3 quick ways to use Mendeley for citations anywhere

[Editor’s Note–We thought you’d like to know: this 2011 post is a bit dated. Find current info on Mendeley’s citation abilities here, and in the Mendeley Guides.]

Many researchers use Mendeley to format citations as they’re writing papers, but what if you’re working on something a little less formal? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to drop a few citations into a comment or web form or some other application that doesn’t have the tight integration that’s available with Word or Open Office? There are a couple quick ways to grab a formatted citation using Mendeley: use the “copy formatted” option in Mendeley Desktop, grab it from the page in the research catalog, or just drag it into your application.

Option 1 – Copy Formatted

If you’re writing an email or using online collaborative software and need to get a few citations, you can right click on a selection from your library (or just do a quick Ctrl-C) and it’s ready for you to paste from the system clipboard. It will be formatted according to the citation style you’ve selected.


Option 2 – Grab it from the catalog

If you’ve found a paper while searching the research catalog, you don’t have to add it to you library to get a formatted citation. We’ve included 8 of the most common styles right there on the page.


Option 3 – Just drag it over

This works the same as Option 1, but might be even easier, depending on your workflow. Instead of doing right-click & copy, you can just drag the item or items into your application to have the formatted citations inserted at your current cursor position.

For more heavy-duty use, we’ve got a nifty embed feature that allows you to embed a dynamically-updating list of publications wherever you can put HTML, and if you’re on WordPress, you might want to check out the Mendeley plugins for WordPress.

You can use these tips to add citations to word processing software that we don’t currently support, such as Pages, Google Docs, Scrivener, etc. What word processing software do you use? Let us know in the comments.

10 thoughts on “3 quick ways to use Mendeley for citations anywhere

  1. In CS I use Pages for drafts and LaTeX for the final product. LaTeX is pretty much the only option for math.

  2. I just started using Scrivener and it would be quite useful to have a Mendeley plug-in. Thanks!

  3. There needs to be a plug in developed for Google Docs integration – that would be killer. The collaboration aspects of Google Docs for papers is great, but it currently has no bibliography capabilities – which is often a deal breaker.

  4. I also use Scrivener and would love a plugin! The copy citation feature is useful but I am still adding my in-text citations by hand. I’ll play around a bit more and see if there’s a better way of doing that in the meantime.

  5. I’d love a Scrivener plugin too, but it seems like a bit of a pipe dream given Scrivener’s relatively small user base. I would imagine something like an RTF document scan feature would be something that Mendeley would be more likely to consider as it would benefit users of any writing tool that does not have a dedicated Mendeley plugin (Scrivener, Google Docs, Pages…. whatever).

    RTF document scan is how Endnote users user Scrivener and Zotero has RTF scan too.

    I suppose something akin to RTF scan could be accomplished using Mendeley’s synced Bibtex file to format a document that contains Mendeley/BibTex citation keys but I don’t know how to make use of Bibtex/Latex. How about a blog post describing how to do this?

  6. Everyone please vote for the feedback option above if that’s your preferred solution. Please note that you can still drag and drop / copy and paste formatted citations into your documents from Mendeley.

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