Self-archiving with Mendeley

Keeping with the Open Access week spirit, we’re taking this opportunity to show you how to publicly share your own research on Mendeley. Making it openly available for others to easily access means they are more likely to cite you in their own publications, and also allows your colleagues to build upon your work faster.

When you sign up for a Mendeley user account, a researcher profile is created for you. On this page, along with your name, academic status, and short bio, you will also see a section titled “Publications”. This section is where you can display work you’ve published or perhaps even work that’s not yet published.

So how do you add your publications to that list? Just drop your papers into the My Publications folder in Mendeley Desktop. Let me show you how, step by step.

Import your publications or references

First, you will want to add your publications into Mendeley. There are many different ways, but the easiest way is simply to drag and drop PDFs straight into Mendeley Desktop. Make sure all the document details are correct.

Add to “My publications”

Once your articles or references are in your library, select them* and drag them into the folder in the top left pane labeled “My Publications”.

This will trigger a popup window asking you to confirm that you are in fact an author of the papers you are adding. Mendeley Desktop is just making sure you know that you’re sharing these to the world.


After you confirm that you’re the author, click the “sync” button at the top and you’re done.

So, to recap: 1) Add references/articles to Mendeley Desktop, 2) Drag and drop reference entries into the “My publications” folder, and 3) Sync.

Finally, go to, visit your profile by clicking on your username (top right) and you’ll see the newly listed publications you just added in Mendeley Desktop. Here’s an example of Dr. Victor Henning’s profile.

So there you have it. To make a long story short, adding your publications to your profile is easy, makes your research accessible to others, and helps move research forward. That’s what Open Access is all about, right? In the future, we’re hoping that we can sync your Mendeley profile with your institutional repository to make things even more open and accessible.

* A few publishers ask you to sign away your right to distribute copies of your own work, but most likely you can self-archive some version of your work. For example, all NIH-funded work can be self-archived in their peer-reviewed form as they would appear in Pubmed Central. In addition, many institutions have self-archiving policies that apply to all faculty publications. Sometimes there’s an embargo period of six months to a year. You can look up your publisher in SHERPA/RoMEO to see which rights you have retained and which you have given away or read more about self-archiving here.

8 thoughts on “Self-archiving with Mendeley

  1. That’s a great step for helping make full texts more accessible. Are there any plans in the future to tie in the SHERPA/RoMEO database to Mendeley’s so you can see the publisher’s self-archiving restrictions automatically when you select the publication? ResearchGate does this and it takes out the step of having to do another search for restrictions. If it was linked to SHERPA/RoMEO you could also add a feature for an automatic notification for self-archiving if an author added a paper to their profile that was from a ‘Green Route’ publisher.

  2. Do comments above a certain length automatically get rejected? I am trying to leave quite a lengthy comment (~390 words) on this blog post and it seems like it does not get submitted, but I get no message informing me why this happens.

  3. OSM – They don’t get automatically rejected, but they may take some time to show up. It’s a weird quirk of WordPress that they don’t give you better feedback on what’s happening.

  4. William, thanks for the reply. I’ve tried posting again multiple times since your comment but nothing seems to show up….. If this shows up then only very short comments are getting through

    • Feel free to leave as long of comments as you’d like. I can’t tell why your message hit the spam filter, but that’s where it was. Sorry about that.

  5. No reply to previous post so here’s a short version of what I wanted to say:

    Mendeley could be useful for self-archiving but I purposefully avoid promoting my Mendeley profile on the web (I hide it from search engines) and amongst colleagues (I don’t link to it from email signature or department website) because of:

    1. Poor management and display of files associated with my articles (e.g supplementary material not clearly distinguished from main article + non-descriptive names of attachments….download doc, download pdf etc). You don’t seem interested in improving this, since the uservoice idea on supplementary information management has not been given a status.
    2. Order of sections on the profile page is strange (e.g bio and contact info at the bottom, conference papers above journal articles).
    3. Another academic network I use ( lets me know the keywords that people have used in search engines when they arrive at my papers or my profile. I find this useful as an impact gauge but Mendeley does not have it so I try to avoid people landing on my Mendeley page to maximise feedback I get via

    • Osm, I’m sorry you don’t like the way things appear on the profile page. We are interested in improving the pages and we’re taking your feedback into account. If you’re interested in seeing what keywords people use when they search for you, we’ll consider that feature. In the meantime, may I suggest that the number of people who are actually reading you papers and adding them to groups might be a more robust indicator of the impact of your scholarly work?

      Also sorry it took so long to respond. Your message got trapped in the spam folder and I’ve just now been able to find it.

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