How-to series: How to copy & paste formatted citations anywhere (LaTeX too!) [part 5 of 12]

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.
Here’s how:

  1. Open Mendeley Desktop.
  2. Find the folder or group of references you are interested.
  3. Select one or more entries using your mouse (you might need to use CTRL, SHIFT and/or CMD to select multiple entries)
  4. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C (CMD+C for Mac) to copy. Alternatively you can use the menu “Edit > Copy”.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.

Previous How-to series entries:

How-to series: Generate BibTeX files for your collections for use in LaTeX [part 3 of 12]

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:

  1. Go to the Mendeley Preferences menu
  2. Click on the BibTeX tab
  3. Select the options that fit your needs. One big BibTeX file, one per collection, etc.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. That’s it, your BibTeX files should be ready for you to reference in your LaTeX documentos.

BibTeX preferences in Mendeley Desktop
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.

Previous How-to series entries:

HOWTO: Use Mendeley to create citations using LaTeX and BibTeX.

Multiplatform, free, and powerful. I could be using these terms to describe Mendeley Desktop, but what I’m going to write in this blog post is about something else, something called LaTeX and BibTeX. For those of you that are unfamiliar with LaTeX, it’s:

a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation.

Read More »

Mendeley Desktop v0.9.4 released

After a couple of dev preview releases we now released a new official version of Mendeley Desktop. As highly requested by our users this release includes LaTeX support and Zotero integration just to name some of the improvements. See a complete list of changes below:

[UPDATE 02/10/2009]: Still working on updating the Linux repositories.

New Features:

  • Option to manually or automatically import documents from Zotero.
  • Automatic library backups and easier restoration of backups.
  • Added support for multi-word institutional author names such as groups or organisations.
  • Improved LaTeX integration. Add option to automatically create and update a set of Bibtex files from your library and added ‘Copy LaTeX Citation’ menu entry to copy ‘cite{BibtexKey}’ text to clipboard.

Improvements to Existing Features:

  • Improved performance and reduced memory usage when syncing large amounts of data from and to Mendeley Web.
  • Quicker startup after importing a large number of PDF documents.
  • Make several additional actions in the Document Details tab undo-able: “Search by Title”, “Details are Correct”, and edits with multiple documents selected.
  • Added more citation styles, as well as an interface to search for styles.
  • Added separate per-collection options to control whether files are uploaded to and downloaded from Mendeley Web.
  • Added a safe-guard against older versions of Mendeley Desktop being used with a more recent database.
  • Added a cache for speeding up the opening of PDFs within Mendeley Desktop.
  • Identified and fixed a number of issues related to scrolling PDFs.
  • Improved the stability when rotating a PDF, and viewing attached highlights or annotations.
  • Switching to fullscreen mode should now take you to the most recently viewed page in the PDF, instead of the first page.
  • Include the URL of a reference when using the Word/OpenOffice plugins to cite a webpage.
  • Enable manually marking a document as needing review.
  • Better handling of linebreaks when copying text from the PDF viewer into the abstract field.
  • Windows: Allow non-administrator users to install the Word plugin.
  • Reduce the time taken to check for availability of Neo/OpenOffice on Mac.
  • Display a warning when entering a citation key manually which is already in use.
  • Support for searching for keywords in specific fields using ‘fieldname:keyword’ syntax has been extended to all plain text fields.
  • Show progress information whilst exporting documents.
  • Introduced sanity checking to ensure that any sync that would delete large amounts of documents are intended.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed various crashes and other glitches in the PDF viewer.
  • Fixed various bugs in the file organiser which could cause file copying/renaming to fail or lose link between file and Mendeley document.
  • Remove documents from collection instead of moving them to trash when Delete key is pressed.
  • Windows: Fixed an issue with the Word plugin reporting “Combobox not found”.
  • Fix freeze when downloading large numbers of documents from Mendeley Web.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur during the sync process.
  • Fixed problem where fields that had been cleared in Document Details tab were not synced correctly with Mendeley Web.
  • Fixed crash when viewing some copy protected / DRMed PDFs.
  • Fixed DOI or ArXiv ID lookups failing in some cases with valid identifiers.
  • Added support for inserting citations as superscript, or subscript, where appropriate with the Word and OpenOffice plugin.
  • Fixed import of multiple URLs and non-numeric pages fields from RIS files.
  • Fixed export of line breaks in notes and abstract field to Bibtex format.
  • Correctly handle adding notes to multiple documents simultaneously.
  • Gracefully detect the version of OpenOffice available and handle plugin installation accordingly.
  • Fixed a number of issues with file renaming and the File Organizer.
  • Highlighting of search keywords in results did not work if search query was quoted or ended with a trailing space.
  • Fixed order of URLs in URLs field not being kept when closing and restarting program.
  • Some fields (Cast, Producers) were never saved to local database.
  • Fixed a character encoding bug when syncing collections.
  • Older (PowerPC-based) Macs: Fix a bug with the PDF viewer, so PDFs are now displayed in the correct colors.
  • Older (PowerPC-based) Macs: Fixed a bug that prevented exporting files to BibTex.

Feedback and Support

If you have suggestions for improvements please let us know by visiting the feedback forum at http://feedback.mendeley.com. If you encounter any problems using Mendeley or have questions to ask please email support@mendeley.com.

William Gunn joins Mendeley as Community Liaison

Hurray! William Gunn has joined us as Community Liaison! Ricardo Vidal became our first Community Liaison two weeks ago, so with William we have now doubled the brains and talent behind our outreach efforts. William has just completed his Ph.D. on adult stem cells and bone biology at Tulane University. On his blog Synthesis, he has also been writing about open science and social research software. Here’s the story (re-posted from Synthesis) on how he came to join us, in his own words:

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'Taft in a wet t-shirt contest is the key image here.Reference managers and I have a long history. All the way back in 2004, when I was writing my first paper, my workflow went something like this:

“I need to cite Drs. A, B, and C here. Now, where did I put that paper from Dr. A?” I’d search through various folders of PDFs, organized according to a series of evolving categorization schemes and rifle through ambiguously labeled folders in my desk drawers, pulling out things I knew I’d need handy later. If I found the exact paper I was looking for, I’d then open Reference Manager (v6, I think) and enter the citation details, each in their respective fields. Finding the article, I’d select it and add it to the group of papers I was accumulating.

If it didn’t find it, I’d then go to Pubmed and search for the paper, again entering each citation detail in its field, and then do the required clicking to get the .ris file, download that, then import that into Reference Manager. Then I’d move the reference from the “imported files” library to my library, clicking away the 4 or 5 confirmation dialogs that occurred during this process. On to the next one, which I wouldn’t be able to find a copy of, and would have to search Pubmed for, whereupon I’d find more recent papers from that author, if I was searching by author, or other relevant papers from other authors, if I was searching by subject. Not wanting to cite outdated info, I’d click through from Pubmed to my school’s online catalog, re-enter the search details to find the article in my library’s system, browse through the system until I found a link to the paper online, download the PDF and .ris file (if available), or actually get off my ass and go to the library to make a copy of the paper.

As I was reading the new paper from the Dr. B, I’d find some interesting new assertion, follow that trail for a bit to see how good the evidence was, get distracted by a new idea relevant to an experiment I wanted to do, and emerge a couple hours later with an experiment partially planned and wanting to re-structure the outline for my introduction to incorporate the new perspective I had achieved. Of course, I’d want to check that I wouldn’t be raising the ire of a likely reviewer of the paper by not citing the person who first came up with the idea, so I’d have some background reading to do on a couple of likely reviewers. The whole process, from the endless clicking away of confirmation prompts to the fairly specific Pubmed searches which nonetheless pulled up thousands of results, many of which I wasn’t yet aware, made for extraordinarily slow going. It was XKCD’s wikipedia problem writ large.Read More »