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Mendeley: Using Mendeley with LaTeX

A guide to getting started with the Mendeley citation management program.

What are LaTeX and BibTeX?

LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation.

For more information about how to get started using LaTeX and BibTex, click here.

BibTex is a file format used for lists of references for LaTeX documents. With some citation managers, you can manage references within the manager and export references in BibTeX format, meaning you can manage the references within the citation manager and then integrate them into your LaTeX files. 

Create a BibTeX file that automatically syncs with Mendeley

The following instructions will show you how to create an automatically syncing BibTeX file for your LaTeX document using Mendeley.  These steps do not include how to add citations to your Mendeley library. For help with that, please click here. These instructions were adapted in part from the Royal Holloway University of London.

  1. In your Mendeley library, create a new folder. Insert the references you intend to cite in your LaTeX document by dragging and dropping them into the folder. The folder does not have to be complete as you will be able to sync this with your BibTeX file. 
  2. Click on Tools, then select Options.
  3. On the menu that pops up, click the BibTeX tab.
  4. Check the box for 'Escape LaTeX special characters', if it is not already checked.
  5. Check the box for 'Enable BibTeX syncing', if it is not already checked.
  6. Check the box to select the option: 'Create one BibTeX file per group'.
  7. Click 'Browse' to select the destination for your BibTeX file. This needs to be in the same folder as your LaTeX file, or it will not function correctly.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.
  10. To add new references to the BibTeX file, drag them into the folder and select the Sync button at the top of the Mendeley window.

The citation key automatically generated by Mendeley to use with BibTeX is {AuthorYear}.

For additional help in integrating Mendeley and LaTeX, including videos detailing the steps above, please visit the following resources:

From the Royal Holloway University of London: https://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/c.php?g=380520&p=4650349

From the University of Melbourne: https://unimelb.libguides.com/c.php?g=565734&p=3897116