The importance of interoperability

We recognize that interoperability is vitally important to Mendeley users. Our users should be able to easily integrate what they are doing on Mendeley with other applications and tools. We also want to ensure that this workflow experience is seamless: moving from our platform to one that you use for different tasks should be quick and simple to do.

To help achieve this, we’ve always had and will continue to have an open public API (application programming interface). Many companies and developers use our API, because it’s the most stable way for them to integrate their products with Mendeley. Organizations like F1000, the Centre for Open Science (COS) and Altmetric.com have been using it freely for many years. We’re committed to maintaining this open API for third party developers. It’s available at https://dev.mendeley.com/

Last year, a Mendeley update went live that had the unintentional consequence of hindering interoperability. We made a change to the Mendeley Desktop application that broke some integrations with users’ local Mendeley database, including Zotero’s import tool, which resulted in it not working with Mendeley. We’re really sorry about this — it was never our intention to break these integrations and we should have picked this up in release testing.

We’ve heard a lot from our users about this and our team has been working behind the scenes on two things.

First, we clearly heard from users that they want to be more in control of how and when they can export their PDFs, annotations and highlights directly from Mendeley. Improvements were released in Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.3 and further improvements to the export process will be released as part of Mendeley Desktop version 1.19.4.

Second, we’ll work to release a long-term stable Zotero integration. This solution will be available in the 1.19.5 release of Mendeley Desktop towards the middle of this year. We’ll let everyone know the exact dates that this will go live as soon as we can. To be clear, users can still move their libraries to Zotero, it’s just that they can’t do it using the Zotero importer tool. Click here to find out how.

I must say a big thank you to the users who’ve spoken to us in detail about these issues. They’ve helped us better understand how they’re using and interacting with our platform. We’ve updated our procedures to incorporate this feedback, including improving our Customer Support information and services; and we’ve reviewed our testing procedures for new releases. Mendeley Desktop users can also get previews of upcoming releases by signing up for development releases in Mendeley Desktop if they want to, which makes new features and updates available before we roll them out more widely.

I’m excited by the developments we have in the pipeline. Our team is working hard to deliver these as soon as we can.

Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

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