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Mendeley Android SDK

Version: Alpha-2

Important note: this is an early pre-release version, and is subject to change.

About the SDK

The SDK provides a convenient library for accessing the Mendeley API from Android applications.

Minimum requirements

Android Studio (or another Gradle-based development environment)

Android version: API level 14 (Android 4.0, ICS)

Java version: 1.7

Getting started

Create a Mendeley app

First thing you'll need to do is to create the credentials of a Mendely app. The SDK will use these to let the Mendeley server identify your app.

You can do so by creating a new app in the Mendeley Applications page

For creating Android apps, you will only need the client secret and id. The redirect URL won't be used.

Try the example app

A sample app is provided, which illustrates basic use of the library. To try it, clone the Mendeley SDK repository:

git clone

Setup the Android Studio project by importing the build.gradle file in the directory cloned.

This should create two modules:

  • :library, the library of the SDK itself
  • :example, the example app

Configuration of the example app

Before running the example app you need to configure it to use the credentials you created before.

To do so:

  1. Copy the file /example/src/main/assets/ to /example/src/main/assets/
  2. Paste the app id and secret in the file

Using the library

Import the Mendeley SDK library to your project

Unfortunately, the library is not yet available in a public Maven repository. Hence, you will need to clone the repository and import the module. To do so:

  1. If you have not done it yet, clone the repository:
git clone
  1. In Android Studio, while you have your project opened, do File -> New -> Import Module
  2. In the dialog, in the Source directory field, point to the [DIRECTORY_OF_THE_MENDELEY_REPO]/library directory. Leave the Module name field with its default value or change it if you prefer.
  3. In the build.gradle file of your app, include the dependency to the library module:
dependencies {
    compile project(path:': library', configuration:'productionRelease')

This will copy the source code of the Mendeley SDK into your app under a directory named as the imported module. If you don't like this, alternativety you can edit the settings.gradle file of your project to import the module using its path in your development machine. With this approach you'll avoid checking the source code of the Mendeley SDK in your VCS, but you will be creating a dependency of your app to another directory in the file system.

Anyway, this is just temporary and we will be publising the Mendeley SDK library in a public Maven repository soon.

Also, you need to provide your app with persmissions to access the Internet by including the following declaraion in the AndroidManifest.xml

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

Initialization of the SDK

You first need to initialize the SDK so that it knows your app id and secret to obtain the OAuth access token needed to query the API.

You sould do this in the onCreate method of your Application or main Activity.

public void onCreate() {
    Mendeley.getInstance().init(this, [YOUR_CLIENT_ID], [YOUR_CLIENT_SECRET]);

Signing the user in and out

To sign the user in into Mendeley you can start the signing process from any Activity with Mendeley#signIn(Activity activity, boolean showSignUpScreen);

To ensure the user is signed in when using your app, you may want to check whether this is true or not in onResume and proceed accordingly.

public void onResume() {
    if (!Mendeley.getInstance().isSignedIn()) {
       Mendeley.getInstance().signIn(this, true);

This will start the sign in flow, which will consist in the SDK opening an Activity letting the user enter their username and password. Once this process finishes, the SDK will pass the outcome to the Activity that started the flow by calling Activity#onActivityResult().

You need to implement Activity#onActivityResult() so that it will pass the result to the SDK along with a com.mendeley.sdk.Mendeley.SignInCallback. Your code will eventually get the outcome of the process in the callback.

Mendeley.SignInCallback signInCallback = new Mendeley.SignInCallback() {
    public void onSignedIn() {
      // success
    public void onSignInFailure() {
      // fail
protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
    if (Mendeley.getInstance().onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data, signInCallback)) {


You can sign the user out at any time with


Performing requests against the Mendeley API

The SDK is fully object oriented and HTTP requests are performed by executing the run() method of com.mendeley.sdk.Request objects.

The requests will query the server, parse the JSON returned by the server and give you a model representing profiles, documents or other classes from the com.mendeley.sdk.model package

The esiest way to obtain a com.mendeley.sdk.Request object is to use the RequestsFactory returned by Mendeley.getInstance().getRequestsFactory()

For example, if you want to obtain a Request to query the Profile of the currently logged user, do so with

Request<Profile> req = Mendeley.getInstance().getRequestsFactory().newGetMyProfileRequest() 

It is also possible to directly instantiate the Request using the new operator if you prefer.

Asynchronous requests

Running requests perform network IO, so you need to execute them in a background thread.

You can do this by calling the Request#runAsync() method passing one Request.RequestCallback to get the outcome of the request.

This will automatically run the request in an AsyncTask and will call the passed callback in the UI thread once it finished.

Request<Profile> req = Mendeley.getInstance().getRequestFactory().newGetMyProfileRequest();
req.runAsync(new Request.RequestCallback<Profile>() {
    public void onSuccess(Profile profile, Uri next, Date serverDate) {

     public void onFailure(MendeleyException mendeleyException) {

     public void onCancelled() {

The method Request#runAsync() is overloaded, letting you pass a custom Executor if you want to run the Request in a thread different than the default used by AsyncTasks.

Synchronous requests

If you need more control over the threading aspects when running your requests, you may want to run them in a synchronous way so that they will run and block the calling thread. This may be useful if you want to run them from a custom Loader, IntentService, Executor or any other threading mechanism.

To do this simply:

Request<Profile> req = Mendeley.getInstance().getRequestFactory().newGetMyProfileRequest();
try {
    Response<Profile> response =;
    Profile profile = response.resource;
} catch (MendeleyException e) {

Advance use of the SDK

Avoiding the Mendeley singleton

You may not like the idea of using the Mendeley.getInstance() method if you want to avoid singletons and use any dependency injection mechanism instead to make you classes easier to test.

In that case, you can completely forget the Mendeley singleton and direcly instantiate one implementation of RequestsFactory by your own and inject it to your classes.

We recomend that you use the two following classes:

  • com.mendeley.sdk.Mendeley.SharedPreferencesAuthTokenManager as an implementation of a mechanism that persists the OAuth token in shared preferences
  • com.mendeley.sdk.Mendeley.RequestsFactoryImpl as an implemetation of a factory of requests.

We recommend you to read the code in com.mendeley.sdk.Mendeley, and surely you'll find your way.

Implementing custom requests

The SDK provides implementation for typical requests against the Mendeley API.

If you need to implement any verb or request against any endpoint not covered yet, you can implement your own by extending the com.mendeley.sdk.Request class. You may actually extend from the com.mendeley.sdk.Request.request.HttpUrlConnectionAuthorizedRequest hierarchy as you'll have most of the work already done.

Also, we accept pull requests.



You can also open a bug in GitHub if you find any issue.

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