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Adams State University
Nielsen Library

Citation Management Systems (CMS)

Need help citing your sources and compiling your research? Let us help!

Downloading and using Mendeley

First things first, create an account through Mendeley. When you do this, you will be starting your online library with Mendeley as well. BE SURE TO USE YOUR ADAMS STATE EMAIL, THIS WILL HELP LATER WHEN USING THE DESKTOP APPLICATION.

Creating an account:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Create Account at the top of the screen.
  3. Type in your Adams State email, this will make it easy to remember.
  4. Fill in your name.
  5. Create a password and then click create.
  6. Fill in your role and field of study, if you know it. This will help Mendeley create proper citations for you.

Downloading Mendeley Desktop: (on your home computer or laptop.)

  1. Go to
  2. At the top of the screen you should see an icon that says download that has a white box around it. Click the icon.
  3. This will take you to the part of the website where you can download Mendeley. In the middle of the screen you should see a button that says download mendeley for windows. If you are running a windows computer click that, if not mac and linxus computer users should click the links below the button which will take you to the site where you can download mendeley for your computer.
  4. Mendeley also has apps for your phone and or tablet if you prefer to work on those devices.
  5. Once you have downloaded the program, you will be prompted to register with an email and password.
  6. By clicking on the register on the bottom of the application, it will send back to the mendeley website where you will fill out your information and register. Make sure to complete the entire registration process, not just the portion involving your email and password. Once you have done this you will have successfully completed the process of downloading and registering with mendeley.

Using Mendeley:

  1. Once you have downloaded and registered with mendeley, you will be prompted to import your first document into the application.
  2. Once you import your first document, it will then show you how to add or create documents from there on out.
  3. It will then explain to you that your documents are stored in the mendeley cloud.
  4. Then it shows you where to get citation help through mendeley.
  5. You can create folders to help you better organize your articles, by clicking the folder with the green arrow button then name it what you would like. To add documents to folders, click on all documents and find the article you want then drag and drop where you want the article to go.
  6. Just like with Zotero, Mendeley does not provide a database of articles. Just the articles that you add by downloading from sources such as the nielsen library website or google scholars.
  7. Enjoy using Mendeley!

Downloading and using Zotero

Zotero Account Creation and Download Steps:

First things first, you need to create an account with Zotero. By doing this you are creating your online library for Zotero. BE SURE TO USE YOUR ADAMS STATE EMAIL, THIS WILL HELP LATER WHEN USING THE DESKTOP APPLICATION.

Here is what you need to do to create an account:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on sign  in at the top right of the screen.
  3. Click on register for a free account.
  4. We recommend using your Adams State email as your username and email, it will be easier to remember. And create your own password. (Make sure to click the box that says “im not a robot.”)
  5. They will then send an email to your adams state email, go to your email to activate the account.

Here is how to download Zotero desktop and Browser plug in: (on your home desktop or laptop.)

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the red Download Button
  3. Click the blue Download button from there.

What to do once you have downloaded the software:

  1. If you have an apple computer, open the file that you downloaded from zotero which should be located in your downloads folder. From there you can add it to your dock or run it through the applications folder that it creates.
  2. If you have a windows computer, run the set-up program that you downloaded.
  3. If you have linux Download the tarball, extract the contents and run zotero from that directory to start Zotero. For Ubuntu, the tarball includes a .desktop file that can be used to add Zotero to the launcher. Move the extracted directory to a location of your choice (e.g., /opt/zotero), run the set_launcher_icon script to update the .desktop file for that location, and symlink zotero.desktop into ~/.local/share/applications/ (e.g., ln -s /opt/zotero/zotero.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/zotero.desktop). Zotero should then appear in your launcher.Alternatively, Linux users may wish to use a package for their distro rather than using the tarball directly. Note that such packages are built by third parties, and we can only provide support for the official tarball.
  1. Be sure to also download the connector for your prefered browser.
    1. Once you have downloaded the zotero program, go back to your
    2. To the right of the button you clicked to download zotero, you will see zotero connector.
    3. To download onto browsers other than chrome, click on the “zotero for other browsers” button. Then choose your prefered browser.

Using Zotero:

  1. Once downloaded, we recommend checking out the quick start guide. It will give you some baseline information about Zotero.
  2. Things to be aware of when using Zotero:
    1. It does not provide a database for your search. In order to search for articles use websites like Nielsen Library’s or Google Scholar.
    2. You have to download the document your are trying to use in your paper onto your computer and then you can upload it into Zotero, which we will explain next.
  3. Once you have an idea for the topic of your paper or research, go to and do a search for articles.
  4. When you find an article, click the pdf or html tap to view and read the article.
  5. Scroll back to the top of the article, at the top right of the article you will see what looks like a printer. To the left of the printer you will see the download button. If you scroll over it, it will say download. Download the article to some place on the computer that you will be able to find it.
  6. Once you have the document downloaded, you can then add it to your Zotero library.
    1. Open your Zotero if it is not already open.
    2. In the top left of the application under file you will see an icon that looks like a small file folder. If you hover over it, it will say New Collection. Click on it and name the collection what you would like. This will help you to keep your documents more organized
    3. Once you have created your new collection. There is a green circle icon with a plus symbol in the middle two icons to the right of the new collection icon. Scroll over it and it should say new item. Click on the icon, and from the drop down menu click on Store Copy of a File. From there find the document that you saved to your computer and click on it. This should add it to your new collection folder within Zotero.
    4. Rinse and Repeat with however many documents that you have for this particular paper or research project. We recommend that you create a new collection for each paper or research project to make the articles easier to find.
  7. Enjoy using Zotero!
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