The new Reference Manager

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The new Reference Manager

We are rebuilding the Reference Manager from the ground up. It has a brand new look and your library will sync automatically every time you make a change. You won't be able to cite just yet (we are working on this alongside other features), but we're excited and want to share this early beta exclusively with you.

This beta version will work alongside your existing Mendeley Desktop. After you download and install, just sign in using your Mendeley credentials and your existing library will sync. For more details of what to expect check out the FAQs below.


We'd love your feedback

We'd love your feedback

Remember, this is an early beta preview. Your feedback will help us shape the future of the Reference Manager, so let us know what you think or if you find any bugs.


No, when you sign into the new reference manager your existing library will sync automatically.

One of the most exciting features of the new reference manager is the "Real Time Sync". Rather than having to click "sync" to sync your library between Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web this will happen automatically whenever you add new documents or make a change. In the case of import, as soon as you add a new document, you will notice that the sync icon will change to "Syncing" and then go to a "Green" to indicate that "sync" has been completed. This means that the new documents have also been uploaded to your other versions of Mendeley. 

Yes, you can use your existing Mendeley Desktop in parallel with the new reference manager. The new reference manager does not yet have all the features of your existing Desktop but we will be adding more features on a regular basis. 

Windows SmartScreen will sometimes give warnings if you install an application that has not been installed by many other people. This is based on what Microsoft calls "Application Reputation". As the Mendeley Reference Manager is a brand new app and has not been installed by many people you may see this warning, although it should go away as we roll the app out to more users.

To proceed with the installation click the "More Info" button, double check that the publisher is "Elsevier Ltd." then click "Run Anyway". Do not run it if the publisher is not "Elsevier Ltd." - the application is signed with our certificates to ensure it cannot be tampered with, so if the publisher is not shown correctly it is not our app.

No, you can sign into the new reference manager with your existing account. 

If you have your current Desktop setting set to not synchronize attached files then your files will only be stored locally and not saved to the cloud. When you sync in the new Reference Manager only files stored in the cloud will be downloaded. To change your settings to sync attached files open your current Mendeley Desktop, click on Edit Settings and click the checkbox for Synchronize attached files. Save & Sync and your files should now appear in the new Reference Manager beta.

This version of the new reference manager is a beta version and there are features that we have not yet implemented, most of these will be introduced in future releases. We wanted to give you an early view of what we are doing and get your feedback to help us improve development.

Yes, we know this is important to you, so you can use the reference manager when you are not online however not all the functionality is available offline, we will be working to add this in future releases. Currently, the following will not work if you are offline:

  • Read a PDF you have not already opened when online

  • Import files

  • Search, if you go offline before indexing your library is complete

We have renamed Folders to Collections. All your folders will still be viewable under the collections heading. We changed the name as users told us that Folders was confusing as they did not work in the same way as a folder on your computer.

Your sub-collections are still available but for now, we are only displaying the first 5 sub-levels. We will add the ability to view all of your sub-collections in a future release. 

Your Groups are still available and you can access them on the web or via Mendeley Desktop but we have not yet implemented this feature in the new reference manager; it will be included in a future release. 

We would love to know what you think about the new reference manager. We will send you a survey to complete a few days after you are invited to test the new reference manager. Alternatively, you can access the feedback option from the Help menu, or click on the feedback link from the Beta Invite page.

You can add documents in the following way:

  1. Drag and drop files – add papers by dragging and dropping a PDF into your library, the application will automatically extract the details from the document and create a library entry. At the moment you are not able to drag and drop folders containing multiple papers, this will be added in a future release.
  2. Add file – use "Add New" button and click on "Files from Computer" to select a specific paper from a location on your computer and add it to your Mendeley library. At the moment you are not able to select a specific folder to add papers, this will be added in a future release.
  3. Manually create an entry – use "Add New" and click on "Add Entry Manually" to manually input the details of a reference. For the beta you are only able to add "Journal articles", the ability to create documents of a different type will be available in a future release. You can use a DOI to look up details of a reference automatically; enter the identifier into the DOI field and an automatic lookup will be performed and if the DOI is found then the metadata will be populated. Please note that adding authors manually is now on multiple lines.
  4. Import RIS, BibTex or EndNote XML file - there are several ways you can do this:
    • Via Drag and Drop – Drag and drop the file from your local state and the application will automatically extract the details from the documents and create a library entry or multiple entries.
    • Add directly from your computer – use "Add New" and click on "Import from Library" and then select the type of file you wish to import. Select the file on your local state and then click open and the file will import.

Any documents that you import via the Web Importer will also appear in the new reference manager Beta. 

Watch folder functionality has not yet been implemented in the new reference manager but it will be added in a future release. 

No, cancelling an import hasn't been implemented but we will be adding it to a future release.

No, the citation plugin is not compatible with the new reference manager, so you will have to cite from your existing Mendeley Desktop. Citation compatibility will be available in a future release. 

No, at the moment you cannot export your references. This will be available in future releases. 

Don't worry, all your General Notes are safe and sound. We are currently in the process of rebuilding our note-taking capabilities from scratch and it is likely that we will make significant improvements to the way General Notes will work. Until we have figured out how we will migrate all your existing data we have kept them hidden.