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Citation Management

This guide shares helpful citation tools that will keep you organized when collecting multiple citations.

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a combination of a desktop application and a website which helps you manage, share and discover both content and contacts in research.


Reference ManagerGenerate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and LaTeX.

Read and AnnotateOpen PDFs and capture your thoughts through sticky notes and highlights.

Add and OrganizeImport and organize PDFs from your computer, EndNote™, Papers or Zotero.

CollaborateConnect with colleagues and securely share your papers, notes and annotations.

Backup, Sync and MobileAccess your papers on the web, iPhone or iPad.

Network and DiscoverDiscover papers, people and public groups.

Interested in a FREE Mendeley Institutional account?  

Benefits Include:

  • Increase in personal library size for each user, from 2 GB to 5 GB
  • Increase in group storage, from 100 MB to 20 GB
  • Increase in private group size, from 3 to 25 members
  • Increase in number of private groups, from one to unlimited

Already have a personal Mendeley account but want to connect to the MSU Institutional account?

If you already have a Mendeley or Elsevier account, you can connect it to your institutional (Shibboleth) credentials to benefit from MSU's Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) subscription.

  1. Go to and logout if you are signed in.
  2. Click the 'Sign In' link.
  3. Sign in with your NetID and password
  4. When prompted, type your existing Mendeley or Elsevier account email address and click 'Continue'.
  5. Enter your account password and choose 'Continue and connect'.

Once you have completed this sign in process, you should use your Mendeley account email address and password to sign in to Mendeley Desktop rather than your institutional (Shibboleth) credentials.

Getting Started with Mendeley

Terms you should familiarize yourself with:

Mendeley Desktop : Mendeley Desktop is the downloaded part of the software installed onto your computer. Download Mendeley Desktop if you haven't already.

Mendeley Web : This is the Mendeley website where you can access the web version of your library, edit your profile and search for papers, groups or people.

Sync : The process of synchronizing your Mendeley data across devices.

Web Importer : The browser bookmarklet that lets you quickly import documents from anywhere on the web.

Citation Plugin : A plugin you can install that allows you to create and format your citations and bibliography according to your chosen style.