Mendeley and Dropbox



A little while ago I finally hit the 500 MB free storage limit of Mendeley, which isn’t surprising considering how I go about collecting research papers. Whenever I come across an article that looks like it might be mildly interesting / vaguely related to my work I copy it into a folder that Mendeley watches and that’s it. I have hundreds of papers that I’ve never looked at (and possibly never will). When I’m working on a project or article, I simply type the relevant keywords into Mendeley and it shows me all the papers I that might be useful to me. I know that this probably isn’t the best way to go about it (e.g. what about the serendipitous papers that I’d never find because I’m not actually looking for them i.e. relevance that I don’t know about?).

Anyway, when I hit the limit I thought I was finally going to have to do some tidying of my folder, until I realised that I could use Dropbox to store the PDFs and just tell Mendeley to watch that folder in Dropbox instead. Dropbox does a better job of keeping my articles synced across all of my devices (I don’t think Mendeley was designed to keep papers synced across multiple computers) and I can use Dropbox on my Android phone (Mendeley is still only available on the iPhone).

2 thoughts on “Mendeley and Dropbox”

  1. Thanks for the comment. I noticed the duplication across devices when both clients were syncing at once, although it took me a while to figure out what was going on. I didn’t see any mention of syncing across devices on the site, and so made the assumption that it wasn’t designed for that. Maybe I should rather clean out my folder and get rid of miscellaneous papers that I’ll never read anyway. I thought that this would be a solution that needed less work on my part. Thanks for pointing out Droideley 🙂

  2. Be particularly careful about keeping your watch folder off Dropbox, because if both Mendeley clients see a change at once, replicated through Dropbox, you can easily end up with duplicate paper craziness. Because Mendeley is designed to keep papers sync’d across all platforms, adding another layer of sync via Dropbox really isn’t the best solution, although it is cheaper. I’m with you on the Android client, though. I wish we had a good client, too, but for now there’s a third-party app called Droideley which seems to be coming along:

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