Akash Mitra

Akash Mitra

How to reference using Mendeley for free

The one thing that is an inseparable part of being a researcher is reading research articles from journals and staying up-to-date with the current trends and methods. This helps us seek out knowledge and information that we need for our own research. And talking about our own research, it is always a good practice to present our findings in the form of research articles as well which can be available from any corner of the world.

When it comes to writing a research article, review, thesis etc. the students who are new to this always struggle with one particular thing which is putting reference and bibliography in a proper format. So, in this article I’m going to describe two ways by which anyone can write references with utmost ease. The first method is a software-free method and the second one is a software-based method. Adding to that, the software that I am going to talk about is a free software which you can download and use.

Cite without any software

The software independent method is a web based method that can be used with ease by landing on a website called www.citethisforme.com. It is absolutely free and all we need to do is copy-paste the title of the article that we need the citation for. This needs to be followed by selecting the style of referencing that we require (eg. Harvard, APA etc.) and the type of publication we are referencing (eg. book chapter, journal, website etc.). Once all of these are put into place, the server is going to automatically scrap the internet for the article or book chapter that is being searched and provide an inline reference and a proper bibliography for the particular document.

An easy-to-use citation software

  1. The software dependent method requires downloading a free software called Mendeley from the website www.mendeley.com. After the software is downloaded, the installation process is very easy. Once the installation is completed, the user needs to create an account in Mendeley. Once the account is created, the user will be prompted to install a plugin for Microsoft Word (provided that MS Word is present on the system). Now, firstly, we need to download the citations from the website called pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. All you need to do is search for the paper you want in pubmed and enter the page where you see the abstract of the article. On the right-hand sidebar there would be a cite button which you need to click. Now, you would get a handful of formats like APA, MLA etc. from where you can choose and directly copy the text presented on the cite window and paste it on to your document. That won’t require the software. On the other hand, you can find a download .nbib at the bottom of the cite window. When you click on that you will be prompted to download the citation file in a format that is recognized by any standard referencing software like Mendeley. After the file is downloaded, you need to open up Mendeley and drag and drop the citation file on to the software. Finally, you can go to MS Word and under the referencing tab on the toolbar, you can find the Mendeley plugin that you had installed initially. All you need to do is, put the writing cursor after the line where you want the inline reference to be, choose the citation style from the toolbar, then click on “Cite this” under the Mendeley plugin. It is going to open up Mendeley and show you the list of references from where you need to select the correct one and click on cite. It is going to seamlessly incorporate the citation after the specified line on MS Word. After this, once you click on bibliography, the referencing bibliography would be inserted after your article on the page.

I personally like using Mendeley because the formatting options are vast and flexible. But, if the first method is up your alley then by all means do continue with that. Hope you find this useful and your referencing experience might improve.