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Cite from Mendeley

edited May 2019 in Features

Hi, I am just starting to look at your amazing web and app.

My university provides me with an institutional Mendeley account. You describe how to cite if the references are in Zotero with that "Better json" format.

Do you know an easy way to use Mendeley instead? (The export options given by the desktop Mendeley app are bib, ris and EndNote).

Thank you very much in any case!


  • Hey abernal,

    first welcome to the community of Zettlr! :)

    Then thank you for your post, because I knew that there were some users of Mendeley already asking this question, but I plainly lost the information on what export formats Mendeley uses. But now that you've provided them, I'll see to adding this enhancement!


  • Thanks for your replay,

    I attach a screenshot of Mendeley "Export" dialog box.

    However, since I am new to reference managers too, I am not sure whether taking

    advantage of the institutional Mendeley account or go with Zotero, so, in principle, this is not a "deal breaker" for me.

    Thank you very much for your time and effort,


  • Perfect, thank you!

    To everybody: If you spot any Javascript library able to convert BibTex to CSL JSON, please post it here! This would significantly increase development speed :)

    I only need something to convert to CSL JSON so that I can directly feed different formats to Citeproc.js!

  • Is there any major advantages/disadvantages of Mendeley over Zotero? I'm also a bit lost between the two, never settled for one instead of another.

    If support is better for Zotero in Zettlr, I would probably do the switch (as Mendeley is closed source anyway)

  • Mendeley is, as far as I'm concerned, a fork of Zotero that has been closed down and belongs to Elsevier publishing (which are strong arguments against it). Besides that, I think Mendeley and Zotero are fairly similar. Zotero is just not as bad concerning privacy and data sovereignty (you don't have to register for an account, additionally I've done so in the past and the given Email address to send requests for account deletion to is abandoned, so it's a pesky thing), so maybe settle for Zotero (besides, yes, it currently integrates well better with Zettlr).

    On a technical sidenote: All citeproc-mechanisms work natively with CSL JSON data, so every other format I'd support in Zettlr would internally also be converted to CSL JSON before being fed to the citeproc engine. So you could also directly feed it CSL JSON anyway :)

  • Thanks !

  • edited May 2019

    Yes, well, the point is that if you want to have the pdfs of the references along with the citations in the same library, and you work with more than one computer, the storage of your account matters. Zotero gives you 300MB of free space, and my University gives me an institutional Mendeley account, which has 100GB. That's the only reason I would prefer Mendeley over Zotero. But Zotero works very well too.

  • @abernal You can actually sync your full Zotero storage over any cloud service of your choice! The only thing you need to take care of is that you never have more than one instance of Zotero running (which should be easy, given that you can only work at one PC at the same time)!

  • Just a little comment. It is possible to export from Mendeley in a RIS format, and then import from the RIS file to Zotero. It apparently imports correctly the pdfs. The library I have make the operation on had just three pdfs and it worked.

    The pdf-annotations are not exported from Mendeley though. However, the notes are not so important in my workflow.

  • The pdf-annotations are not exported from Mendeley though

    This does not sound as if Mendeley works as it should 😄

  • Just implemented loading of BibTex .bib files, comes with 1.3! @abernal

  • Great! I just downloaded the 1.3 beta and it works great, Mendeley creats a bib, the same way that Zotero creates a json, and with this bib file I can use Mendeley easily with Zettlr

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