Using Citation Managers: Mendeley and RefWorks

Citation Managers: RefWorks and Mendeley

There are several citation management programs available that can help you keep track of citations.  These include RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley.  In this workshop, we’ll cover the use of Mendeley, which has free accounts available.  The UA Library also makes RefWorks accounts available to students for free.  You can find instructions to sign up for RefWorks here:

Using Mendeley

Mendeley functions as a citation manager and a PDF organizer; it’s a useful program if you want to take notes on PDF files and don’t have access to Adobe Pro, and it will also manage citations.  To get started with Mendeley, go to the site and set up an account:  Mendeley has both a desktop and a web version, as well as smartphone apps available. Once you’ve signed in to your account, you can sync each of these products, so that PDF’s you’ve loaded on your desktop will also appear in your online account, and vice versa, so you can access them from anywhere.

Once you’ve logged into Mendeley, you can create folders and organize your files.  To import files from your desktop, simply select File > Add Files, and locate the documents you want. You can also import PDF’s to Mendeley directly from databases.  To do this, either select Tools > Install Web Importer from within Mendeley desktop, or go to your library on and click the add button to the left and follow the instructions. Once the importer is installed in your browser, you can get research articles from most databases and import them directly.  Just click “Import to Mendeley” in your browser when you’ve found the article you want:

It will then appear in your library’s list of documents:

If you want to take notes on a PDF file, double-click the file to open it.  You’ll notice that the document appears in a new tab—to get back to your list of documents, just click the tab titled “My Library.”

At the top of the screen, you’ll see options that include “Highlight” and “Note”; you can use these to add highlights to the document, and to place notes on the page.  As you add notes, they will also appear in the “notes” area on the right—you can then use these notes later as reminders about what was important in any given document.

When you’re ready to write an essay and cite sources, first be sure to select the citation style you’ll be using:  go to View > Citation Style, and then select the appropriate style.  You’ll also want to review the Citation details Mendeley has on file for correctness.

Mendeley has plug-ins available for word and open office; install the appropriate plug-in for the program you’re using.  If you’re using Microsoft Word, when you’re ready to add citations, locate the install in the add-ins menu (Windows) or the Scripts Menu (Mac):


Using RefWorks

After you have signed up for a RefWorks account, you’ll want to import some sources. How you do so depends on the database you plan to use. For detailed instructions on importing sources from all the UA Library’s databases, see this table:

RefWorks only imports an article citation from most databases. If you also want to save a copy of the article, first, download it to your computer. Then log into RefWorks and locate the article citation for the file you want to add:

Click on the edit tool for the article you want to load. Check here to make sure all your citation information is correct, and load the PDF file as an attachment. Then save your reference.



To link RefWorks with a word processing program and use it to manage your citations, you’ll need to install the Write-N-Cite tool. To link RefWorks and Microsoft Word, log into your RefWorks account, Go to Tools < Write-N-Cite, and follow the instructions:

Once you’ve successfully installed Write-N-Cite, it should be available as the “RefWorks” Tab in Microsoft Word. Log in using the code provided when you installed Write-N-Cite:

Use the “insert citation” button to add a citation from your RefWorks database. You can search for a specific source, or browse through your RefWorks folders:

Once you’ve finished adding sources to your document, you can generate a bibliography by selecting Bibliography Options < Insert Bibliography

November, 2016