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Mendeley LibGuide

Mendeley Web versus Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web provide two distinctly different ways to interact with your Mendeley library and other researchers. Here is a quick comparison of the differences.

Mendeley Web focuses on connecting researchers. With Mendeley Web, you can:

  • Create and share a scholarly profile with the Web (or with only other Mendeley users, depending on how you configure the settings);

  • Search Mendeley for relevant scholarly literature on any topic;

  • Create, join, and manage groups;

  • Discover articles that are trending in your research area;

  • View altmetrics on any article, such as the number of readers in Mendeley, their disciplines, and their level of scholarship (i.e., faculty, postdoc, other);

  • Add, edit, and organize your references;

  • View PDFs that have been uploaded to your Mendeley cloud.

Mendeley Desktop focuses on knowledge production and management. With Mendeley Desktop, you can:

  • Search Mendeley for relevant scholarly literature on any topic;

  • Create and manage groups;

  • Add, edit, and organize your references;

  • Link Mendeley to Microsoft Word and/or create a BibTeX library for a seamless writing experience;

  • Set your default citation style (for auto-generated citations);

  • Connect citations to PDFs on your computer (or import PDFs directly into Mendeley) for easy PDF management;

  • Annotate and mark up PDFs that are linked to citations within your library;

  • Link multiple PDFs and documents to a single reference record within your library.

In short, if you want to manage your reference library and/or use a reference manager for writing, Mendeley Desktop is the way to go. If you want to engage with the social component of Mendeley or access citations/articles on the go, Mendeley Web is a perfect supplement. Please note that only Mendeley Desktop gives you annotation features in its PDF viewer; the web viewer only gives you reading access.