When a group is initially created, the creator has the opportunity to specify how the group will be used. This is done by choosing a group type.
Private Groups are designed to allow small teams to work together. The number of members is limited but allow the full text of reference materials (such as PDFs) to be shared between members. They will not appear in the list of Groups on the Mendeley website and members have to be invited to join.
Private groups you’ve joined will be indicated with a safe icon in Mendeley Desktop.
See our dedicated guide to private groups for more details.
Invite-only groups are publicly visible (they can be found by browsing or searching the Mendeley website), but can only be joined by users who are invited, or who apply and are approved by an administrator. Non-members can ‘follow’ the group, which allows them to participate in the discussion and access materials shared with the group, but they cannot add new references.
Invite-only groups will be indicated with an icon showing a person beside a folder in Mendeley Desktop if you’ve joined as a member. If you’re following a group, it will appear as a folder with a small blue arrow.
Open groups are totally public. They can be joined by anyone with a Mendeley account and any member can add new references to the group - although the can also be followed. They are a quick way to find references on a particular subject and to grow your library of materials relating to that discipline. Open groups can also be used for general interests or discussion.
As with Invite-only groups, the icon for Open groups in Mendeley desktop will vary depending on whether you’re a member or a follower.