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Citation Management for Academic Research: Mendeley

This guide juxtaposes the affordances and constraints of popular citation management systems Mendeley, EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero.


Primary User Base

The primary users of Mendeley are professionals who have been published,  lecturers in scientific field, researchers, librarians, and students.

Upload and Annotate

Mendeley users can upload articles from databases as well as online sources (with the use of a bookmark add-on). Yet, there are limitations to what popular sites Mendeley can upload from. Will only site articles from supported sites.Users can also drag and drop PDFs into the citation manager. Once in Mendeley, articles can be annotated and highlighted.

Word Processor Integration

Mendeley offers a citation plug-in for Microsoft Word, LibreOffice and BibTex for the ability to cite while writing.

Installation Required

Desktop installation is not required, but is available for Windows (7, 8.1, 10), macOS and Linux. Mendeley can be used in a browser and there are add-ons to help import articles from supported websites. There is a free mobile app for both android and apple devices. (

Collaboration Features

All Mendeley users can create groups and collaborate on research. Each plan (including the free plan) allows users to create 1 private/invite-only group with three members and up to 100 MB shared space (around 30-40 articles). Additional group plans are available for groups if more space or members are needed. (


Price to Students

There are four versions of Mendeley. There is a free option available with upgrades that provide additional storage space. The free version gives users 2 GB of cloud storage. The Plus plan is recommended for students; it costs $4.99/month and allows up to 5 GB of personal library space. The Pro plan, Mendeley’s most popular plan, costs $9.99 a month and provides more storage (10 GB personal space). Unlimited storage space is available for those with the Max plan, which costs $14.99 a month. (

Access After Graduation?

Mendeley is a citation manager open for public use. So, as long as payments continue being made, Mendeley can be used.