Social Reference Manager: Mendeley

A colleague mentioned the existence of Mendeley to me – a new and free reference manager. I’ve stuck with Papers for a while and was really really happy with it, but I have to admit that Mendeley seems to have quite a few cool features there.

For example:
1) it’s free (and hopefully it’ll remain like that forever)
2) it provides an online counterpart, so that you can check/manage your reference library online too
3) it’s a social application – it aims at building up a community of researchers/users based on the categorization of one of their primary interests: papers
4) it can be used by researchers as a ‘research homepage’ which features quite a lot about their academic profile..

Conclusion: definitely worth a try!

Mendeley #3

Mendeley #4


What else is available in the market?

Not much that handles well both the tasks of a document manager and a social application; however these other tools/apps are worth checking out:

  • Zotero:, “Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.”
  • Papers:, “Award winning applications for scientific research”
  • Citeulike:, “citeulike is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references”
  • Qiqqa:, “The essential software for academic and research work”
  • Sente:, “Sente 6 for Mac will change the way you think about academic reference management. It will change the way you collect your reference material, the way you organize your library, the way you read papers and take notes, and the way you write up your own research.”
  • Wizfolio:, “WizFolio is an online research collaboration tool for knowledge discovery. With WizFolio you can easily manage and share all types of information in a citation ready format including research papers, patents, documents, books, YouTube videos, web snippets and a lot more. “
  • Refworks:, “RefWorks — an online research management, writing and collaboration tool — is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.”
  • For a more extensive list and analysis, check out this awesome wikipedia page: Comparison_of_reference_management_software



    6 Responses to “Social Reference Manager: Mendeley”

    Wow, thanks for the nice words. We’re glad you like it.

    Let me assure you that whatever is currently available for free, will remain free! We will however be introducing some premium features at a later time that will have a minor fee. But again, whatever is free now, will stay free! :)

    Community Liaison @

    Ricardo Vidal added these pithy words on Aug 21 09 at 2:02 pm

    thanks Ricardo for pointing out!

    magicrebirth added these pithy words on Aug 24 09 at 5:12 pm

    One other great feature of the cloud/online component of Mendeley is that it allows you to synchronise reference collections across Mendeley Desktop installations on different computers.

    Gerhard Brey added these pithy words on Aug 21 09 at 10:40 pm

    Another cool thing you can do is publish a “public collection”, which provides an RSS feed of what you’re reading. I’ve met some interesting people and found new colleagues based on their sharing of their RSS feed reading list.

    Here’s my public collection on multiple myeloma.

    Mr. Gunn added these pithy words on Aug 27 09 at 12:13 am

    I really like the interface, and I would like to keep using Mendeley. However,
    I cannot seem to be able to insert citations into an Open Office document. When I select Tools -> Install OpenOffice Plugin, I get an error saying “Couldn’t Install OpenOffice Plugin. Please re-run the installer, enable the Python-UNO Bridge component and try again.”

    This is probably simple but I spent 30 minutes trying to figure this out, and I still don’t have a solution: How do I enable this component?

    Teri added these pithy words on Oct 23 09 at 8:46 am

    Teri, could you please contact with these details along with the version of Mendeley you’re using, what operating system you’re using, etc? We’ll get back to you quickly with a solution. :)

    Anyhow, if you’re using linux it looks like you may need to install python-uno
    In command line you’ll need to run something like (if Debian, Ubuntu, etc):
    apt-get install python-uno

    If this is not your case, just drop a line and we’ll get back to you asap!

    Ricardo Vidal added these pithy words on Oct 23 09 at 12:25 pm