Automatic metadata and reference extraction (Mendeley Desktop)
Original author(s) Mendeley Ltd.
Developer(s) Elsevier
Initial release August 2008 (2008-08)
Stable release
1.16.1 / 2016
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English
Type Reference management software, social software for academic research
License Proprietary
Website Mendeley

Mendeley is a desktop and web program produced by Elsevier for managing and sharing research papers,[1] discovering research data and collaborating online. It combines Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application (available for Windows, OS X and Linux) and Mendeley for Android and iOS, with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers.[2][3][4]

Mendeley requires the user to store all basic citation data on its servers—storing copies of documents is at the user's discretion. Upon registration, Mendeley provides the user with 2 GB of free web storage space, which is upgradeable at a cost.


Mendeley, named after the biologist Gregor Mendel and chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev,[5] was founded in November 2007 by three German PhD students and is based in London. The first public beta version was released in August 2008. The company’s investors include the former executive chairman of, the founding engineers of Skype, and the former Head of Digital Strategy at Warner Music Group, as well as academics from Cambridge and Johns Hopkins University.

Mendeley won several awards in 2009: "European Start-up of the Year 2009",[6][7] TechCrunch Europas "Best Social Innovation Which Benefits Society 2009",[8] and The Guardian ranked it #6 in "Top 100 tech media companies".[9]

On September 23, 2013, Mendeley announced iPhone and iPad apps that are free to install.

Purchase by Elsevier

Mendeley was purchased by the Elsevier publishing company in 2013. The deal price was speculated to be €50 million (US$65 million), following earlier speculation that it was between $69 million and $100 million.[10] The sale led to debate on scientific networks and in the media interested in Open Access,[11] and upset members of the scientific community[12] who felt that the program's acquisition by publishing giant Elsevier, known for implementing restrictive publishing practices, the high prices of their journals[13] (see The Cost of Knowledge), and publicly supporting the SOPA bill, was antithetical to the open sharing model of Mendeley.[14] David Dobbs, in The New Yorker, suggested Elsevier's reasons for buying Mendeley could have been to acquire its user data and/or to "destroy or coopt an open-science icon that threatens its business model."[14]

In 2012, Mendeley was one of the repositories for green Open Access recommended by Peter Suber.[15] The recommendation was revoked in 2013 after Elsevier bought Mendeley.[16]


Mendeley is available either as a premium payable version or a basic version that is free but requires registration.

Third-party tools allow the migration of content.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Jason Fitzpatrick (2009-08-17). "Mendeley Manages Your Documents on Your Desktop and in the Cloud". Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  2. Hull, D.; Pettifer, S.; Kell, D. (Oct 2008). McEntyre, Johanna, ed. "Defrosting the digital library: bibliographic tools for the next generation web". PLOS Computational Biology. 4 (10): e1000204. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204. ISSN 1553-734X. PMC 2568856Freely accessible. PMID 18974831.
  3. Henning, V.; Reichelt, J. (2008). "Mendeley - A For Research?". 2008 IEEE Fourth International Conference on eScience. 7 (12): 327–328. doi:10.1109/eScience.2008.128. ISBN 978-1-4244-3380-3.
  4. BBC (2009-10-26). "Science enters the age of Web 2.0". BBC News.
  5. Victor Henning, How our name evolved from B-movie monster to Mendeley, 23 April 2008
  6. (2009-03-12). "Winners for Plugg Start-Ups Rally 2009 announced". Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  7. TechCrunch (2009-03-12). "Plugg wraps with two very capable winnners". Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  8. TechCrunch (2009-07-09). "The Europas: The Winners and Finalists".
  9. The Guardian (2009-09-07). "The top 100 tech media companies". London.
  10. Confirmed: Elsevier Has Bought Mendeley For $69M-$100M To Expand Its Open, Social Education Data Efforts. 8 April 2013.
  11. Elsevier takes over Mendeley: And you, what do you think?, MyScienceWork
  12. "The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover". paidContent. Apr 9, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  13. "Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier to Protest Journal Prices". ScienceInsider. Feb 1, 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  14. 1 2 "When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out", David Dobbs, The New Yorker, April 12, 2013
  15. Suber, Peter (2012). Open Access. MIT Press Essential Knowledge. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51763-9.
  16. Peter Suber (2013-04-09). "Elsevier bought Mendeley".
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