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Reference Management Software

This Libguide helps you get started with using reference management software.

Get Started with Mendeley

Create an Account

Create an account through You can use any e-mail address you like, it does not have to be your Hanken e-mail. Use a unique password. NB! If you have registered for an account in any other Elsevier product, such as ScienceDirect, Scopus or Haris (Pure) from before, you are recommended to use the same login e-mail for Mendeley as well.

elsevier screen shot login

When you have created your account and logged in, continue with installing the software and the tools needed to make the most out of your Mendeley account. Follow the instructions in this Libguide.

Mendeley Cite

You need Mendeley Cite in order to be able to import references into your text documents. Mendeley Cite is compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Word versions 2016 and above and with the Microsoft Word app for iPad. If you are using an earlier version of Word, you can use the existing Mendeley Citation Plugin for Word available with Mendeley Desktop.

  1. Download Mendeley Cite
  2. Open Word and download Mendeley Cite add-in via Insert - My Add-ins

word insert add ins


Mendeley Web Importer

You need to install the browser extension Mendeley Web Importer in order to save references directly from web sites. The browser extension works with Chrome, Firefox och Edge.

  1. Download the browser extension Mendeley Web Importer to your browser
  2. When the extension is added you see it in the upper bar of your browser

mendeley web importer install

Mendeley Reference Manager

Mendeley Reference Manager is a downloadable tool helping you with:

  • editing and organising your references
  • reading your saved documents
  • making notes in your documents

Downloading Mendeley Reference Manager is not mandatory as you can use the browser version My Library in the same way. Access My Library through logging in to Both Mendeley Reference Manager and My Library sync with each other, so your saved references and edited references are visible in all versions.

Mendeley Desktop is an older version of Mendeley Reference Manager. NB. As of 1.9.2022 it is no longer possible to download Mendeley Desktop. If you have downloaded Mendeley Desktop earlier, you can continue using it. Longer term, Mendeley Desktop will be completely replaced by Mendeley Reference Manager.

This guide focuses on Mendeley Reference Manager. 

mendeley screen shot


Save References to Mendeley

Save PDF-files

Save PDF-files in Mendeley by:

  • using the drag and drop-function
  • choosing "Add new" and "Files from computer".

Both the PDF-file and bibliographic details of the reference (title, year of publication, author etc...) are stored in your Mendeley account. Edit the details of the reference if needed.

screen shot drag and drop mendeley


Save References Manually

You can add references manually, for instance if you have references not found online in databases:

  • Choose “Add New” and "Add Manual Entry".
  • Type in the details needed. If you're adding a publication that has a unique DOI, you only need to add the DOI and rest of the data will follow automatically. 

mendeley screenshot

Use the Browser Extension Mendeley Web Importer

Follow these steps to save material from a database or a web site:

  1. Find the material (e.g. a web site, an article) that you want to export to Mendeley
  2. Open the browser extension Mendeley Web Importer
  3. Log in to your Mendeley account
  4. If you have created different folders in your account, choose the folder you want to use. Choose "Edit" to modify the reference details if needed 
  5. Mark the references you want to import, click "Add"
  6. Click “View library” or open your Mendeley Reference Manager /Mendeley Desktop. If the reference does not show in your library, click “Sync” to update.

mendeley screenshot

Add RIS, XML or BibTex-files

In scientific article databases you often find an "Export"-button helping you export article references to a reference management software. In case Mendeley isn't included as an option for export, you can instead export the reference as RIS, XML or BibTex-file.

  • Start by saving the reference in .bib, .xml or .ris format (RIS-format works often best for Mendeley)
  • Import the file when logged in to your Mendeley account, choose "Add new" - "Import library" and the right file type
  • Edit the reference details if needed

Also use this alternative if you want to export references from another reference management software to your account in Mendeley.

mendeley screenshot

Watch Folder

The Watch Folder option is only available in Mendeley Desktop (the older version of Mendeley). You can enable Mendeley watch folders on your computer to automatically import the references being added in this folder to your Mendeley library. Choose File and Watch folder to let Mendeley know what folder to watch. 

NB. As of 1.9.2022 it is no longer possible to download Mendeley Desktop

mendeley screenshot

Use Mendeley's own Search Function

Use the search field in Mendeley Search to find references, saved by other Mendeley users. It is, however, not possible to access all articles in full text through this function. 

  1. Open Mendeley Search
  2. Use the search field to find your article
  3. Click "Add to library".
  4. Log in to your Mendeley account (in case you weren't logged in already)
  5. Edit the reference details if necessary

mendeley screenshot

Import References from the most common Databases

Hanna / Finna

  1. To export a reference from Hanna choose Export reference - Export to RIS
  2. Open Mendeley and choose Add New - Import library - RIS. Choose the file from your computer. Edit the details of the reference if needed.

Hanna screenshot  

If there is no RIS option available under Export reference:

  1. Click on Mendeley Web Importer in your browser 
  2. Mark the reference you want to import. Edit the details of the reference if needed
  3. In the drop down menu choose the folder you want to use. Click Add

 Hanna screenshot 

Google Scholar

Use Mendeley Web Importer to export references from Google Scholar. Edit the details of the reference if needed.

You can also import references as RIS-format:

  1. Click the " -button
  2. Choose RefMan.
  3. Open Mendeley and click Add New - Import library - RIS. Choose the file from your computer.

Google scholar screenshot

Ebsco (Business Source Complete, EconLit och Ebsco eBook collection)

  1. Find the article reference you want to export. Click Export in the menu on the right
  2. Choose "Direct Export in RIS Format"
  3. Click Save
  4. Open Mendeley and choose Add New - Import library - RIS. Choose the file from your computer. Edit the details of the reference if needed.


ebsco screenshot

Elsevier (Science Direct, Scopus)


  1. Find the article reference you want to export. Choose "Add to Mendeley"
  2. Mark the right article reference in the list. Edit the details of the reference if needed
  3. Click Add. 

elsevier screenshot



  1. Find the article reference you want to export. Click Export - Mendeley. 

scopus screenshot

ProQuest (Ebook Central)

  1. Find the e-book you want to export
  2. Click on Cite
  3. Choose Endnot/Citavi
  4. Open Mendeley and choose Add New - Import library - RIS. Choose the file from your computer. Edit the details of the reference if needed.

ebook central screenshot

Organize and Edit References

Create Folders

It is recommended to create separate folders for different projects, topics or theses. 

  • Under "Collections" in Mendeley Reference Manager, choose New Collection. Similar function in Mendeley Desktop is found under File - Add Folders.
  • When moving a reference to another folder you can simply drag-and-drop
  • To create subfolders, right click on the folder's name. Choose New Collection

folder screenshot

Double Check and Edit References

Make a habit of always double checking references imported to Mendeley. Make sure all necessary details are included, especially if you use Mendeley Web Importer. Use Hanken's referencing guide to check what details need to be included for different types of sources. It is important that the references are consistently presented.

Annotate your References

You can add sticky notes, annotate and highlight your saved documents in your Mendeley acount.

  1. Find your reference. Double click to open it in full text
  2. Use the tools in the menu bar to the left to annotate and highlight text

annotate screenshot

Tag your References

In the Mendeley Desktop version, you can tag references with keywords in order to make them easier to find. NB. As of 1.9.2022 it is no longer possible to download Mendeley Desktop

  1. Click on a reference in your library. Fill out suitable keywords under Tags. If you use several tags, use semicolon in between the tags 
  2. Use the search field to the left, "Filter by my Tags", to search and find references by your tags. Please note that most of the references have pre-defined author keywords included. You see the author keywords in the menu to the left as well, under "Filter by Author Keywords".

screenshot mendeley


Insert References in your Document

Insert References

Connect Mendeley to your word processor in order to make the most out of your Mendeley account. Install Mendeley Cite (compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Word versions 2016 and above and with the Microsoft Word app for iPad). 

1. Open your document in Word. Position the cursor where you want to insert your citation

2. Log in to your Mendeley account. You find Mendeley Cite under References - Mendeley Cite 

3-4. Use the search field to find the reference in your library you want to add to your document. Mark the reference you want to insert.

5. Choose Insert citation. Repeat step 3-5 in case you want to insert multiple references

insert references

Edit References

To choose another style for your citation, click Citation Style and find the style you want to use. In case you want to edit your reference with details completely missing you need to login to your Mendeley account and edit the references there.

  • First click on the reference in your document
  • Then click on the reference in the Mendeley Cite column to the right:

mendeley cite


  • In the Edit Reference view, add specific page numbers for the citation. Check "Suppress author" if you do not want the author's names to show in the citation:

word screenshot


Create Bibliography

Before creating your bibliography check for duplicates in your library. 

  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert the bibliography in your document.
  2. Click "More" and Insert Bibliography in the Mendeley-window to the right. The bibliography will be reordered automatically every time you add a new reference to your document.
  3. If you need to edit details in the bibliography, log in to your account in Mendeley and edit the references there. After editing a reference in Mendeley, return to Word and click "More" and Update From Library. This procedure is needed for the changes to become visible in your document.

mendeley cite



Create Groups and Share References

Create groups to share your references with others. You can also comment together on a shared document in Mendeley. 

  1. Create your group under "Private Groups" - New Group to the left in your Mendeley library. Name your group.
  2. Right click the name of the group and choose "Manage group". Fill in the e-mail of the recipient(s) under Invite members. A group can consist of a total of 25 members. All members must create an individual account in Mendeley to be able to join.
  3. When the group is created, all members of the group can open the same document to make comments and highlight text. A shared document is marked with [Shared] in the upper bar. 

mendeley screenshot

Mendeley FAQ from Hanken users

I'm trying to download Mendeley Desktop but it does not work. How come?

  • As of 1.9.2022 it is no longer possible for new users to download Mendeley Desktop. If you have downloaded Mendeley Desktop previously, you can continue use it. 

I'm using the reference system Oxford. Can I use Mendeley to insert footnotes in my Word document?

  • Only through the older version of Mendeley (Mendeley Desktop), which is compatible with the plug in Mendeley cite-o-matic for Word. Since it is no longer possible for new users to download Mendeley Desktop, we recommend that you use another software (e.g. Zotero), in case you need to use the Oxford reference system 

The Mendeley Cite-panel in Word is so small, I can't see the references properly?

  • You can adjust the panel by either reducing the upper ribbon in Word, or simply by pressing Ctrl and - on your keyboard. This will make the Mendeley Cite panel smaller so you can see the text better

Can I access saved PDF:s in Mendeley while being offline?

  • Yes you can, all the annotations and highlights done offline are also saved and can be accessed when being online. There are however some aspects to consider when using Mendeley offline: LINK

How can I change the font of the references in Word? 

  • Check which font is set as default in your Word. See the instruction HERE 

How can I merge two identical references?

  • You need Mendeley Desktop in order to perform an automatic duplicate control. You find the function under Tools and Check for duplicates

How can I add two citations within the same parenthesis in my document? 

  • Press Add reference after you've inserted the first reference. Then mark the second reference you'd like to add within the same brackets and it will be automatically shown after you've pressed Save changes.

How can I make changes to a referencing style?


Contact if you have further questions about Mendeley, or have a look on Mendeley's own support pages.

Mendeley Guides

Have a look at these links and tutorials for more support on Mendeley: