How to Optimize the Use of Mendeley Desktop

Introduction |

Today I will be discussing another very important tweak in Mendeley- how to tweak and optimize the use of Mendeley.

This will help to:

  1. Optimize Storage Space,
  2. Ensure Fast Synchronization, and
  3. Reduce Internet Bandwidth/Data Usage When Using Mendeley.

Mendeley is one of the widely used Reference Management Softwares by researchers, journalists, graduate, and undergraduate students. Occasionally, we encounter some issues (not a bug in the software per se) when using Mendeley. Three of the commonly encountered issues are:

1. The synchronization of Mendeley contents takes too long to complete- Poorly Optimized Mendeley Desktop

You may have noticed that your Mendeley Desktop application takes a long time to completely synchronize contents between your Mendeley web account and the Desktop application. This process of synchronization is very important and serves to ensure the efficient and effective use of Mendeley. In other words, it helps to optimize the functionality of your Mendeley Desktop application. How is this so? Whenever you add references to your Mendeley account, you need to synchronize it. This can be done by either clicking on the synchronization button at the top of the Mendeley Desktop application window or just simply pressing on the F5 key on your keyboard. If you want contents imported into your Mendeley account via the online Mendeley web importer to appear in your Mendeley Desktop application, you definitely need to synchronize it.

If you fail to do this, the imported references will not appear in your Desktop application, therefore, you will not be able to find and use those articles you added via the web importer. In essence, synchronization is key to the optimal functioning of Mendeley, as it helps to ensure a seamless connection between the web importer and the Desktop application.

The speed at which Mendeley synchronizes depends on your internet speed as well as the contents of your Mendeley Desktop account. Where internet speeds are decent enough, it may still be slow if there are a lot of articles in Portable Document Format (PDF) attached to your Mendeley Desktop account. This is because all the PDF documents have to be uploaded and synchronized across all your devices, thereby impacting on the speed and duration of synchronization.

2. Rapid consumption of Internet Service Providers Allocated data during Mendeley Desktop Synchronization

The articles in PDF imported above also impacts on the internet data consumption. Imagine you have numerous PDF articles imported into your Mendeley account, synchronizing this account will also upload those PDF documents into your Mendeley account, and this consumes internet bandwidth.

3. Inadequate Mendeley Storage Space

Mendeley offers a storage space of 2GB to its free personal and Institutional account users (excluding those previously on unlimited storage), although there are premium plans with higher storage spaces available at an extra cost.  In the past, the allocated storage space used to be 1GB. While the free account with 2GB storage space is more than adequate for most average users, if one isn’t pragmatic, he will quickly run out of Mendeley free account storage space and would need to upgrade to a premium account.

I don’t envisage any of the above mentioned issues arising if you follow my simple tweak explained below: 

To ensure fast synchronization of your Mendeley Desktop application, reduce internet bandwidth consumption, and optimize the use of your alloted 2GB storage space, all you need to do is disable uploading and synchronization of attached PDF files imported into Mendeley.

To achieve this, open your Mendeley Desktop application on your PC, click on “All Documents” under the “My Library” list. Click on the “Edit Settings” tab and under “Synchronization Options”, unselect the checkbox “Synchronize attached files”. That’s all. 

You will agree with me that this tweak is invaluable, especially for Mendeley users in countries where internet speed is slow, internet data subscription fees are high and are constrained by funds to upgrade their free Mendeley account to a premium account. With this simple tweak, you can maximize the use of your Mendeley free account without a need for upgrading to a premium account.

Enjoy your free Mendeley account after using this tweak and do not forget to share and like this post, if you find it useful to you or your colleagues. Thanks for taking the time to visit this site and read this guide.

This Post first was originally published on my deprecated blog- EduTechtainMent.com.ng

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