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Learn how to use the reference management programme Mendeley.

Mendeley Reference Manager

Mendeley Reference Manager is your cloud-based Mendeley library and serves multiple functionalities:

  • Be a backup for your Mendeley desktop library
  • Collect references 
  • Read and annotate PDFs
  • Use a Notebook to collate highlights and comments from multiple PDFs 
  • Share references with your colleagues or other researchers

Search for articles

You can search for articles in Mendeley and add articles to your Mendeley Library. 

  • Login to your account on the Mendeley website
  • Click Search 
  • Type some keywords for your topic in the search box
  • Click Add to library under the article you wanted to keep in your library

Remember to edit references added to your library to ensure all references are in a correct citation style, e.g. APA 7th. 


You can use private groups to share references and PDF files with your colleagues. You can also share notes and annotations with your group members.

Login to your Mendeley account on the Mendeley website. Click Groups to view your groups or groups shared by others. 

  • Create a group by clicking on Create a new group
  • Edit your groups: click on a group name to edit the group
  • Add references to a group: select references in your Mendeley library and click Organize and add to the desired group

Notes: You may find two other group types Public group and Invite-only group when you create a new group. These two groups will be removed from Mendeley soon. Do not use these group types.


Your references are stored in your Library. You should sync with your Mendeley desktop library regularly 


Notebook is a new note taking tool from the Mendeley Reference Manager. 

  • Open a PDF, click Notebook above the PDF document
  • The Notebook column will appear on the right hand side of the the PDF 
  • Click +New page on the bottom and give a title for this new page. Each page can be used for a research topic 
  • You can type some notes for the topic in your Notebook page 
  • Your can add highlights in PDFs to a Notebook page. A right click on a highlighted section, then select Add to Notebook from the pop-up box:


  • When you add any notes to a PDF document that linked with a Notebook page, your notes will appear as Comments in the Annotations section:


Find more information on the Mendeley website.

Collections in your online library

In your online Mendeley Reference Manager, you will find Collections on the left panel. These are the folders you created in your Mendeley desktop library.

  • Click New Collection to create a new collection.
  • Click Sync icon, this new collection will show as a folder in your Mendeley desktop