In 2023, the Library will engage in a process to review Mendeley as the primary supported reference management tool for Stellenbosch University students and staff. The Library has noticed a number of challenges with Mendeley, including problems with its MS Word add-on and Mendeley Cite which most times does not work very well.  A benchmarking exercise has been conducted and the results indicated that other libraries in research-intensive universities no longer support Mendeley as a primary reference management tool due to numerous technical problems they have encountered. Academics, researchers and students will be invited to participate in a survey that seeks to gauge the wider university community’s opinion. You will be given an opportunity to state whether you want the Library to continue considering Mendeley as a primary supported reference management tool or if you would prefer to be migrated to another reference management tool in the future. Until such time that a decision is taken, the Library will continue to provide support to both the Mendeley Desktop and the newer version of Mendeley Reference Manager.

 Mendeley Desktop, the original desktop application for Mendeley Reference Management, was discontinued on 1 September 2022. However, support for the tool still remains available and those who have already installed it will still be able to use it. This forms part of Mendeley’s effort to migrate users to the newer Mendeley Reference Manager. This application is also downloadable and is essentially a newer version of Mendeley Desktop. The newer version of Mendeley offers more seamless integration between the desktop application, Microsoft Word (or other compatible word processors) and Mendeley’s cloud services. The associated plug-in, Mendeley Cite, allows you to browse your Mendeley library within MS Word, which lessens the need to switch from one program to the other. However, users may still experience issues with the plug-in as it sometimes crashes. We have however noticed an improvement in its performance over the past year.

Important to note:

  • If you are currently using Mendeley Desktop for a research project, rather continue using it than converting to Mendeley Reference Manager. This is because there are sometimes issues with converting Word documents from the original citation format to the new Mendeley Cite format.
  • New users of Mendeley should download and install Mendeley Reference Manager rather than the original, as the original has not been updated since the beginning of 2020, and it is becoming less and less compatible with newer computers and associated applications.
  • Remember that we offer training on Mendeley and other research-related topics which you can view here.

For more information on Mendeley, have a look at our Library Guide or contact Kirchner van Deventer for any questions you may have.