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Using Mendeley

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:

  • Some users at WMU may experience login problems either in Mendeley Web or desktop. This has something to do with WMU's email addresses. Please contact for assistance with resolving this problem.
  • Some users at WMU may also experience problems with receiving or accepting invitations to join Mendeley groups. Please contact for assistance with resolving this problem.
  • You cannot use Mendeley Web with MS Word on Mac computers, but you CAN use it with MS Word on Windows machines using the "Export to MS Word" button.
  • You cannot use Mendeley Web or Mendeley Desktop with Google Docs. However, you can copy citations from Mendeley Desktop and paste them into your Google doc.
  • Mac Users who have OS Sierra and High Sierra may need to download an older version of Mendeley (version 1.16.3 - see here for it to work on your machines.
  • 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.
  • Users cannot search the text of PDF annotations (notes you add to your PDFs).
  • 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 Support page to get help with this.

Issues with Mendeley Reference Manager

Issues with Mac Computers

The new Mendeley Reference Manager software (2020) is not compatible with macOS 10.15 (Catalina). If you have macOS 10.14 (Mojave), you will can use either Mendeley Desktop OR the new Mendeley Reference Manager. If you have OSX 10.10 - 10.13, you can use Mendeley Desktop.

Microsoft Word Citomatic Issue

If you get a message that says you have MS Word “Click to Run”

This means that you have an Office 365 “Click to Run” version of Microsoft Word. According to Microsoft, “Many add-ins might not function as expected when used with Click-to-Run. You might see error messages stating that an add-in failed to load or couldn’t be found.” You will need to install the complete Microsoft Word from WMU IT (W-Exchange) in order to use the Mendeley/MS Word plugin.

Microsoft Word click to run error message