I am currently working on my PhD thesis (evolutionary computational biology). Naturally, I have lots of citations, and I use Mendeley's automatic web importer, reference manager, and Word plugin to automate citations. However, when I went over them I found that about 50% have some kind of problem that needs to be fixed manually. Examples of common issues include wrong journal name (e.g. "Nature 2020" instead of "Nature") and missing DOIs.

I understand that automatic citations are not perfect, but I think 50% is way too messy. So my question is: am I doing this all wrong? Maybe there are tools for automatically checking/fixing citations generated by Mendeley? It'd be great if you share your experience and working methods.

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    About 6 years ago, I read Mendeley's terms of service and decided they were far too invasive and didn't sign up. Others may take a different view, but at least make sure you've read them before you proceed. Commented May 2 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


Any program I've used requires automatic formatting, so I don't think you're doing it wrong. Personally, I use Zotero now (free and open source) or .bib files when I'm writing with Quarto, LaTeX, or R Markdown (I've got script to pull citation details from the Digitial Object Identifiers (DOIs) and many citations pulled from DOI require hand editing).

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