley supports the open source Citation Style Language (CSL) project with a US$ 5,000 donation. With CSL, Mendeley users can format their citations and bibliographies in over 1,200 different citation formats, covering more than 7,500 scientific journals.

Mendeley recently (1) made it much easier to use CSL styles into your preferred language. In this guest post, CSL developers Rintze Zelle and Sebastian Karcher describe how this works.

Say, for example, that you wish to publish an article about Barcelona’s recent Champions League victory—in your native Catalan—and therefore need a Catalan citation style. At first glance, things might look bleak. If we go to the “View” menu, select “Citation Style” and then “More Styles…”, switch to the “Get More Styles” tab, and search for “Catalan”, we don’t see a lot of results:


Fortunately, you can actually use any style you want in Catalan. If we select the “Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (author-date)” style, a reference to a book chapter will be in US English by default and look something like:

Mares, Isabela. 2001. “Firms and the Welfare State: When, Why, and How Does Social Policy Matter to Employers?” In Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, edited by Peter A Hall and David Soskice, 184–213. New York: Oxford University Press.

To use the style in Catalan, you can open the Citation Style window again (“View” → “Citation Style” → “More Styles”). In the “Installed” tab, look for the “Citation and Bibliography Language” drop-down menu. When set to “default”, styles localize to their own language (and US English if no language is set as default). The menu further includes with the 50 languages CSL styles can automatically localize to, from Afrikaans to Welsh. Let’s pick “Catalan”.


If we now create the same Chicago Manual of Style reference again, it will be in Catalan:

Mares, Isabela. 2001. «Firms and the welfare state: When, why, and how does social policy matter to employers?» En Varieties of capitalism. The institutional foundations of comparative advantage, editat per Peter A Hall i David Soskice, 184-213. New York: Oxford University Press.

Notice how this didn’t just change the vocabulary (“In” turned into “En”, “edited by” into “editat per”, and “and” into “i”) but also the quotation marks. Localization of CSL styles further extends to date formats, ordinal numbers, and other punctuation.

How Does It Work?
For those interested in a bit of technical background, here goes: To allow for automatic localization, the Citation Style Language defines a fixed set of terms that are translated to the various locales in separate “locale files”. When a CSL style uses one of these terms, the proper translation is automatically selected. For example, the CSL code that resulted in “edited by Peter A Hall and David Soskice” and “editat per Peter A Hall i David Soskice” in the examples above is:

<names variable=”editor translator” delimiter=”. “>
<label form=”verb” text-case=”capitalize-first” suffix=” “/>
<name and=”text” delimiter=”, “/>

This prints the translation of “editor” term (of form “verb”) from the US English or Catalan locale files in front of the names of the editors.

What If My Language Is Missing or Incorrect?
At CSL headquarters, we are fluent in only a handful of languages. So, if your favorite language is absent from the drop-down menu, you might be the best person to help us add it! Just follow our translation instructions, and feel free to ask for help at the CSL locale file issue tracker. You can also use the issue tracker to suggest better translations for existing CSL locale files.

Some CSL styles will localize better than others. E.g. if a style doesn’t use the “editor” term but directly uses “edited by”, this string cannot be automatically translated. The same holds for punctuation and dates: only styles that fully rely on the CSL locale files can properly localize. If you come across styles that don’t fully localize, you can either contact Mendeley support (who often pass your comments on to us), or create an issue at the CSL style issue tracker.

Finally, there are some limits in CSL when it comes to localization, and CSL might not support all the idiosyncrasies of your preferred language. While we hope to keep improving localization support in future versions of CSL, for now you can either correct such issues by hand after generating your bibliographies, or create a CSL style dedicated to your language.

We hope you enjoy the improvements, but let us know what you think in the comments or via the feedback channels above!

1. The features described in this post were introduced in Mendeley Desktop v1.13.4.
2. All non-English locale-specific CSL styles include their locale in the style name (in English). E.g. “Archéologie médiévale (French)”.

10 April 2015 by Steve Dennis

Last week, in collaboration with Elsevier’s Guide for Authors team, we quietly rolled out a small, but worthwhile improvement for authors who use Mendeley, and who are submitting to Elsevier journals.

When viewing the ‘Guide for Authors’ page on an Elsevier journal site, the section on how to format your references now contains a link that will install the correct citation style for that journal in Mendeley Desktop, in a single click!

This is available today for 1673 Elsevier Journals.  You can see an example on the European Journal of Radiology, or try it for yourself directly: Use APA 6th in Mendeley.

Even for journals where authors are free to use any reference style at submission (and Elsevier will then ensure the correct style is used in the published article), if it is easy enough for authors to use the right style at submission, many authors will just do that. The one click reference style incorporation into Mendeley as described above achieves that ease of use.

Creating these links

While we’ve rolled this out with Elsevier Journals initially, anyone who gets submissions of papers with certain reference style guidelines can create and distribute one-click citation style install links for Mendeley.

Currently, the links only works with styles from the project (see the repository of styles on GitHub). To create one of these links, you first need a citation style’s unique ID.  The style repository contains the list of available citation styles, some are in the main folder, and many are in the ‘dependent’ folder.

Click on the filename of the style you want to link to. The unique ID is the part that is highlighted in blue below.


Simply construct the Mendeley link using the following format:[unique-id-of-style]

So for the above example, the final link would look like:

That’s it :) Test it yourself first to check that it works before distributing the links, but feel free to use these links on your journal or departmental webpages.


4 February 2015 by Shruti Desai

Mendeley for iOS


We’re happy to announce another update to Mendeley for iOS! This release helps bring our iOS app closer to your Mendeley Desktop experience, with metadata extraction. Additionally, it includes faster and more reliable sync, and several bug fixes, which takes advantage of the new Mendeley API, especially when syncing your iOS app for the first time.

The update is currently rolling out slowly on the app store, and should be available worldwide in the next few hours.

Previously, when PDFs were added from other apps, such as Safari or Mail, users would have to manually enter metadata. This new app helps you stay organised by attempting to import the correct metadata for the imported entry.

How to import documents into your Mendeley iOS library

So how do you go about importing documents into your Mendeley library from your web browser or Mail apps?

Use the Open option to open a PDF in MendeleyIt’s also possible to add documents to your library directly from an iOS device once the PDF file has been opened in another app. This can be done by using the ‘Open in’ command from within the application you use to retrieve the PDF.

To add a PDF to Mendeley which has been opened from Mail (such a file sent as an email attachment), tap the open icon in the top right of your screen. You should see Mendeley listed.

To add a PDF you’ve accessed through Safari or Chrome, tap once on the PDF whilst viewing it. The ‘Open in’ option should be displayed at the top of the view and you can select Mendeley from the list of applications.

Mendeley will attempt to retrieve document details automaticallyWhen opening a paper in Mendeley for the first time, the app will attempt to retrieve details of the paper and populate the reference automatically. This process will only take place once. Once the paper has been added to your library, it will be available on other devices or computers after syncing.

Once it’s completed importing, you’ll be able to make use of the Mendeley PDF viewer and start reading, highlighting and annotating.

Want to learn more about the iOS app? Check out our handy guide “Getting started with Mendeley for iOS.”


Mendeley_Android_mockup_v2So this is an iOS update, but we know you would ask if we didn’t tell you! Official Android app development is going very well, and we expect to release in the first half of this year!




Let us know what you think

Comment below, or, if you are having issues, please send send your activity log (located in the Settings menu) as our developers monitor and respond to them, or email



19 March 2014 by Ricardo

One of the great uses of public groups on Mendeley is maintaining a curated set of references about a given topic. This can become really handy for many different reasons. One of which might be the maintenance of a reading list. For this post, we will use the example use-case of a teacher that wants to maintain a reading list for their class.

By creating an invite-only public group on Mendeley, you can put together a list of references along with anyone you invite to the group. So, in our hypothetical teacher story, some potential invitees would be students or teaching assistants.

Ok, so let’s look at how this would work:

    1. Our teacher needs a website where the reading list will be embedded.
    2. Next step would be to create a public invite-only group to store the references they’d like to have listed on the website. This can be done in Mendeley Desktop or Mendeley Web.


3. Once the group is created, the teacher (or an invited member of the group) can add references to the group folder. Simply drag and drop references or PDFs into the group.

4. With the references added to the group, it is now possible to go ahead and get the necessary code to embed the reading list on the class website. The appearance of the embedded code can be customized via a set of option.


5. Once the HTML code is added to the website, it now dynamically updates whenever the reference list is updates within Mendeley Desktop. No more editing HTML or making changes to the website code.


By using the embeded code, no further HTML code is required to maintain the website. This means that next year, if the reading list needs updating, it’s simply a matter of adding, removing or updating references in the Mendeley Group.

Here are the previous entries in this twelve part How-to series:

4 March 2014 by Joao Bernardino

We had another first in the history of Mendeley this year: a Mendeley book! Mendeley Advisor Jacques Raubenheimer wrote a user guide to Mendeley, which he said grew organically out of a desire at his university for training guides to various softwares. We profiled Jacques as our February Advisor of the Month, and asked him about the book.


Why did you decide to write a book about Mendeley?

I got started using Mendeley because during my PhD I used another program that was discontinued, so I was in the market for new reference management. At the same time, I had this computer background where I was teaching people to use Mendeley, Excel, Powerpoint, and so on. So people asked me to recommend referencing software and I recommended Mendeley. And then I had to do training and needed training material, then I started writing and thought, well, there is a need for this, so write a bit more and make a book!


I have to ask, Is Mendeley so complicated you need an entire book?

Firstly, I think one of the things I notice is people try to use a software program for what they want to get done and they don’t realize what they could do with it. So yes, I don’t think the average Mendeley user needs the book but I think most Mendeley users could benefit from it because it could show them things Mendeley can do that they might not have been aware of.


How did you end up working with members of the Mendeley team?

When I started doing the training, I saw the Mendeley Advisor Program and I realized it would help me with doing the training. So I registered as an Advisor and started using the Advisor Forum, and a lot of the development team is actually active there. Here and there I had questions and I took the liberty of asking them questions. I haven’t had privy information, so there might be some inaccuracies in the book, that’s my own responsibility, but they’ve been helpful if I ask or send a question, which is great.


What would you change about Mendeley?

Well, read the book, I have a list of recommendations (laughs). For me, the big thing I would for Mendeley to do, and I think they’re working on this, is to clean up the research  library, there are a lot of duplicates. And then of course, though it doesn’t apply to me, a lot of Mendeley users are asking for the Android version, and I know they are working on that.


Where can I get the book?

Amazon is the main seller. In South Africa it is in other stores, but it is on all local Amazon bookstores, such as,


So what’s next?

The big challenge is to try and get the book on the Kindle which is not that simple. If it was just a text book I could’ve done it already but there are a lot of graphics and they don’t render so well on the Kindle. And then the Mendeley team is keeping me busy, because, since the book has come out, a new version of Mendeley has been released, so my hope is to incorporate those changes and maybe have a second edition next year.

28 August 2013 by Alice Bonasio


Crowdfunding for Research

We had a great response to our last blog post about crowdfunding for research, with lots of people joining our Mendeley Crowdfunding Group and emailing questions and comments.

So yesterday I joined a live Google Hangout with the folks from Indiegogo to try and answer some of those questions and also give some general guidelines about how to start a campaign to raise research funds through crowdfunding.

Breanna DiGiammarino, Educational Vertical Lead at Indiegogo, advised researchers to think about what audience their research speaks to, but also pointed out that you can often be surprised at how many people are interested in what might seem a very niche subject. Crowdfunding, she explains, reaches a wide global audience, and that reach can be much bigger than you expect. (more…)

3 June 2013 by Steve Dennis

As you may know, the Mendeley Web Importer lets you effortlessly import articles from the web into your Mendeley library. It is a great tool for saving your research while you browse the many supported sites for later reading and citing.

web-importerWe’re happy to announce that a new version of the Web Importer has just been released with a much-improved user interface.  Additionally, as the Web Importer does not display in a popup window any more, you no longer have to worry about fiddling with your browser’s popup blocker settings.

If you already use the Web Importer, you will see the new updated interface right away (unless you have a really old version, in which case, you will be prompted to reinstall the Web Importer). New users can follow the simple installation instructions, and see how it really makes importing articles a breeze.

You can also save multiple articles at once from supported search-results pages such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, and more.


This is going to be the first of the many improvements we will be bringing to the Web Importer over the next few months. Some other features we’ll be looking at will include improved full-text download support, browser extensions, mobile support, and wider support for different sites in general. As always, we really want to hear your feedback, so leave a comment below!

29 March 2013 by Ricardo

Everyone is using Twitter these days. It’s a great way to communicate and keep up to date with your social network of friends and interests. Therefore, we thought you’d be interested in being able to hook up your Mendeley and Twitter account so that folks can keep up with your research interests and output.

Just follow these simple steps and you should have your Mendeley account connected to your Twitter account in no time.

  1. Log into Mendeley Web (
  2. Go to the account details section.
  3. Mendeley Web - Account Details

  4. Then select the Sharing/Importing tab.
  5. Mendeley Web - Account Details - Sharing/Importing

  6. Click on the “Connect” button. You will be sent to Twitter’s website so that you can authorize the connection. (Don’t worry, we do not have access to your Twitter details, that’s why you are sent to their website!)
  7. Authorize Mendeley on Twitter

  8. You’ll be sent back to Mendeley after approving the connection on Twitter’s site.
  9. You can now select which activities you perform in Mendeley will be tweeted in your Twitter account. Simply check or uncheck the boxes you want and click “Update settings”.
  10. Twitter-Mendeley Settings

Here’s an example of a tweet of someone adding a new publication to their “My Publications” folder:

So there you go, you can now have Mendeley automatically tweet selected bits of your Mendeley activity. We look forward to reading your tweets!

Here are the previous entries in this twelve part How-to series:

28 August 2012 by Ricardo

Search has become such a fundamental part of our daily routine. Everyone uses search tools, everyday. Google, spotlight, file search, etc. There is just too much information to properly organize, memorize and store in a structured fashion. But that is ok.
Mendeley Desktop provides you with a multitude of ways to organize, filter and search your documents. Many of these task are context based, meaning that if you search while looking at your library or a collection in your library, you only get results from the currently selected folder. If you happen to be reading a PDF in Mendeley Desktop, the search tool will show you results only within that paper.

Now, one thing you, and many Mendeley Desktop users, probably don’t know is that you can constrain your search to specific fields such as the Title, Authors and even your own notes. Yes, you can search for the text contained within your notes!

Mendeley Desktop search box options

  1. Go to the search box in the top right-hand corner of Mendeley Desktop
  2. Click on the little arrow pointing downward and select “Notes”
  3. Type in your keyword of interest
  4. You should start seeing your results update in the middle pane in near real-time

Here’s a quick view of the search box in action on Mendeley Desktop (Mac)

How cool is that? We think it’s pretty cool (and useful!).

Here are the previous eight entries in our How-to series:

31 May 2012 by William

Frustration sets inFinding research is often frustrating. You’re always running into paywalls and the interfaces to most library databases look like they were designed sometime back in 1980. To make it just a bit easier, we’ve assembled a collection of free tools to help you in your research. We discuss both databases and newer social tools for discovery.

6/7/2012 Updated to include Microsoft Academic Search