Mendeley: Free or Inexpensive Research Reference Manager for Use Across Devices

Mendeley: Free or Inexpensive Research Reference Manager for Use Across Devices

One of the grandest lessons I've learned in one semester in my EdD doctoral program is that being able to organize all my journal articles and documents is a must. I tried several reference manager options, but Mendeley seems to help me manage all the articles I am collecting as a part of my research in a manner most compatible to my own organizational needs. While certainly not as fully-featured as other options like Endnote, Mendeley gives me exactly the features I want to help me with the collection and reading of the many journal articles and documents I have. My favorite features of the software include:

  • Cloud Access: I can upload PDF copies of my articles and have web access wherever I need it. The articles are stored in the cloud, also making it possible to download them to other devices as needed.
  • Desktop App: Mendeley offers an easy-to-use desktop app as well. The app interface is much simpler and easier to use than some of the other reference management software I've tried.
  • iPad app: Mendeley offers a fully featured iPad app that immediately gives me access to my research on my tablets.
  • Free with 2 GB of Storage Online but inexpensive to upgrade: While a user only gets 2 GB of cloud space to begin, there are inexpensive options for increasing that storage up to having an unlimited account.
  • PDF reader that allows sticky notes, highlighting and note-taking: Once users have imported journal articles or documents into Mendeley, they can then read them with a PDF reader, highlight passages, add sticky notes or take notes within the reader. These can then be exported for use elsewhere.
  • Groups Feature Offers Ability to Collaborate with Others: Users of Mendeley can use the groups feature to collaborate with others on research projects. I haven't fully explored this yet.

Mendeley Desktop Interface

Mendeley iPad

Mendeley is a free and relatively inexpensive reference manager for those, like me, in the middle of a degree program. For more information regarding Mendeley, check out their website. Mendeley Website.

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J. Robinson has decades of experience as a K12 Principal, Teacher, and Technology Advocate. Read more at The 21st Century Principal.