Back to the Future with Mendeley

We were so inspired by Josh Emerson’s Back to the Future look at internet history, we wanted to do one of our own!

We had quite a productive 2014, but it is nothing compared to what is in the works for 2015. Some of it we can reveal to you now — but stay tuned this year. Good things are happening, but here is a look at the past, present, and future of Mendeley 2015.


Mendeley Future — Android, iOS and Web Library

It’s 2015…the year we were due to get our hoverboards, according to the movie “Back to the Future.” We’re trying to convince the developers to make it happen by the next Mendeley Hack Day, but until that does, the new future of research means bringing it on the go with our upgraded iOS app and upcoming Android app. Our iOS upgrade improves syncing speed across your Mendeley platforms, using our fresh API. We expect the update to hit the iTunes store later this month — we’ll be sure to let you know when it does.
And our Android app is expected within the first half of this year! That’s right, before the summer sun (or winter sun for our southern hemisphere users) you’ll be able to take your Mendeley library on-the-go with your Android smartphones and tablets.

Anxious for a sneak preview? Product Manager Steve Dennis walks us through the latest iteration on this preview video.


We also have a sneak preview of the fresh web library, your Mendeley library accessed through a browser. The new web library, expected within the next month, is redesigned from the ground up, with a much improved user interface. Highlights include the ability to upload PDFs with automatic metadata extraction.

This is just a brief sneak peek, there are many other new things coming soon! And don’t worry about missing the news — we’ll sound the trumpets when they all get officially released!

Mendeley Present — Desktop Update

When you opened your Mendeley Desktop after your New Years’ break (and of course you took a proper break rather than work through the holidays, right?), you may have noticed an update to your Mendeley Desktop (version 1.13-dev7 for the technically-minded).

So what’s new in your Mendeley Desktop? We:

  • Fixed empty titles on document deduplication.
  • Fixed issue that would prevent the user from deleting a document note created by another user in a shared group.
  • Fixed issue that could crash the application if the owner of a shared group had deleted his account
  • Fixed issue that would prevent the user from restoring the backup.

For more information, and to find out what to do if you’ve encountered any issues with the new release, read the release notes on our website.

All of these changes feed into our bigger goal to give our users the ability for users to easily access and sync their Mendeley
library across a range of devices.

All of our updates take advantage our fresh API, which is open for everyone to use for building tools to make researchers’ lives easier.

Mendeley Past — A look back to where we started

Do you follow us on Twitter or Facebook? To close out 2014, we took a look back to the Mendeley past.

Check out what your Mendeley Desktop looked like in 2009:

And learn what Mendeley was called before it was Mendeley. Hint: It has B-movie overtones.


What do you remember best about Mendeley past? What are you hoping for most in the Mendeley future? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Mendeley for iOS7

Today we’re very pleased to announce the latest update to Mendeley for iOS.  This release brings a refined user interface, that is designed to feel at home on iOS7 and above, but still retains the familiarity and usability of the previous design.  It’s currently rolling out slowly on the app store, but should be available worldwide in the next few hours.


What’s new

  • Refined user interface
  • Look up word definitions while reading PDFs
  • PDF Filenames output correctly when exporting to other apps
  • Fixed errors when importing PDFs from other apps
  • Fixed problems where annotations sometimes wouldn’t sync, or were lost when made off-line
  • Improved sync speed and general app stability

If you like the new version, please help us out and leave a rating or review on the app store.  It helps us out immensely.

iOS Version Support

Unfortunately, this is the end of the road for our iOS5 users, so if you’re one of the few people on an iPad 1, we’re really sorry.  You’ll be able to use the previous version of the app if you have them installed already, but it’s lifespan will end later this year when we retire the old APIs that it uses.  If you can justify it, the iPad Air and iPad mini’s are worth the upgrade.

This version supports iOS6, but the number of users who have this installed has dropped significantly since iOS 7.1 was released (far quicker than we anticipated), so you can expect support for iOS6 to be phased out within the next 3-6 months, and definitely when iOS 8 is released.

What’s next?

We will continue working hard to bring you great updates, as quickly as we can manage.  We can’t get too specific yet, but we are taking all your feedback seriously, and the app will continue to improve a lot over the course of this year.

We want to make it easier to import documents to your library with metadata lookups, web importer support and the ability to manually add references and folders.  We also want to improve search and filtering options, improve annotation capabilities further, and improve the experience for users who are new to Mendeley.


(Because you’d yell at us in the comments if we didn’t give an update) 😉

We’ve now hired a lead Android developer, and are still hiring additional developers for that team.  Design has been ongoing for the last couple of months, and development will begin in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll be keeping an open dialog with the community about our progress.  Please understand that we won’t be rushing out an app quickly.  This would result in a poor quality experience and no one wants that.  Based on our experience with iOS, we are expecting to deliver something towards the end of this year.

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 Released

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 has been released. The major new feature in this release are the new Contents and Enrichments tabs in the right-hand pane which provide an easier way to get an overview of a paper and dive into the relevant section of it. For an introduction to this, see our previous blog post. There are also a number of bug fixes for legal and working paper citations, handling of internal links in the PDF viewer and more.

One additional new feature in this release is a facility to opt-in to notifications of preview releases of Mendeley Desktop. New features and bug fixes for Mendeley first appear in our ‘development preview’ releases before we roll them out to a wider audience. Until now, you had to download preview releases manually from the downloads page. As of Mendeley Desktop 1.11, there is now an option to get notifications of new preview releases automatically from within the app and install them with a couple of clicks.


A note about Preview Releases

Please note that preview releases are not final and will have had less testing than our stable releases. If you’re not comfortable using beta software or you have an urgent deadline coming up, stick to the stable release.

Getting Preview Releases

Mendeley Desktop 1.11 now provides an option to opt-in to experimental preview releases of Mendeley. We’re rolling MD 1.11 out gradually to existing users, so if you’ve not got it yet, just go to Help -> Check for Updates.

To enable notifications of preview releases in 1.11 and later, go to Help -> Check for Updates -> Opt-in to Experimental Releases. Mendeley will then check for new preview releases whenever it is started and offer to install them. You will always have the option of whether or not to install a new preview release and you can opt-out of preview releases at any time via the Help -> Check for Updates menu.

Mendeley Desktop preview opt-in


Please note that we can’t offer the same level of support for previews as we do for our stable releases, but we would like to hear about any bugs you encounter or thoughts on new features or changes via our support forum

More Tips and Updates

For more tips on using Mendeley, updates about releases and other news follow our Twitter accounts (@MendeleyTips, @MendeleySupport). If you’d like to vote on feature requests, please visit our uservoice forum.


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.


The New Mendeley for iPad and iPhone

We’re very proud to announce the release of the all new Mendeley for iOS. We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up to make it fast, fluid and easier to use than ever before. It’s available today for FREE on the app store.

It’s been a long time coming.  We’ve listened to your feedback, and have taken our time to ensure that we’ve crafted a great product, that makes your research workflow quicker and much more efficient.

  • Redesigned from the ground up to deliver the best possible mobile experience
  • Highlight important text and record your thoughts with sticky notes
  • Sync highlights and notes to Mendeley Desktop on Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Sync wirelessly without interrupting your workflow
  • Easily tap-to-download full-text files
  • Fullscreen reading in any orientation
  • Explore papers related to the one you’re reading
  • Supports nested folders in your library and groups
  • Easily tag documents or add them to folders

Read More »

New Release: Literature Search from within Mendeley Deskop

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 »