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How to Import References Into Mendeley

ScienceDirect: Access

ScienceDirect: Manual Export Method

In ScienceDirect:
  1. Perform a search on your topic in ScienceDirect.
  2. Under each reference in the results page you will see an "Export Citation" link.
  3. Clicking it will show a list of Export options.
  4. Click "Export citation to RIS".
  5. Save the reference to your computer desktop or download folder so you can find it later. It will be named along the lines of "ScienceDirect_citations_1504881349845.ris" where the number is a unique identifier.
In Mendeley:
  1. Login to Mendeley if you are not already.
  2. In your Mendeley library, click the "Add" button. Select "Import RIS (.ris)".
  3. Browse your computer for the ""ScienceDirect_citations.ris" file that you saved from ScienceDirect.
  4. Highlight and "Open" it to import the references into your Mendeley library.

ScienceDirect: Importing References Using PDFs

Importing References Using PDFs

Mendeley has a simple way of importing references by simply dragging them into your Mendeley Library. This works both in the web-based and Desktop versions of Mendeley.

  1. Save the article PDF(s) on your computer desktop or download folder so you can find them again.
  2. Login to Mendeley and go to your Library.
  3. Drag each article PDF directly on top of your Mendeley Library list. You should get a visual confirmation from the interface that Mendeley understands that you want to "move" a PDF to your Library.
  4. Mendeley will parse the text of the article looking for elements to add to the citation.

Note: The advantage of importing using PDFs is that you can export multiple PDFs at once whereas you can only export one RIS citation at a time and then have to separately import the PDF. The disadvantage of this method is that the resulting citations generally lack some essential fields (see "Caveat" below).

Caveat: It is not uncommon for Mendeley to fail to recognize everything required to have a complete citation when you import using a PDF. Check your citation style rules to see what the required fields are. With ScienceDirect articles, especially check that you have the volume, issue, and pagination of the article; other fields generally import correctly, but look for typos. Because you have the source document, you can easily edit the citation to fill in or correct whatever is missing.

ScienceDirect: Review the Results

Review the Results

Citations imported from ScienceDirect are generally of high quality. However, you may occasionally find errors or omissions. Review each citation while you still have the citations up on the screen to more easily correct any errors after you import them into Mendeley. Also note that ScienceDirect citations are commonly mistyped as "Generic" instead of "Journal article".

To cite articles, you 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.

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