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How to Import References Into Mendeley

PubMed: Access

PubMed: Importing Using Browser Extension

Importing Using Browser Extension

PubMed doesn't export references in either RIS or BibTeX format. Consequently, the best way to import references from PubMed is to use the Mendeley Importer browser extension or bookmarket. Mendeley Importer comes as a native extension for Chrome and Firefox and as a bookmarklet for all browsers.

  1. Perform a search on your topic in PubMed. By default, 20 results will show on the results page. Although you can choose larger or smaller increments in values between 5 and 200, for best performance, it is not recommended to display more than 50 results at a time.
  2. Don't bother selecting results directly in PubMed. You will do this work in Mendeley Importer instead.
  3. Launch the Mendeley Importer browser extension or bookmarklet. It will parse the PubMed results page and mirror the results list. It will only show as many results as are currently displayed in PubMed.
  4. Mark at least one reference using the Mendeley Importer pane. When you have reviewed the results list in Mendeley Importer, click the blue "Save" button. It will confirm a successful transaction by applying a green checkmark next to the imported references.
  5. Close Mendeley Importer.
  6. Move to the next results screen in PubMed and repeat from step 3.

Caveat: If you use Ebook Central, the Mendeley Importer extension for Chrome and Firefox should not be used. The extension causes a constant refreshing of the screen when viewing an e-book's Detail Page. Instead, use the bookmarklet version of Mendeley Importer.

Install Mendeley Importer bookmarklet: Drag the Save to Mendeley button to your bookmark/favorites toolbar. Now you can launch Mendeley Importer from any database results page.

PubMed: Review the Results

Review the Results

Mendeley Importer may occasionally drop information from imported citations. Review each imported citation in Mendeley while you still have the search results in PubMed up on the screen to more easily correct any errors or omissions that you find. However, note that if a record is described in PubMed as "Epub ahead of print", it will generally not include volume, issue, or pagination details and will require revision at a later date.

Complete citations for articles need at a minimum: the article's author(s), the article title, the journal it appeared in (the name may be abbreviated or not, depending on the database), the volume number, the issue number (usually), the year of publication, and the page numbers or document identifier if the journal doesn't use page numbers. Consult the rules for the citation style you have been instructed to use so you know what is needed.

PubMed does not include the full-text of the articles that it indexes. If you want to add article PDFs to your Mendeley database, you will need locate them outside of PubMed. The citations in Mendeley will include links to the publisher's site and back to PubMed for finding PDFs of articles. Access to content will usually require a Library subscription.

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