Special thanks to Margery Swan, Dietetic Intern at the University of Maryland, for the following blog post! Originally published at Communicate Nutrition, the blog of the SNEB Communications Division

Mendeley offers professionals a free, new way to organize and store research articles. Mendeley works by creating a desktop and online research library for users, where they can save and organize important articles.  Mendeley also allows users to add notes, highlights, and tags to individual articles and will automatically cite information in various formats.

Another great feature of Mendeley is that it is user-friendly.  Although it may take time to explore and understand all the features Mendeley has to offer, listed below are the three basic steps to Mendeley success.

1)      Install the web importer:

After creating an account with Mendeley, install the web importer.  The importer will appear as a bookmark on your web browser, and can be clicked on whenever you come across a journal or magazine article to save.  The importer will automatically collect all the important information from the article (title, author, journal, URL, etc.) and save it directly into your Mendeley library.  The importer will also download PDF files to your library or save the article as a snapshot that can be viewed online at any time.

2) Organize your articles:

Once the information is sent to your library, you can then organize it by creating new folders and categorizing different articles.  Within your library, you have the option to add notes, highlights, and share articles with colleagues or clients.

3) Cite articles:

Mendeley can generate citations for articles in a variety of styles, including that used by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.  In addition, you can download a plug-in for Microsoft Word, which will enable you to directly import citations into your Word document.

Due to the many useful features available from Mendeley, it is becoming an increasingly popular tool among professionals and currently has over two million users.  For dietitians specifically, Mendeley can provide a space to store and organize articles about various nutrition related topics.  Having access to a personalized library has the potential to save time for dietitians in every field.  For example, Mendeley is not only helpful when performing a literature review, but also when referencing an article or looking up information for clients or patients.

Let’s face it, as dietitians, we love to save time – and what better way than to organize your favorite research articles in an easy to understand and convenient library?  Try it out at www.mendeley.com today!

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