Bibliographies here, bibliographies there, bibliographies anywhere!

If you are currently a Mendeley Desktop user, you will have already noticed that it comes with built-in plug-ins for Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer. These plug-ins are really useful for adding citations to your Word/Writer documents and build your bibliography dynamically.

Now, what if you happen to want to add a bibliography section in a document other than MS Word or OO Writer? No problem, we’ve got that covered! You have two options: copy & paste or drag & drop. Both alternatives are very similar.

First you open Mendeley Desktop and select the list of papers or references you would like to include in your bibliography (You can select as many references as you want). Use the normal multiple selection keys you would use to select multiple files in a folder elsewhere on your computer. In my case I’m a Windows/Linux user, so I press and hold the Ctrl key while I highlight the references I want to include.

Once you have all the desired references selected, you should pick which option you prefer: copy & paste or drag & drop.

Mendeley Desktop

To drag & drop, you simply use your mouse to drag the selected references all at once to your document of choice (text document, blog entry form, Google Doc, e-mail etc.) and drop them where you would like them to be listed. You’ll notice they are nicely numbered and formatted. How convenient!

If you prefer to copy & paste, just simply press Crtl+C or go to the menu option Edit > Copy citation and then paste your reference list wherever you like. Yes, also neatly ordered and formatted!


As mentioned before, you can copy & paste or drag & drop references into virtually any application or location that allows you to write text. Give it a try, use it to add references in your blog post, an email or anywhere else!

And yes, we know how much you long for the Word plugin for Mac… bear with us!

13 thoughts on “Bibliographies here, bibliographies there, bibliographies anywhere!

  1. How long do we have to wait for the mac word plugin? If you start charging for it, then I would pay for such a plugin for sure.

  2. Hi folks, is there any update on this idea? I am increasingly relying on GDocs and Wave for collaborative drafting of papers/projects and the lack of reference integration is the top missing feature. An ideal implementation should separate content from presentation, following the logic of bibtex, so that references can be rendered on the fly depending on the format required by a specific outlet.

  3. The update at the moment is that the next version (v0.9.6) will include the much requested Word plugin for Mac (it’s already included in the current development preview). Once this is complete, we hope to have a little bit more time to follow up on our preliminary Google Docs investigation.

  4. I am writing my thesis, and of course, using a Mac! How soon is soon, for the word plugin? Mendely rocks, but this would make it soo much better.

  5. You can either download the current development preview, or wait until v0.9.6 will be released in the next few days.

  6. I was just looking at a way to use Mendeley with Google Docs. Previously I had used Papers by copying the Endnote citation and pasting it between {} into the article in Google Docs while we were working on it. After the article was written I could save it as a Word doc for final formatting touches, equations, and reference management.

    Now I would love to be able to use Mendeley in much the same way. Is there a simple setting to be able to copy out the endnote citation key after selecting a document in Mendeley? Later, of course, I would have to export my papers as the endnote library and format the final document.

    Sorry, I’m relatively new to Mendeley, but is all that possible? Thank you!

  7. Given the title of this article, I was really looking forward to a discussion on how to convert “Bibliographies here, bibliographies there, bibliographies anywhere” in the form of, say, word documents, into mendeley.

    OK, it´s more difficult to convert manually-formatted old-fashioned docs with citations and bibliographies (Citavi actually does this wonderfully to a certain extent), but those produced using other bibliographic softwares (e.g. endnote, zotero, refworks) already have fields in them which could potentially be used (even if we didn´t have those software installed or don´t have any e.g. RIS imports of those entries).

    It would be a life saver if mendeley would have a button that takes these fields from the doc and inserts them to my mendeley library accordingly (let´s say in a separate folder I could specify, and then reorganise it onto my main library/groups folders). Technically, I don´t see why it´s not possible or even difficult, for that matter.

  8. Mir, you’ll be happy to know that now Mendeley can at least store the references in the document so that any other Mendeley user can edit the document without having to have the citations in their library. It would be great if there were a consistent format for adding citation markup to a document such that any program could read it back out.

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