30 March 2012 by Ricardo

Here we are, at the halfway point of our twelve-part how-to blog series. This one will be another quick look at something our members sometimes don’t realize. Your library can contain more than just references and PDFs!

There are nearly a dozen different ways to add references to your Mendeley library. Reference entries can have a file associated with them or not. In other words, your entries can be just document details or also contain the respective PDF, Word, PPT or other document format.

One thing that many don’t realize is that you can actually have multiple documents attached to a single reference entry. A good and recurring example of this is having a reference with attached PDF and supplementary data files. Useful, right? I know!

Here’s how you add multiple documents to a single references:

  1. Click on an entry in your library.
  2. Look at the right-hand panel which contains the document details
  3. Scroll down to where the attachment field is.
  4. Attach one or multiple documents to that entry. Done.

You will notice that the entry in your library will show a different icon from the entries with one or no attached documents.

Previous How-to series entries:

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8 Responses to “How-to series: How to add supplementary data to references [part 6 of 12]”

  1. Dubi Says:

    So long as the supplementary files can’t get a clear identifying name, this is a very problematic feature.
    One way of doing this would be to have a drop-down menu next to each file that will allow you to choose a sort of label (“notes”, “data”, “presentation”, “image” or whatnot), and that label will both appear next to the file in Mendeley, and be appended to the actual file’s name in the file system. I’m sure you can think of an even better UI – anything is better than the current system…

  2. osm Says:

    I agree with Dubi. This feature is nothing to shout about does actually cause problems. As digital supplemental files become more and more common there needs to be a way to separate the different types of content (or at least keep the main article separate from all other attached content).

  3. Sean Says:

    I would also like to be able to give different names to the different files associated with one reference or to label them as the other commenters suggest. Additionally I would like to be able to control which one opens by default. Sometimes I will select a reference from the main interface and one of the supplementary PDFs will open by default, when the behavior I want is for the actual article to open. A simple check box for default file to open for a given reference would work.

    That said I think this is a great feature and use it all the time. Thanks Mendeley!

  4. Tim Says:

    Yes, just wanted to add my voice to the two comments above, totally agree with them… It’s so annoying to click in the icon in the articles list and have supplementary data open etc… I love Mendeley, but I really wish you guys were faster to correct “bugs” like these, especially were they seem easy to fix as suggested Dubi…

  5. Mr. Gunn Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, folks! We love to hear what y’all are thinking, even if it’s about something that’s bothering you.

    As Dubi knows, and as you can probably guess, our bug tracker is thousands of items long. This means that many obvious and easy fixes just don’t make it onto the list of fixes for each release, but the good news is that we release new versions often, so if your desired fix doesn’t make it this time, you only have to wait a few weeks for the next release. We also spend a lot of effort thinking of how to design the architecture so that it fixes whole classes of bugs at once. Long term, we hope to be able to open source the client code so that if you don’t like something, you can just submit the patch yourself.

    In the meantime, the best way of getting your feedback translated into work items is to ask a question or send us a message via our support site.

  6. Evelyn Basse Says:

    Hi, any updates regarding client code open source?
    Even though I am w aware that managing such a thing as mendeley must be a lot of work I also have needs regarding my work and I would be glad to fix some of the bugs I have encountered myself and submit it to mendeley or to anyone unable to fix it.

  7. Dominic Marseille Says:

    I don’t really get why every comment is only about complaining… mendeley is, of course, not perfect but still it remains a powerfull tool that helped me a lot in the past. Even though I am not using it as much as I used to I thinks it’s great to have tutorail like this serie. Thank you.

  8. yukun wu Says:

    Why can not we drag the file to the position of the reference?