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This guide can help you get started using the citation management tool Mendeley.

Choosing a Citation Style

You can choose a citation style for your entire library by clicking on "View" in the Mendeley Desktop toolbar, then "Citation Styles"

  • This will show you a short selection of citation styles
  • If you don't see the citation style you need listed, Mendeley provides access to thousands of additional citation styles. 

1.  Click on "More Styles" near the bottom of the "Citation Styles" list 

  • A box will open in the central column displaying all the of the citation styles currently installed
  • If the style you need is listed there, click the name then the "Use this style" button
  • If the style you need is not listed there, continue to step 2

2.  Click on the "Get More Styles" tab and search for the citation style you need

3.  Select the style from the results list and click "Install" 

  • This style is now available for use by going to the "Installed" tab, selecting the new style from the list and clicking on the "Use this style button"

Installing & Using the Mendeley Word Processor Plugins

Mendeley offers a citation plugin to help streamline your writing process by providing you with a button installed in your word processor that seamlessly integrates resources from your Mendeley library into your paper. 

  • Allows you to quickly and easily reference materials from your Mendeley Library by inserting citations in the style of your choice.

  • After inputting citations, you can then generate a bibliography that will automatically include all the resources cited throughout the paper.   

1.  Click on the "Tools" link in Mendeley Desktop, and select "Install [your word processor] Plugin" 

2.  When the install is complete a box will appear, follow the steps in that box to find your citation plugin


1.  Click on the "Insert Citation" button for the Mendeley plugin in your word processor

  • The button pictured below is from Microsoft Word
  • If you are using a style that requires footnotes or endnotes, make sure to insert those first then proceed with step 2

2.  Search for the source you would like to use by title or author, then click on the correct citation

  • As you start typing sources from your library will appear
  • You can select multiple citations at a time 
  • Once you have selected all the sources you need, click "OK" to insert them into your paper

You can change the style of all your citations by clicking on the "Style" dropdown menu, and selecting the style you need. Click on "More Styles" to add any citation styles that are not currently listed  

Create your bibliography at any time by clicking on the "Insert Bibliography Button"

  • This will automatically generate a list of all the sources referenced in the in-text citations throughout your paper in a matching citation style. 
  • If you need to go back and add additional in-text citations from new sources, they will automatically be added to the bibliography. 

Quick Cite with Mendeley Desktop

If a citation plug-in is not available for your word processor, Mendeley Desktop has a simple process to quickly add a citation into your paper.

1.  Check to make sure the citation style is correct, by clicking on "View" then "Citation Style"

2.  Right-click on the source you would like to cite in your paper, and click on "Copy as" then "Formatted Citation" 

  • Note that you can also copy citations with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + C
  • Create bibliographies by selecting multiple sources, and inserting several citations at the same time. 

3.  Paste the citation into your paper