We want to make it as easy as possible to get your documents into Mendeley so you can get on with your work. To that end, we have developed a number of ways to add documents to Mendeley. You can now add documents via Desktop and Web in 7 different ways. With so many options, there’s a method to suit any workflow.
Add directly from the Mendeley Research Catalog
Why spend time searching other research catalogs for the paper if you’re importing it into Mendeley? The Mendeley research catalog is now one of the world’s largest open databases of research, with nearly 80M papers indexed. Chances are, you can find the paper you’re looking for on Mendeley and add it to your library with one click. Looking on Mendeley first also means you can use our advanced search features, open access filter, OpenURL fetcher for licensed content, and more. If the author himself is on Mendeley (like this guy), you may be able to get a copy from him directly. You can also easily share the paper with your social networks via handy tools on the page. Because the catalog entry shows papers related to the one you’re viewing, you might even find something you didn’t know you were looking for!
While browsing web pages
Install the Web Importer bookmarklet to save references to your library directly from the page of the database you’re browsing. This is definitely one of the easiest ways to add documents. Just click the toolbar button as you come across a paper you’d like to save. Supporting 47 common research databases and repositories, the bookmarklet also works on any page which contains the reference information embedded in COinS format. For open access sites which support it, the bookmarklet will also fetch the full text, with OpenURL support for licensed material to come soon.
The Watch Folder
Setting a watch folder in Mendeley is one of the most versatile ways of getting your documents in. All you have to do is drop PDFs in the folder and Mendeley will import them automatically. I’ve put my watch folder on my desktop for easy access and set the file organizer to copy my PDFs to a new folder & rename them by Author-Date-Journal.
Drag & Drop
If you’ve got a loose collection of PDFs that you’d like to quickly add to Mendeley, you could add them to the watch folder as described above, or simply drag & drop them onto the open Mendeley window. Easy access to recently added files is provided by the “Recently Added” smart folder.
The File Menu
Another way to add files is to simply use the file menu option to select the file or folder containing your documents. If you’re working with the Mendeley window maximized or doing an import of a large number of files, this is a good option. Once you’ve specified the file or folder, Mendeley will go to work importing your selection while you work.
Use information exported from another program
XML, RIS, and BibTeX are common formats used to export reference information. Mendeley can import these formats and some others, so wherever you’re getting your reference lists from, Mendeley can handle it. If you have the choice (i.e., you’re exporting from local software) BibTeX and XML are the preferred choices to make sure all the information you may have added to the reference in the other program transfers accurately.
Syncing with other apps
Many modern web applications provide programmatic interfaces to their data, allowing Mendeley to just go fetch it. The big advantage here is that you only have to set this up once; New items are added automatically. Sync currently only works one way and is enabled for Zotero and Citeulike, but if you know of a service that you would like to sync with, let us know. To set this up, open the Zotero / Citeulike tab in Mendeley Desktop. Of course, you can also sync with Mendeley’s apps for the iphone and ipad (Android coming soon!)
UPDATE: Here’s a 9th way!