One of the great uses of public groups on Mendeley is maintaining a curated set of references about a given topic. This can become really handy for many different reasons. One of which might be the maintenance of a reading list. For this post, we will use the example use-case of a teacher that wants to maintain a reading list for their class.
By creating an invite-only public group on Mendeley, you can put together a list of references along with anyone you invite to the group. So, in our hypothetical teacher story, some potential invitees would be students or teaching assistants.
Ok, so let’s look at how this would work:
Our teacher needs a website where the reading list will be embedded.
Next step would be to create a public invite-only group to store the references they’d like to have listed on the website. This can be done in Mendeley Desktop or Mendeley Web.
3. Once the group is created, the teacher (or an invited member of the group) can add references to the group folder. Simply drag and drop references or PDFs into the group.
4. With the references added to the group, it is now possible to go ahead and get the necessary code to embed the reading list on the class website. The appearance of the embedded code can be customized via a set of option.
5. Once the HTML code is added to the website, it now dynamically updates whenever the reference list is updates within Mendeley Desktop. No more editing HTML or making changes to the website code.
By using the embeded code, no further HTML code is required to maintain the website. This means that next year, if the reading list needs updating, it’s simply a matter of adding, removing or updating references in the Mendeley Group.
Here are the previous entries in this twelve part How-to series:
Everyone is using Twitter these days. It’s a great way to communicate and keep up to date with your social network of friends and interests. Therefore, we thought you’d be interested in being able to hook up your Mendeley and Twitter account so that folks can keep up with your research interests and output.
Just follow these simple steps and you should have your Mendeley account connected to your Twitter account in no time.
Click on the “Connect” button. You will be sent to Twitter’s website so that you can authorize the connection. (Don’t worry, we do not have access to your Twitter details, that’s why you are sent to their website!)
You’ll be sent back to Mendeley after approving the connection on Twitter’s site.
You can now select which activities you perform in Mendeley will be tweeted in your Twitter account. Simply check or uncheck the boxes you want and click “Update settings”.
Here’s an example of a tweet of someone adding a new publication to their “My Publications” folder:
I just added my own publication: 'Effects of gene flow on phenotype matching between two varieties of Joshua tree…' http://t.co/B8N3M6rV3x
Search has become such a fundamental part of our daily routine. Everyone uses search tools, everyday. Google, spotlight, file search, etc. There is just too much information to properly organize, memorize and store in a structured fashion. But that is ok.
Mendeley Desktop provides you with a multitude of ways to organize, filter and search your documents. Many of these task are context based, meaning that if you search while looking at your library or a collection in your library, you only get results from the currently selected folder. If you happen to be reading a PDF in Mendeley Desktop, the search tool will show you results only within that paper.
Now, one thing you, and many Mendeley Desktop users, probably don’t know is that you can constrain your search to specific fields such as the Title, Authors and even your own notes. Yes, you can search for the text contained within your notes!
Go to the search box in the top right-hand corner of Mendeley Desktop
Click on the little arrow pointing downward and select “Notes”
Type in your keyword of interest
You should start seeing your results update in the middle pane in near real-time
Here’s a quick view of the search box in action on Mendeley Desktop (Mac)
How cool is that? We think it’s pretty cool (and useful!).
Here are the previous eight entries in our How-to series:
One of the great built-in features in Mendeley is without a doubt the citation plugin for your word processor of choice. We currently support most of popular word processors such as MS word (Mac and Windows), OpenOffice, Neo Office, and Libre Office. We’re continuously working to improve the efficiency and general user interface of this plugin because we feel it is an important component within Mendeley Desktop and your overall research workflow.
That being said, I’d like to touch on a small aspect that many Mendeley citation plugin users are probably unaware of. If you add multiple citations at the same time, the appropriate citation style is used for such situations. For example, if you were citing 3 articles and they were the 3rd, 4th and 5th citations added, they’d probably be added as follows 3-5 (if using a numeric inline citation style format like “Nature Genetics”.). However, if you went in to the document and wanted to add another reference in that bundle, it would show up as 3-5 6. That is not good.
Quick solution? Delete the citations and add all four together. Which would mean remembering which reference they were, selecting all four and adding them in again.
Better solution? Merge the citations! Just select the 3-5 and 6 citation and then go to your citation plugin options in your word processor and select Merge citations. The end result should be 3-6. No need to go track down the references again. Just select, merge. Done.
Check out this quick 2 minute video showcasing our Word plugin:
Here are the previous eight entries in our How-to series:
In the eighth entry to our How-to series, we look at the built-in PDF viewer within Mendeley Desktop.
We (and many others) think that Mendeley is a great tool to organize your research documents. It’s also a great application to allow you to read, annotate and highlight your PDFs too! The built-in PDF viewer allows multiple open documents, highlighting, post-it-like note taking and more.
If you double-click an entry for which you have the PDF document available, you will then be able to view the document in the built-in PDF reader. You can have multiple PDFs open simultaneously, each in their own tab. Like most PDF viewers, you have the general tools that allow you to pan, zoom, read in full screen, etc. You can also annotate these documents. Highlight by selection, or by adding boxes. Add post-it-like notes in localized sections of the article and even leave article wide notes in the box in the right-hand panel. Read More »
As you probably know that, whenever you add a document to your Mendeley library, the document details for that entry are aggregated into our Mendeley databases so as to allow you to easily synchronize your library across multiple platforms. These aggregated data are also used to generate our extensive and multidisciplinary research catalog that is continually growing, fueled by the ongoing uploading of references to your (and everyone else’) library.
This is all good and well but how about documents you don’t want to include in the catalog, or you don’t think are actually useful for others to have access via the research catalog? For those cases, we have a checkbox in the Document Details panel that allows you to keep that entry from being aggregated. It will still be synchronized across your multiple devices, but it will not have the Document Details aggregated to our research catalog.
There are plenty of situations where this can be useful. Notes from a class that you are storing and don’t believe are useful for others, manuscripts you are currently working on and therefore are still incomplete, etc.
In summary, if you’re adding a document and you don’t want the document details to be anonymously aggregated and made available for search in our research catalog, then go ahead and click on the “Unpublished work” checkbox in the Document Details panel on the right.
There you go, simple stuff once again. In our next entry we’ll be touching on the topic of annotations.
Here are the previous six entries in our How-to series:
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:
Click on an entry in your library.
Look at the right-hand panel which contains the document details
Scroll down to where the attachment field is.
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.
Have you ever had to quickly send a reference to someone by email or instant message (IM)? How about send a list of references at once? This can be quite a task if you have to open each PDF, copy the title, author, journal, year, etc. And format them in an email or IM reply.
For these cases, and anywhere you’d like to rapidly copy and paste one or multiple references, Mendeley Desktop has got you covered.
Open Mendeley Desktop.
Find the folder or group of references you are interested.
Select one or more entries using your mouse (you might need to use CTRL, SHIFT and/or CMD to select multiple entries)
Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C (CMD+C for Mac) to copy. Alternatively you can use the menu “Edit > Copy”.
In your email, IM, Google Docs or any other text editing field, paste the content you just copied. Do so by pressing CTRL+V (CMD+V for Mac) or the menu “Edit > Paste”.
There you have it! Formatted references in a few quick steps. Select references, copy, and paste.
Quick note for those paying closer attention: you can also copy the references as LaTeX so the crafty LaTeX users can also enjoy the fun (CTRL+K or CMD+K for Mac)!
Another quick note: You can change the default formatting used in Mendeley Desktop by going to the menu “View > Citation Style”. There are quite a few styles to select from, so enjoy.
Stay tuned for the next entry in this twelve-part series of how-to posts. We’ll be going over supplementary data.
Here goes the fourth entry of our twelve-part how-to series. Let us take a look at how you to look for duplicate entries and merging whenever we do come across repeat entries.
As your reference library grows, it can happen that you add the same research article to your library more than once. Sometimes you’ll have a preprint and the final published example added. In general, Mendeley does its best to avoid having duplicate entries in your library and will tend to merge entries when they have the exact same metadata. However, every now and then some research articles make it in twice with minor differences between them that Mendeley Desktop can’t detect immediately. For these cases, you can go ahead and use the deduplication tool.
This tool, is quite self explanatory, however there are some details you may want to take note of: 1) it’s context specific. Meaning that it will only look for duplicates within the collection or folder you have currently selected; 2) It provides you with the option to select the document details you want to keep from each of the duplicates, thus allowing to maximize the completeness of your documents’ details;
So how do you use the deduplication tool? Here’s a quick run-down:
In Mendeley Desktop, select the folder which you’d like to search for duplicates. It can be “All Documents”, a specific folder or even a sub-folder.
Go to you Tools menu and select Deduplication tool.
You will see a listing of the duplicates found (if any!). Select the one you’d like to examine and notice the checkboxes next to the document details in the right-hand panel.
Select the details that you would like to keep from each of the documents.
Click merge to stay with one only merged entry containing the complete document details in your library only once.
Select the next duplicate set of references and repeat steps 3-5.
Here are a couple short videos exemplifying how this feature works. Nothing like an organized library of references, huh?
How to find duplicates:
How to merge duplicate entries:
Our next entry will show you how to quickly copy and paste formatted citations anywhere!
Keeping up with our twelve-part how-to series, this entry will provide you with a simple walk through of how to get Mendeley Desktop generating BibTeX files of your library or folders for use in your LaTeX documents.
The majority of us use word processors to write our essays, manuscripts and thesis. However, there are a crafty group of folks that like to use LaTeX, a document markup language and document preparation system. What most of us already know is that Mendeley comes with a built-in word plugin that works on most major word processors. What some might not know is that Mendeley can also generate BibTeX files for your reference collections/folders. Thus, making citing references a breeze. If you happen to use LaTeX to prepare your documents, here’s where you’ll find the options to create your BibTeX files on the fly:
Go to the Mendeley Preferences menu
Click on the BibTeX tab
Select the options that fit your needs. One big BibTeX file, one per collection, etc.
That’s it, your BibTeX files should be ready for you to reference in your LaTeX documentos.
The next entry in our quick-read how-to series will show you a thing or two about keeping your library neatly organized without duplicate entries.