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Add references

Once you have set up your Mendeley desktop library, the next step is to add your references. A number of ways to do this are explained in the following points and/or shown in the example video below.

Add references and build your library:

1. Drag and drop a PDF into the Mendeley Desktop window. Mendeley will automatically extract the article details (also called bibliographic data) from the document and create a reference.

2. Drag and drop a folder of PDFs into the Desktop window. Mendeley will read and extract the bibliographic data, creating references from each document.

3. Drag and drop an XML file from another reference manager. Mendeley will read the file, import the data and create the references in your library. This is useful if you wish to import all or some of the references from an existing Mendeley, EndNote or Zotero library.

4. Use the Mendeley Web Importer (also called a bookmarklet) import articles into your Mendeley Web Library, then use the Sync function to view in your Desktop Library. The Web Importer can also be used with Google Scholar, and some web pages.

5. Download and add selected database search results into Mendeley.  Databases such as ANU SuperSearch, Web of Science, Scopus, JSTOR and many others provide this function. Once you have a set of search results, look for Cite, Save or Export to add the references into your library.

6. Create a manual reference. Some resources and their bibliographic data are not available in digital format and require you to type the title, author, publisher and other data directly into the reference window. Examples that may require manual reference creation include historical artefacts or archival materials such as personal papers or unpublished manuscripts.

Don't forget: Once you have set up your desktop library as shown in the previous tab, take stock of PDFs, Word, images or other files you may have already downloaded and saved to your USB or files.  You can add these to Mendeley to fast-track the creation of your library.  

As your library grows, you'll need to consider ways to manage and organise all your sources. The next tab in this guide shows you how.

Example - add references

This video shows your four ways to add references to your Mendeley Desktop Library: how to drag and drop PDF files, folders containing multiple files, and XML files from EndNote directly into the library; and how to import a citation from a PLoS database. Look for similar functionality in other databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science, JSTOR) or reach out to ANU library staff for support.

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