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Mendeley: Creating in-text citations and bibliographies using Mendeley Desktop

A how-to manual for the reference management tool, Mendeley

Creating an in-text citation

Once you have your documents and references in Mendeley, you can cite and reference them within Word and OpenOffice by installing plug-ins. Once installed, you will have toolbar buttons that will allow you to cite a document, generate a bibliography, or manually edit any entry.

In Mendeley Desktop go to Tools > Install... and select the plug-in you wish to add. 

  • While working on a paper, click on Insert Citation in the References toolbar to cite a document from your Mendeley Library.
  • If you are using Word on Windows, a box will appear allowing you to search for references by author, title or year (note that this is only available for Microsoft Word for Windows at the moment; for Word on Mac or OpenOffice, skip ahead to the second-to-last step).
  • When you find the reference you want to cite, click OK. You can cite multiple references by using semi-colons to separate them.
  • If you prefer to find references using Mendeley Desktop, press the "Go to Mendeley" button beneath the search box, which brings up Mendeley Desktop. Then select the reference in Mendeley Desktop, and click Send Citation to MS Word (or OpenOffice). Again, you can cite multiple documents. Hold the Ctrl key and left click the documents you want to cite. 
  • Your citation will be sent to your word processor. 

Creating a bibliography

  • You can select your preferred citation style in the drop down menu in your word processor.  

  • Make sure your curser is at the end of your document and click "Insert Bibliography".

Customising a citation style

If you can't find your style in the "get more styles" option, you can customise an existing style.

Please note: this is a last resort - there are thousands of styles out there, rather first check for your one.

A useful guide on the different ways to customise can be found on the Citation styles website. Please note that this is a very technical guide, so we have rather provided an in-depth video for you to watch first.

Again, editing a style is not a quick process, or a quick fix. It is a last resort.