Mendeley Desktop
Original author(s)Paul Foeckler, Victor Henning, Jan Reichelt[1]
Initial releaseAugust 2008 (2008-08)
Stable release
1.19.5 / 2019
Available inEnglish
TypeReference management software

Mendeley is a reference manager software founded in 2007 by PhD students Paul Foeckler, Victor Henning, Jan Reichelt and acquired by Elsevier in 2013. It is used to manage and share research papers and generate bibliographies for scholarly articles.


The company Mendeley, named after the biologist Gregor Mendel and chemist Dmitri Mendeleev,[2] was founded in London in November 2007 by three German PhD students. The first public beta version of the software was released in August 2008. The company's investors included some people previously involved with, Skype, and Warner Music Group,[3] as well as academicians from Cambridge and Johns Hopkins University.

Victor Henning and Jan Reichelt receiving the Plugg "European Start-up of the Year" award, 2009

In 2009, Mendeley won several awards including "European Start-up of the Year 2009",[4][5] TechCrunch Europas "Best Social Innovation Which Benefits Society 2009",[6] and The Guardian ranked it #6 in "Top 100 tech media companies".[7]

In 2012, Mendeley was one of the repositories for green Open Access recommended by Peter Suber.[8] The recommendation was revoked after Elsevier bought Mendeley.[9]

Mendeley was purchased by the academic publisher Elsevier in early 2013. The deal price was speculated to be €50 million (US$65 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 Mendeley's acquisition by Elsevier was antithetical to Mendeley's open sharing model.[13]

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 co opt an open-science icon that threatens its business model."[13] This was contrasted to a non-profit service like Unpaywall, which marketed itself as not susceptible to a sell-out to Elsevier.[14]


After the acquisition, the Mendeley team extended its product line while continuing to iterate on its core reference manager application (Mendeley Desktop).

On 23 September 2013, Mendeley announced iPhone and iPad apps.[15] An Android app followed shortly after.

On 12 January 2015, Mendeley announced the acquisition of Newsflo, a service which provided links to press coverage of researchers' work.[16][17] The functionality was subsequently incorporated into Mendeley Feed and Mendeley Profile.

In April 2016, Mendeley Data, a platform for sharing citable research datasets online, was promoted out of beta.[18]

In October 2016, Mendeley Careers was launched. The service is intended help researchers locate job opportunities.[19]

On 24 May 2019, Elsevier announced two new products: Mendeley Reference Manager and Mendeley Cite.[20]

On March 15 2021, the Mendeley mobile app was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play, leaving access via the web site or Mendeley Reference Manager on the desktop the only way to access the services.[21] The literature search function in the desktop application had also been removed.

In September 2022, Elsevier discontinued the downloads of Mendeley Desktop as part of a transition to the new web-based solution (Mendeley Reference Manager). The company plans to permanently stop the signs-in to Mendeley Desktop in a longer term.[22]


The software can track reader counts, a readership statistic which has been asserted to predict citation impact,[23] whereas journal-level metrics are poor predictors of reliability.[24] An automatic metadata extraction from PDF files is also available. The platform can integrate with Microsoft Word, OpenOffice and other platforms. The platform intends to be copyright-compliant by allowing users to share files in private groups.


In 2018, an update to Mendeley resulted in some users losing PDFs and annotations stored in their accounts.[25] Elsevier fixed the issue for most users after a number of weeks.[26]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Elsevier (24 July 2013). "Victor Henning's brief guide to Mendeley". Elsevier Connect. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ Victor Henning, How our name evolved from B-movie monster to Mendeley, 23 April 2008
  3. ^ "Case study – Mendeley shares scientific research to build a better future". 1 August 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  4. ^ (2009-03-12). "Winners for Plugg Start-Ups Rally 2009 announced". Archived from the original on 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-03-25.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ TechCrunch (2009-03-12). "Plugg wraps with two very capable winners". Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  6. ^ TechCrunch (2009-07-09). "The Europas: The Winners and Finalists".
  7. ^ The Guardian (2009-09-07). "The top 100 tech media companies". London.
  8. ^ Suber, Peter (2012). Open Access. MIT Press Essential Knowledge. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN access
  9. ^ Peter Suber (2013-04-09). "Elsevier bought Mendeley".
  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 Archived 2013-05-24 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover". paidContent. Apr 9, 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  13. ^ a b "When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out", David Dobbs, The New Yorker, April 12, 2013
  14. ^ "Unpaywall: a beautiful way to help everyone Get The Research". 2018-10-28. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  15. ^ stevedennis (2013-09-23). "The New Mendeley for iPad and iPhone". Mendeley Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  16. ^ Bonasio, Alice (2015-01-12). "Newsflo brings new impact metrics to Mendeley". Mendeley Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  17. ^ "Elsevier Acquires Media Monitoring Company Newsflo". Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  18. ^ Josh (2016-04-28). "Mendeley Data is out of beta". Mendeley Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  19. ^ Desai, Shruti (2016-09-30). "Search thousands of science and technology jobs at Mendeley Careers – launching in October". Mendeley Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  20. ^ sallyransom (2019-05-24). "Supporting researchers with the new Mendeley Reference Manager". Mendeley Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  21. ^ "Accessing your Mendeley library after the mobile app is no longer available". Mendeley Support Center.
  22. ^ "Introducing Mendeley Reference Manager – designed for today's researcher workflow". Mendeley Blog.
  23. ^ Thelwall, Mike (2018-06-01). "Early Mendeley readers correlate with later citation counts". Scientometrics. 115 (3): 1231–1240. doi:10.1007/s11192-018-2715-9. hdl:2436/621193. ISSN 1588-2861. S2CID 4352809.
  24. ^ Brembs, Björn (2018). "Prestigious Science Journals Struggle to Reach Even Average Reliability". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 12: 37. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00037. PMC 5826185. PMID 29515380.
  25. ^ "Thousands of researchers hit by Mendeley update glitch". Times Higher Education (THE). 2018-06-15. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  26. ^ "Update on the missing PDF issue". Mendeley Blog. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-07-04.