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ScienceDirect (Elsevier)

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2019 10:13 AM

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Elsevier is the largest sci-tech publisher in the world with approximately 1,800 scholarly journals as well as major reference works and other e-books. Coverage focuses on science and medicine, with some coverage of social sciences and humanities (particularly management, economics, psychology, and linguistics.) One can search for a specific article, browse specific journals, or search content across all titles in the collection.

Full-text articles from nearly every Elsevier journal typically back to 1995 and selected online books and reference works are available in both facsimile and hypertext formats. Articles and table of contents listings prior to 1995 are available for searching, but usually there is no direct online access to the full-text. Likewise, all online books and reference works are searchable, but full-text is available only for content the University Libraries has purchased. Use our free Delivery+ document service to quickly get an electronic scan of older materials or any other inaccessible full-text. . 

Despite the abundance of full-text content, searchers should be cautious about using ScienceDirect as their sole information source since it covers only a single, how be it, giant publisher.  Multi-disciplinary database like Web of Science or SciFinder and appropriate discipline-specific databases like Compendex in engineering should also be searched. However, ScienceDirect has the virtue of searching the full-text of articles, something multi-publisher databases seldom provide. 

Searching Tips: The default search screen provides limited, simple query search boxes.  The Advanced Search query screen is recommended for all but the simplest search needs. Scholars can craft a much more targeted query using Advanced Search. See the detailed Help for information on all aspects of the ScienceDirect platform including searching. A number of excellent online tutorials are also available.

Using the Advanced Search page and links there, a searcher has many options and features available including:

  • Limit by date
  • Search for only subscribed (available full-text content as well as craft a much more targeted query.  
  • Browse journal titles by broad discipline grouping or alphabetically by title.
  • Search by keyword combinations for authors, and/or words in article titles, abstracts, or full-text.
  • Use the "personal Log-in" feature to create a free personal account. This allows you to customize your Elsevier journal list, request weekly mailings of selected tables of contents as new issues are published, and/or save previous searched and receive automatic updates. Using this feature SUNY Students, faculty and staff can also create e-mail Search Alerts.

Dates Covered

Typically 1995 to the present.

Print Counterpart

Some titles in ScienceDirect may also be owned in print by the UB Libraries. Print holdings can be found in the UB Libraries Catalog. However, most of these holdings will be in the Library Annex so Delivery+ is the fastest and easiest way to get any article whose full-text is not available in ScienceDirect.

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Amanda McCormick
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