Skip to Main Content

How Do I Use Mendeley?

Information and tips for getting the most out of Mendeley at Penn State Hershey George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library.

What is Mendeley?

What is Mendeley?
Mendeley is a free reference manager, comparable to EndNote.  Mendeley allows you to organize references, create citations, and bibliographies. It is also a PDF viewer which allows you highlight, annotate, and organize research papers all in one place. Mendeley has a social network feature in which you can create groups and collaborate and share with colleagues.

Mendeley's defaults for Penn State accounts include:

  • 7.5 GB of personal library space, with up to 50 collaborators
  • A separate 7.5 GB of group library space, with up to 1000 groups.

How to Get Mendeley

There are three different yet integrated methods to access and use Mendeley. The following links will lead you to where you can decide which one works best for you. 

Citation Management

  • Mendeley Online: from here you can sign into your account, import citations straight from databases, access your libraries from anywhere, and sync to your Mendeley Desktop.  If you already have an Elsevier personal account, please login with that account.  No add-on downloads are available through the online version.  However, direct PubMed imports are not yet available for this program.  

  • Download Mendeley Reference Manager: this is a desktop version with similar functionality to the online version.  It also allows you to organize PDFs and sync to your online account.  This program also allows you to create annotations and notes for each downloaded citation.  However, direct PubMed imports are not yet available for this program.  

  • The Mendeley Desktop is no longer available for download.  The fully functional program remains available for legacy users.

  • The Mendeley Mobile app has been completely retired. 

Add-On Programs

  • Download Mendeley Cite: this add-on program allows you to link your Mendeley account to the Microsoft Word desktop.  Thus you will be able to create bibliographies in Word using your Mendeley account.  Due the current security blockage of the Microsoft Online Store via Office 365, the Mendeley Cite app cannot be downloaded except through the Mendeley Desktop program.


  • Web Importer: add this to your bookmark toolbar and you can import citations directly from databases and websites to your Mendeley library. The download option will automatically identify the browser that you are using.  Downloads are not effected by which Mendeley program that your using.