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Mendeley guide

Importing references from databases to Mendeley

You can import references to your Mendeley library in the following ways: 1) as a RIS or BibTex file, 2) using Web Importer, 3) as PDFs, or 4) manually. We'll go through all these ways next.

1) Importing RIS or BibTex files from databases

Imports of references as RIS or BibTex files take place as follows:

  1. Go to the database and run a search there.
  2. In the search result, select the desired references.
  3. Click the Export button or other equivalent from the database. Note that the practice varies across databases (see table below).
  4. In the menu that opens, select the RIS file (or BibTeX file) and click Export.
  5. Save the file on your computer.
  6. In Mendeley, click Add new > Import library > RIS (*ris) [or BibTeX (*.bib)].

2) Web Import

The Web Importer installed in the browser can be used in some databases (see table). Imports with this add-on are carried out as follows:

  1. Go to the database and run a search there.
  2. Click on the red Mendeley Web Importer icon.
  3. In the window that opens from the icon, select either “Select all” or individually select the references you want to bring to Mendeley.
  4. Finally, click the Add to Mendeley button.

3) Importing a PDF to a library

If your computer has a completed PDF file, you can add it to your Mendeley library by dragging the file directly to the line area of the library or clicking Add new > File (s) from computer.

In Mendeley's desktop application, it is possible to put on the so-called Watch Folder, which specifies the folder on the computer where stored PDFs automatically go to Mendeley. In Mendeley's browser version, this possibility does not exist.

4) Manual import

If you find material that is not present in databases (e.g. internet pages), you can add the references to the library as follows:

  1. Click Add new > Add entry manually from the Mendeley library.
  2. In the window that opened, fill in the necessary fields and finally click Add entry.



Examples of importing references to Mendeley from different databases

The table shown below shows the ways to import references from different databases. In most cases, references can be imported both in RIS format and using the Web Importer add-in in the browser. RIS-format files are either saved automatically or stored manually according to the browser used on the computer.

Database Import file Web Importer
Abi Inform (Proquest) Cite - RIS no
Centria Finna no yes
Ebook Central (Proquest) Cite Book - EndNote/Citavi (RIS) no
Ebsco databases Export – Direct Export in RIS Format / Citations in XML format / Citations in BibTeX format yes
Emerald Citations: download RIS yes
IEEE Xplore Export – Citations – BibTeX / RIS yes
IIMP (ProQuest) Cite - RIS no
PubMed no yes
SAGE journals Download selected citations - RIS/BibTex - Download Citation yes
Science Direct (Elsevier) Export - Export citation to RIS/Export citation to BibTex yes
VLeBooks Download Citations (RIS) no