How it works

We built the Mendeley API to feel familiar and be easy-to-use. Using REST principles, formatting data as JSON, securing connections with HTTPS and authorizing access with OAuth 2.0 makes an API that is quick and simple to get started with.


Mendeley's API is a RESTful API promoting the manipulation of resources using predictable URLs. Individual resource records are located using the base URL, the resource type and a persistent identifier, such as{id} The base URL for all API requests shown in the documentation is:

The HTTP request's method determines the operation on the resource: GET fetches a resource; POST creates a new resource; PATCH updates an existing resource and DELETE removes a resource.

To learn more about about REST, see Representational state transfer


API response data is delivered in JSON format. JSON data is easily read by humans and computers. JSON parsers are available for almost all commonly used languages and many languages include built-in JSON parsers. To learn more about JSON visit


All API requests must be sent using TLS/SSL connections. Connections attempted with plain HTTP are refused.

OAuth 2.0

OAuth 2.0 is used to authenticate and authorize all Mendeley API requests. OAuth is a widely adopted, open protocol for users to delegate authorization. The API's OAuth service provides three authorization flows: Authorization Code and Implicit to access user's data and Client Credentials if you only need access to the read-only Catalog. See Authorization for further information about OAuth support in the API.


The Mendeley API supports CORS enabling you to make requests direct from Javascript. See CORS for further information about CORS support in the API.

Principal Mendeley Resources

Mendeley's API gives the developer access to the data visible in the desktop and mobile applications. Using the REST principles, each resource is identified by a URL path. There are many types of data available to you but the principal resources include:

User Documents created by Mendeley users and assigned to either Libraries or Groups
Catalog Documents from Mendeley’s crowdsourced collection of papers
File attachments associated with User Documents
Collaborative users form a group for sharing documents and ideas
Users mark up and comment in documents and files using annotations

See API Objects for more information on the on the principal resources and the API Reference for the entire range of resources available to you as a developer.