Mendeley: Manage, Share & Discover Research

Got a pile of PDFs on your computer? Turn your research documents into your own personal digital library with Mendeley–a new tool for organizing and sharing research.

Mendeley has a downloadable (free!) desktop software component, as well as a web-based component (Mendeley Web). Mendeley Web allows you to sync your library of PDFs, so that you can access them while you are away from your computer. Mendeley Web also serves as a social networking tool for connecting with researchers in your field.

When adding PDFs to Mendeley’s desktop client, Mendeley extracts the metadata (author, title, publication info, etc.) and creates a record for each PDF that you add to your Mendeley library. In addition to storing your PDFs, you can use the tool to add annotations and tags.

How does Mendeley differ from a tool like Zotero? In a nutshell, Mendeley grabs citation info from a PDF, whereas Zotero grabs citation info from webpages. Many reviewers note that the Mendeley’s sharing and collaboration features are superior to other tools, including tools like Zotero. Reviewers also pointed out another notable difference in the development philosophies of these tools…Zotero is ‘open source’ (developers are sharing the code, so that many people can contribute). Whereas, Mendeley is currently a closed, commercial product.

Note: Mendeley is still in ‘Beta’, which means its developers are still tweaking the tool!

You can have a look at the features here:

Written by Hannah Rozear

4 thoughts on “Mendeley: Manage, Share & Discover Research”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the great review. Indeed Mendeley is still in ‘Beta’ but we are, along with the help of our community of users and their feedback, making great progress and have an interesting roadmap ahead with many new features.

    I’d like to add that Mendeley Web is not only a social network and a backup/sync of your papers, but also a reference manager where you can upload your documents. We’ll soon add an online pdf viewer and other cool features that will make managing your papers as easy to do online as it is in Mendeley Desktop.

    We are really interested in hearing from the research community. The feedback has played an important part in various of our roadmap decisions. Feel free to let us know what your thoughts are and what you would like to see in Mendeley in the future.

    Ricardo Vidal
    Community Liaison @ Mendeley

  2. Note that Zotero can also import some PDFs. Currently, it grabs text from them & searches on google scholar for metadata.

  3. Check out
    This is a web based reference manager that will provide matching bibliographic data automatically when a PDF is uploaded. This feature is now a standard for the newer reference management application.
    Disclosure: I am a developer of wizfolio.

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