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Please note: HSL does not provide support for Mendeley.

Add citations from databases

Adding a citation file from a database

For most databases, you will need to select all the citations you want to send and Export as an RIS file type.  For Pubmed, you can click Send To: and choose Citation Manager (for batches of up to 200 articles) or File and then Medline format (for all the articles at once).

Once you have created your citation file, you can use the Add button in Mendeley to import the file.

Using Mendeley's web importer tool

  • 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.

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.

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.


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 Browzine


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.



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.