Quicker Literature Reviews with the Mendeley Desktop 1.11 Preview

Today we’re announcing a preview of the next release of Mendeley Desktop, which adds an experimental feature to help you explore papers and find relevant information in them more quickly. This improved reading experience is initially available for Open Access papers, but we’re hoping to expand it to additional content in future.

Table of Contents

We automatically analyze the hierarchical structure of papers, identify the main headings and present them in the ‘Contents‘ tab. From the ‘My Library’ tab, you can browse supported papers and jump directly to the section of the document you are interested in.



We attempt to identify tables and figures that appear in the paper and list them in the ‘Summary‘ tab. You can  then select a table or figure to jump directly to the relevant section of the paper.


Tables of Data

Tables in the paper are located, the data is extracted from them, and the results presented in a normalised style for easier reading. You can also export the data by clicking the drop-down arrow in the header for the table and selecting ‘Copy as HTML‘. From there you can paste the data into a spreadsheet such as Excel for quick analysis or visualization.


Getting the Preview

Initially, we’re making this feature available for papers in our catalog that have been identified as Open Access. To see examples of enrichments:

    1. Download the preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.11
    2. Go to the ‘Literature Search’ pane in Mendeley Desktop, click the magnifying glass icon in the search box and select ‘Open Access’ to limit your search to open access papers.
    3. Search for a topic that interests you
    4. Browse the results. When you select a paper, if we’ve automatically extracted an outline, tables and figures then they will appear in the ‘Contents’ and ‘Summary’ tabs in the right-hand pane.


This is a new and experimental feature which we’re making available for early feedback. We know that we have plenty of work to do to expand coverage to more papers and improve the recall and accuracy of extraction, especially for tables with more complex layouts.

The research that enabled this feature was developed as part of the EU-funded CODE project, with partners at the University of Passau and the Know-Center in Graz.

Join Us!

Would you like to help us make the lives of researchers easier? Interested in developing algorithms for data extraction, working with a library of the world’s research or creating beautiful apps for scientists? We’re looking for a data scientist to help us extract information from papers and engineers to help bring the fruits of their work to users on desktops , mobile devices and the web. If you’d like to be involved – please get in touch! For examples of the R&D work we’ve been doing internally and with univeristies, see the Mendeley profiles of Roman and Kris.

Mendeley Desktop 1.10

The next release of Mendeley Desktop is here. You can update from within the app via Help → Check for Updates or download it here.

Mendeley Desktop 1.10 features improvements in two main areas: creating citations and discovering relevant research.

Journal Abbreviations

To make it easier to generate correct citations Mendeley Desktop 1.10 will now automatically abbreviate publication titles according to the rules of the style. We’ve included a built-in set of abbreviations and rules which should cover most publications out of the box. You can however provide additional abbreviations or custom lists in cases where the built-in ones do not match the output you need.


For BibTeX users, we’re handling abbreviations by providing an option to control whether the ‘journal’ field contains the full publication title (the default) or an automatically generated abbreviation. This can be set from the BibTeX tab in the Options/Preferences dialog.


In addition to journal abbreviations, we’ve also been checking and adjusting the styles used for many Elsevier journals.

Related Research

A key goal of Mendeley is to help users discover useful content related to their research interests. On the article pages in our catalog, we display papers related to the current entry.

In this release, we’ve added a new Related Research view which provides a way to quickly find articles in our catalog that are related to the selected content in Mendeley Desktop. With Related Research you can get:

  • Instant recommendations based on specific articles – Select a single document, a group of documents or a whole folder just hit the ‘Related’ button to find research related to those papers.
  • Quick and easy import – You can add recommended papers to your library with a single click and if we have permission to do so, we’ll include the full text of the article as well.
  • Drill-down into recommendations – When you find a recommendation that interests you, select it and click ‘Related Documents’ again to view further suggestions based on that paper.

Using Related Research is simple. Just select the document(s) or folder you are interested in and click the ‘Related’ button on the toolbar:


Mendeley Desktop will then search the catalog of the world’s research that we’ve crowdsourced from users and publishers and present related papers:


The recommendations come from a mix of analysis based on the content of the selected paper and what other users with similar interests are reading. Our new recommendations service is still young and we’re working on tuning the results, so please give us feedback and let us know how we’re doing.

Other Improvements

Alongside the two main improvements this release also includes a number of important bug fixes and stability and performance improvements. See the release notes for more details.

Supported Platforms

We are planning changes to supported versions of Mac, Windows and Word in the near future. This release introduces support for the upcoming OS X 10.9 and Windows 8.1 operating systems, expected to become widely available in October. There are no changes to supported versions of Mac OS X or Word in this update but in subsequent releases we intend to retire support for OS X 10.5, Word 2008 on Mac and Word 2003 on Windows.


New Release: Literature Search from within Mendeley Deskop

[Editor’s Note–We thought you’d like to know: this 2013 post is a bit dated. Find Mendeley’s updated search features here, and info about Mendeley’s other features in the Mendeley Guides.]

Often the most impressive thing about a new software release is infrastructural and not immediately apparent, but not this time! In our latest release, we have added one of our all time most requested features – literature search from Mendeley Desktop. Also included in this release are a few improvements to how Mendeley Groups work, making it easier to collaborate with others using Mendeley.

We’ve always had the vision of Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web working as parts of a whole, but there have been some gaps, perhaps most notably how research discovery works. For example, to search your existing collection of research, you’d use Mendeley Desktop, but to search for new research in Mendeley’s catalog, you would go to the website. With the latest release, you’ll see a new section in the folder tree in the left pane. Where there was previously a division between My Library and Groups, there’s now a new section for discovery tools, hosting a literature search tool and Mendeley Suggest, our research recommendation service which learns about your academic interests and recommends new research specifically for you. There will be more discovery tools coming to this space, but for now let’s focus on how to use catalog search from Desktop.

Read More »

The Mendeley Web Importer has just been given a facelift

As you may know, the Mendeley Web Importer lets you effortlessly import articles from the web into your Mendeley library. It is a great tool for saving your research while you browse the many supported sites for later reading and citing.

web-importerWe’re happy to announce that a new version of the Web Importer has just been released with a much-improved user interface.  Additionally, as the Web Importer does not display in a popup window any more, you no longer have to worry about fiddling with your browser’s popup blocker settings.

If you already use the Web Importer, you will see the new updated interface right away (unless you have a really old version, in which case, you will be prompted to reinstall the Web Importer). New users can follow the simple installation instructions, and see how it really makes importing articles a breeze.

You can also save multiple articles at once from supported search-results pages such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, and more.


This is going to be the first of the many improvements we will be bringing to the Web Importer over the next few months. Some other features we’ll be looking at will include improved full-text download support, browser extensions, mobile support, and wider support for different sites in general. As always, we really want to hear your feedback, so leave a comment below!

Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview

A preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.7 is available. This release makes it easier to use custom and 3rd-party citation styles, includes an updated plugin for citing your Mendeley documents in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac and includes a number of improvements to search.


Citation Styles

  • Easier sharing and installation of custom and 3rd-party styles. Go to View → Styles → More Styles → Get More Styles , paste a link to a style in the box and click ‘Download’. You can also drag and drop citation style (CSL) files into the styles dialog.
  • We have refreshed the available library of citation styles from the citationstyles.org repository. This adds many new styles.

Updated Mac Word 2011 Plugin

The Mac Word plugin has been updated for Word 2011 on Mac. The updated plugin has a more obvious UI for inserting citations and bibliographies. It is also much faster when refreshing medium to large bibliographies.  Word 2008 is still supported, but it will continue to use the earlier plugin which is accessible from the ‘Script’ menu in Word.



Internal search has been overhauled in this release.  Many of the changes are internal to improve consistency, performance and stability.  There are a number of user-visible changes:

  • Search is now incremental across full text and metadata.
  • Search is faster and more stable when searching many large PDFs.
  • More consistent behavior between full text, document details and citation editor search.
  • Search now finds and shows matches for the search keywords in all metadata fields.
  • Improved handling of boolean queries (with AND, OR and ‘-‘ (NOT) terms).
  • Spelling corrections will now include suggestions from the full text as well as document details.

Other Improvements

  • The look and organization of the menus and toolbars have been streamlined on Windows and Linux.  The Mac version had a UI overhaul in the previous release, so we thought it was only fair to give a little love to the Windows and Linux versions.
  • Improvements to import of RIS files generated by RefMan
  • Updated tab-switching shortcuts that are more consistent with web browsers (Chrome, Firefox).
  • Improved performance for BibTeX sync and batch metadata edits.  We’ve also fixed a number of causes of UI ‘hiccups’ (sometimes referred to as lag) when using the app.
  • Import suggestions. Mendeley Desktop will notice when you tend to import PDFs from the same locations repeatedly and will offer to automatically import other articles from the same folder.

As always, we really appreciate help from early adopters helping us get the next release into shape.  Please download the preview and let us know if you find any issues.  You can report any issues on our support forum .  You can also suggest improvements our UserVoice forum.

For the full list of fixes and improvements, please see the release notes.

Mendeley Desktop 1.6 Released

The final version of Mendeley Desktop 1.6 is here.  Please see our announcement of the preview release for a list of the improvements in this version and this gallery for screenshots.  In addition to the features in the preview, other enhancements added for the final release include:

  • Improved search in the PDF viewer.  Opening a PDF from the search view in My Library will start a search for the phrase in the PDF, search results wrap around when clicking Next / Previous, we display the number of matches and we no longer dim the whole page when highlighting matches.
  • Support for LibreOffice on Windows and improved detection of available LibreOffice / OpenOffice versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Please note that on Mac the plugin only supports LibreOffice.
  • Under Tools -> Options -> Connection, there is a ‘Use system connection settings’ checkbox in case you need to use custom proxy settings with Mendeley Desktop for any reason that are different to those used by Internet Explorer or Safari.

Many Windows users have asked for a version of Mendeley Desktop which can be installed and updated on systems without administrator rights.  There is now a customized installer (this is for 1.5.1, but it will update to 1.6 after install) which will install and run Mendeley Desktop from your home folder.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on this release, please keep it coming in!  You can vote for improvements on the feedback forum and get help with any problems on the support forum.

One final note, there are no changes to the supported platforms in this update but for the next release, Windows users will need Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later (if you’re reading this and you’re not sure, it is very likely that you already have this) and Linux users will require Ubuntu 10.04 or equivalent.  On Mac, we hope to support OS X 10.5 for a little longer, but if you can run Snow Leopard or newer, we’d suggest doing so.

Mendeley Desktop 1.5 Preview Available

A preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.5 is available.  Improvements in this release include:

  • Re-worked Windows Word plugin which adds support for 64bit Word 2010, improves document refresh performance, fixes several plugin installation problems and should help to improve stability.
  • The Undo/Redo buttons in Word 2010 can now be used to undo or redo changes made with the Mendeley plugin.
  • Several improvements to EndNote, RIS and BibTeX import/export
  • Compatibility with Ubuntu 12.04 (this also fixes problems under recent Fedora and OpenSuSE releases)
  • This preview release automatically syncs changes from Mendeley Desktop to Mendeley Web.  We may change this before the final release.

This is a preview release, so if you have a deadline coming up, please stick with the stable release.  Otherwise, we appreciate help in testing preview releases, especially the Word plugin changes in this update.

Download: Mendeley 1.5 Preview

Release Notes: Release notes for 1.5

Feedback:  If you have any problems with the preview, please report them in our support forum.  Please note which version you are using.

For developers, the code for the OpenOffice / LibreOffice plugin is now hosted on Github and this includes a set of Python APIs to use Mendeley’s Word processor integration.

Mendeley Desktop 1.3 Preview

A preview of Mendeley Desktop 1.3 is available to test.  You can download it here and see the release notes here.

This update makes it easier to open PDF files in Mendeley Desktop and also lays the groundwork for improved integration between Mendeley Desktop and the research catalog on Mendeley.com.  Internally, we have been spring-cleaning the software to reduce memory usage and improve stability.

Among the changes in this release:

  • You can now open PDF files directly in Mendeley from Windows Explorer / Finder / Nautilus (this also means that it is now possible to set Mendeley to be the default program to handle PDF files if you wish).
  • In the Mac version, you can now drag and drop PDF files onto the Mendeley dock icon.  You can also drag and drop links to PDF files from your browser onto the dock icon and Mendeley will download and open them.
  • Memory usage when importing PDFs has been reduced and file downloads during sync will be faster for many users.
  • Several problems running Mendeley on very recent Linux distributions (Ubuntu 11.10 and Fedora 16) were fixed.  Under Fedora 16 you’ll need to use the –force-bundled-qt command-line argument in order for the software to run.
  • A number of sync bugs relating to folders in groups have been resolved.

Known Issues:

  • Mendeley does not automatically appear in the ‘Open With…’ list in Windows Explorer.  It needs to be added manually.  We will resolve this before the final release.

This release is backwards compatible with the previous 1.1 release.

Please leave any feedback related to the new release on the feedback forum.  You can also tweet @mendeleysupport or email support@mendeley.com


Mendeley 1.1 Desktop now available: Citation plugin improvements, faster web content, and more!

Update (30/09/11):  Unfortunately we’ve had a small number of users report a connectivity issue with the Mendeley Desktop v1.1 release on some Windows systems which we did not encounter during testing.  Our developers are working hard on a reliable solution to bring you the best experience possible. A Mendeley Desktop v1.1.1 release resolving the issue will be rolled out sometime in the next few days.  Until then, we’ve removed the v1.1 download from our servers, and encourage you to use the previous Mendeley Desktop v1.0.1 release instead.  We apologize to those of you affected – we will release the fix asap.  Thanks for your patience.


Mendeley 1.1 is now available. There are several notable improvements to the citation insertion functionality, as well as significant under-the-hood bugfixes and speed + appearance tweaks. You can read the full release notes here.


  • Mendeley now peacefully co-exists with Track Changes in MS Word.
  • Inserting citations and refreshing the document is much faster.
  • Watched folders now work much better on the Mac
  • Check for Duplicates decisions are now persistent

Interface tweaks include better performance of web content in the desktop client and smaller download/update sizes. Many old UI issues have also been resolved.

Please download and update to Mendeley 1.1 now.

Mendeley Desktop 1.1 Preview Update

Mendeley Desktop 1.1-dev4 is now available for testing.  The main changes from the previous preview are:

  • The Word plugins can now be used alongside the ‘Track Changes’ feature in Word.

If you are using 1.1-dev1, you can update to dev4 by starting Mendeley and accepting the auto-update prompt.

If you are using a stable version of Mendeley, you can get the preview release from the downloads page.

In addition:

  • Auto-updates are now smaller
  • A number of bugs affecting the interoperability of Word documents containing citations added using the Zotero 3.0 Beta have been fixed.
  • Better handling of corrupted citation fields in Microsoft Word
  • Fixed a problem with the Microsoft Word plugin not appearing in the Script menu after installation under Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Mendeley no longer follows shortcuts or symlinks to other folders when searching for PDFs using the ‘Watched Folders’ or ‘Add Folder’ tool.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in folders not being restored properly after restoring a backup.

Known issues in this preview:

  • Mendeley Desktop may not start automatically after updating from 1.1-dev1 on older Windows systems.  You will need to restart it manually.

For a full list of changes in 1.1, please see the release notes page.