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

Organize Your Sources

Create and unlimited number of folders to sort your sources, and keep your research organized.

  • You can sort citations and create bibliographies for each individual folder.

1.  In Mendeley Desktop, click the "Create new folder" button in the toolbar 

2.  Name your new folder- A highlighted text box will appear at the bottom of the "My Library" section

 3. Add citations by dragging files from the central column to the corresponding folder 

For more complex research projects, create subfolders to sort citations into multiple categories within a single subject.

1.  Select the folder that you would like to add additional subfolders into, and click the "Create new folder" button

2. Name your subfolder- this time, the highlighted text box will appear directly below the main folder

One of your sources could fit into several different folders? No problem, just add descriptive tags to the document!  

  • Tags work like folders by establishing a connection between different resources.
  • Giving multiple sources the same tag allows you to easily search for similar documents regardless of their folder location.

1. Click on the source you want to tag, the document details will appear in the right column 

2. Add your descriptive tags to the source

  • Any number of tags can be assigned to any works 
  • Tags are for your own convenience- they can be a broad or as specific as you want

To find items by their tags use the search bar in the top right corner of Mendeley Desktop. 

  • Use the search command "tags:" followed by the term or terms you chose  
  • You can search your entire library by clicking on "All Documents" or individual folders. 

Mendeley File Organizer

Looking to organize the files on your computer too? Mendeley's file organizer can help! 

1.  Click on the "Tools" button in the top tool bar, and select "Options"

2.  Click on the "File Organizer" tab, and select the types of organization you would like 

  • Organize my Files: Saves copies of all resources in your Mendeley library to a single file to your computer
  • Sort Files into Subfolders: Saves copies of of all resources in your Mendeley library separated into subfolders by the selected criteria of your choice. The more criteria you choose, the more files will be created.
  • Rename Document Files: Renames files in a uniform way. PDFs downloaded from databases and the internet often have long or non-descriptive names, this helps to keep sources labeled correctly.   

3.  Click "OK" to complete the process 

  • Now your entire Mendeley library is saved and organized on your computer. 


Mendeley Tutorial- Organizing Your Library