At its most basic level, Mendeley is a citation management tool, but it can also help with other aspects of research, such as:
The basic Mendeley account is free. To get the most out of Mendeley, it’s best to use both the web (browser-based) application and the desktop application.
Go to Mendeley.com and fill out the "Create a Mendeley account" form.
The free account gives you 2GB of space and 100MB of private group storage. You can create 1 private group with a maximum of 3 users per group. Paid options allow you to increase these limits.
Once you set up your account you can add details about yourself to your profile to help you connect with colleagues through Mendeley. You can also mark publications you have written and Mendeley will track the page view and download statistics on those articles for you.
Although Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web look similar, there are some feature differences that dictate how you will use each one.
Mendeley Desktop is best for storing, editing, and viewing PDFs on your computer and automatically creating citation data from the PDFs.
Mendeley Web gives you access to your saved research on the go and collect citations while browsing online databases. Mendeley Web also lets you access its crowd-source research catalog, the Papers collection.
Special thanks to the Librarians at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for allowing me to use their Mendeley LibGuide (and much of their content) as a template for this one.