Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Mendeley: Creating Bibliographies

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. The original content of this guide comes from Washington State University Libraries.

Quick Cite

For quick citations in most text editors, including Google Docs, select the paper you want to cite in Mendeley Desktop and click:  Edit > Copy Citation.  Then, paste it into the document you are composing.

Alternatively, you can drag and drop the paper from the Mendeley Desktop window to the document, and a reference in the current selected citation style will be added there.

Creating a Bibliography

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

Go to Tools > Install... and select the plugin you wish to add. 

  • When creating a paper, click on Insert Citation in the 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 and you're done.  You can cite multiple references by using semicolons 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 document in Mendeley Desktop, and click Send Citation to MS Word (or OpenOffice). Again, you can cite multiple documents.  Just hold the Ctrl key and left click the documents you want to cite. 
  • Your citation will be sent to your word processor.  You can select your preferred citation style in the drop down menu in your word processor.  
  • Now you can generate a bibliography by clicking Insert Bibliography.

Get help now!