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Course & Subject Guides

Research Writing - Oakland Campus: Mendeley

This support guide was created for students in ENGCMP 0450: Research Writing and the Professional Writing Program

What is Mendeley?

Mendeley is a  reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

  • Automatically generate bibliographies
  • Collaborate easily with other researchers online
  • Easily import papers from other research software
  • Find relevant papers based on what you’re reading
  • Access your papers from anywhere online

Getting Started

1.  Mendeley -- Get started by creating a free Mendeley Web account using your University of Pittsburgh email account.

2.  Download the Mendeley Desktop -- Use the Mendeley Desktop to build and organize your collection of references and documents.  Drag & drop PDF files into the Desktop to instantly create references.  Add highlights and sticky notes inside your PDFs as you read them, and privately share them with colleagues.

3.  Install the Mendeley Web Importer -- Install the Web Importer into your favorite web browser to import references and documents from a wide range of academic databases.

4.  Install the Mendeley MS Word Plugin-- Installing the Microsoft Word plugin will allow you to insert citations and bibliographies into your Microsoft Word document.

Mendeley Institutional Subscription Ending December 30, 2019.

After much consideration, the University Library System has decided to end its Mendeley Institutional subscription on December 31, 2019.  While Mendeley is a free citation management tool, the University of Pittsburgh subscribed to an enhanced version of Mendeley but found that very few Pitt users actually use the enhanced tools. 

For most Pitt Mendeley users, nothing will change.  If your personal space is below 2 GB, you can continue to use Mendeley as you normally would.  Only those Pitt Mendeley users who have very large Mendeley collections in excess of 2 GB may see a change.  The Libraries will provide support during this time of transition in the form of online guides, and one-on-one support.

Here’s what you can do:

If you have any questions, please contact out Citation Management Team.

Check Your Mendeley Account Size

To see the size of your Mendeley account:

  1. Go to , and sign into your account.
  2. In the upper right corner, you should see your name and a down arrow to the right of your name.  Select the down arrow, then select Settings & Privacy from the menu.
  3. In the Settings & Privacy page, select the Subscription heading from the menu on the left.  This should show you how much personal space and how much Shared space you have in your Mendeley account. 

A free Mendeley account allows:

  • 2GB personal storage for personal documents
  • Permission to create 5 private groups of up to 25 collaborators for sharing common documents.
  • 100 MB shared web storage across all groups. 

If you are above these limits, please contact our Citation Management Team.

Training & Support


The University Library System offers Mendeley training sessions for University faculty, staff and students.  Each hands-on class is an hour and a half long, and free for all Pitt affiliates.  Class sizes are limited, so please register for a class.

Mendeley Basics classes cover creating an account, searching resources and exporting citations to Mendeley, organizing collections of citations, attaching files to citations, and creating and formatting bibliographies of citations.

Sign up for a Training Session:

Oakland Campus Training Sessions


Mendeley Support