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Mendeley @ WMU: Known Issues

This guide provides instruction and resources for using the Mendeley bibliographic citation management software to keep track of your citations, create bibliographies and collaborate with other researchers.

General Shortcomings of Mendeley

While Mendeley (particularly the desktop application) is quite good as a reference management system, it does have its limitations. You should be aware of the following shortcomings:

  • Both Mendeley Web and Desktop are NOT accessible to screen readers for the blind/low vision (JAWS, NVDA). Those users should consider purchasing the EndNote software.
  • Annoying "Welcome to your Mendeley Library" message that appears every time you login to Mendeley Web.
  • Can't search text of annotations (and in web version, text in notes is also not searched).
  • Can't export citations plus your personal notes. The only way to do this is to put your notes in the abstract field and use APA cite/abstract (annotated bib) style.
  • Limited number of document types available (and no way to add new document types or create your own)
  • Can't change size of text in notes fields. On some computers, particularly the SurfacePro, the note text can be quite small.
  • The company Elsevier (which publishes the ScienceDirect, Scopus and Engineering Village databases) is in the process of linking older Mendeley accounts to their own system. This may complicate exporting citations from their databases directly to Mendeley Web. Scopus, in particular, requests the user to login to an Elsevier account when the user attempts to login to Mendeley. Please contact the Scopus Live Chat support page to get help with this.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) citation formatting problematic for journal articles - The current APA 6th edition format available in Mendeley does not automatically use DOIs when available, in lieu of URLs. However, there IS an APA 6th edition format available (created by user Simon Kornblith) that fixes problems with DOIs, where if a DOI is available, Mendeley will use the DOI rather than say "Retrieved from URL." Useful to add to one's available styles. (One must download and install this style to Mendeley. To do this, go to "View - Citation Styles - More Styles" and search for "american psychological association 6th edition ("doi:" DOI prefix)" to find this.

Issues with Mendeley Web

Citation Import Problems: Mendeley Web currently will NOT import citation files from the following databases (these do work fine with Mendeley Desktop, however).

  • ACM Digital Library
        • Export citations using the "Export Results" link at top of page. Export as bibtext and save text file as .bib file. However, ACM exports ALL citations. Cannot select individual citations to export as a group.
        • A workaround is to create an account in ACM. Then you can create a binder.
        • Save needed citations to the Binder first. Then export those citations to BibTeX.
  • IEEE Xplore -  Won't import RIS files. Says "Something went wrong during the Import." Works fine in Mendeley Desktop.
  • Social Science Abstracts (Ebsco) and Social Work Abstracts - RIS import will not work for these databases. Neither will BibTeX import.

Mendeley Importer Extension (Google Chrome) - This Google Chrome extension interferes with ProQuest eBook Central, causing eBook pages to load and reload continuously, making interaction with the book difficult if not impossible.

 

 

Issues with Mendeley Desktop

Range of document types: Mendeley has a relatively limited range of document types, compared to other reference management softwares (EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero).

American Psychological Association (APA) citation formatting problematic for journal articles - The current APA 6th edition format available in Mendeley does not automatically use DOIs when available, in lieu of URLs. However, there IS an APA 6th edition format available (created by user Simon Kornblith) that fixes problems with DOIs, where if a DOI is available, Mendeley will use the DOI rather than say "Retrieved from URL." Useful to add to one's available styles. (One must download and install this style to Mendeley. To do this, go to "View - Citation Styles - More Styles" and search for "american psychological association 6th edition ("doi:" DOI prefix)" to find this.