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Mendeley is a citation and research manager. Accounts are free and UNC institutional access provides expanded storage space and sharing options.

Add citations from PDFs

Create Mendeley citations from PDFs

  • Add Files: Import an individual saved PDF or drag and drop the file into Mendeley
  • Add Folder: Import the contents of an existing file folder of PDFs
  • Watch Folder: Set up a Watch Folder and save PDFs to that folder as you find them. The PDF and citation will automatically be added to Mendeley when you sync.

Adding references in Mendeley


Review added citations

  • Citations are created from the online article.They should be reviewed for accuracy and completeness.
  • Select the Recently Added folder to review the citation. Select an individual citation to review the details.
  • The example below shows a citation created from a PDF import that does not have an abstract. For journals that are in PubMed, search for the article title and copy the PMID number at the end of the reference. Go to the Mendeley Details screen for the article, paste the number in the PMID field and click the search icon to update the record.  Alternatively, you can copy the abstract from the article and insert it.

Add citations from databases

Screenshot of link to install the web importer

  • Install the Web Importer adding the Save to Mendeley button to your browser's bookmark toolbar.  (Instructions here)
  • Search a database and select article citations to save. (Or you can make selections one-by-one after the Web Importer grabs all the citations on the results page.)
  • Add selected citations to a storage place in the database, for example, PubMed's Clipboard.
  • Display the selected citations and click the Save to Mendeley button and then click "Save all" in the popup box.
  • Sync your database.

The example below demonstrates saving two articles from PubMed's Clipboard.

Screenshot of Save to Mendeley operation

Note that the Web Importer will retrieve the PDF for freely available articles, but not for articles acquired through UNC subscriptions.

  • Use the Find @ UNC button to download and save subscription PDFs, but do not save it to the Watch Folder when you already have a citation. You do not want to create a new citation from the PDF.
  • Connect the saved PDF to its citation in Mendeley desktop by using Add File at the bottom of the citation's Details screen.

Screenshot of adding PDF files

Add citations from Browzine

Screenshot - Share Article in Browzine     Screenshot - Mendeley button in Browzine     Screenshot - Article in Mendeley

It is possible to transfer information about an article you're reading on the Browzine app to Mendeley.  

  • From within Browzine, simply click on the box/arrow in the upper corner of the screen, and click to the button under "Bibliographic Management" to share/transfer to Mendeley. 
  • Once in Mendeley, the article will be in the "Recently Added" folder.  If not, click the circular arrows in the lower left corner of the screen to refresh / sync your content. 
  • Note that any article shared from Browzine also imports the PDF of the article into your Mendeley collection, and you will be able to read the content from Mendeley as well. 
  • To find out more about how to use Browzine, visit our guide at:



It is important to keep only one instance of an article in your Mendeley database. Multiple instances of the same article can be confusing when you are citing while writing. It is a good idea to check your database for duplicates before you start to write a new document.

  • Click on Tools / Check for Duplicates
  • Review duplicates that are found
  • If they are true duplicates, delete one or merge the records.

Deduping references in Mendeley