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Mendeley is a free citation and research manager similar to Endnote. This page offers information that will help you create and build a reference library and use Mendeley to add properly formatted references to your papers.


To remove duplicate records, also called deduping, go to the Tools bar in Mendeley and click on Check for Duplicates. Mendeley will scan through your library for records that it believes to be similar and display the results in the main window. From there you can scroll through the differences and merge the references.

Deduping references in Mendeley

Adding UNC's databases (basic functionality)

Mendeley has a very basic ability to use UNC's databases to find full-text versions of articles. It is not like RefWorks, Endnote or Zotero, because you have to browse for items using Mendeley's own research catalog. To do this, go to, click on My Account then on Account details then Sharing/Importing. Under the Edit Library Access Links section, Choose a library from list. Mendeley ought to suggest UNC's databases. If it does not, then you will have to click on the Add library manually button. If you're going that route, give the library a name and use the Base URL of:

This is demonstrated below:

Adding UNC's databases to Mendeley

Once you've set this up, when searching Mendeley's research catalog, you will see a Save PDF to library option beneath the articles that you've found. These articles and PDFs will be saved to your library, accessible through both Mendeley's website and the Mendeley application on your computer.

Save PDF to library option in Mendeley's research catalog

Moving to and from Mendeley

Moving from Mendeley to another reference manager

Be sure to review all newly added citations to make sure the citation information is correct.

Moving from another reference manager to Mendeley

  1. RefWorks
  2. Endnote
  3. Zotero

Using Groups

Groups provide a method to collaborate with other Mendeley users. Unfortunately Mendeley requires the creator of the group to upgrade in order to: create more than one invite only group, create groups with more than 3 members, or create private groups, which provide the ability to share full-text files.

For these reasons, Mendeley is not a good option for group projects.

Given these limitations, you can create groups in Mendeley by clicking the Create Group button on the left side. From there you can specify the details of your group like whether you want it to be invite-only and the group name.

Creating groups in Mendeley

Once you've created a group for your project, you need to invite members. To do so, click on the group's name in Mendeley then click on the members tab. In the Invite contacts or e-mails to this group section you can send invites to your group members. Be sure to send the invite to the email they used to sign up for Mendeley, which may not be their school email.

Managing groups in Mendeley

How to Add References to a Group

Just drag and drop the references into the group library folder. For other members to be able to view these changes quickly, they might have to sync Mendeley.

Changing sync settings

If you are running out of space in Mendeley and do not want to pay for upgraded space, you can changing which folders are synced to Mendeley's servers. This is useful if there are items in your library which are not essential for you to have backed up. To do this, in Mendeley, click on the Edit Setting button then you will have the options of only syncing selected folders.

Changing the sync settings in Mendeley

Keeping your CV or lab's CV up to date

Keeping track of your publications and publishing them on your personal webpage can be a chore. While switching to Mendeley for the sole purpose of keeping your web presence or publications up to date may not be reasonable, Mendeley may be able to help you with this. To use this feature, add your publications to the My Publications section of Mendeley. Once you've added the publications and edited the reference information if necessary, you will need to go your Mendeley account on Click on the Edit my profile link under the My Account button in the right corner. Make sure that your name, discipline, location, affiliation, etc are all how you want them, then on the right side of the screen there should be a section for an Embed profile widget. Like so:

Setting up a profile widget with Mendeley

In this window you will have the ability to customize the appearance of the widget that you are creating. You can add or remove a variety of options and also customize the size of the widget. The default width is a bit small, so you may want to change it to a larger size. Once you've changed the options to look how you want them, click on the Finish and grab code button on the bottom right. A window will pop up with HTML code which you can copy and later paste into your personal or lab webpage.

Customizing the profile widget using Mendeley


For an example of an example of this being used by a research is available here by Jonathan Eisen. And here is a screenshot of what it looks like:

An example of a profile widget from Mendeley displaying your publications

Of course, you could always add your publications to My Publications in Mendeley, select them all, right click and copy as formatted citation then paste into the HTML of your page
Basic CV formatting in Mendeley