Increasing Accessibility to Your Books with ScienceDirect Topics

sciencedirect topics

We’re excited to report that ScienceDirect Topics, Elsevier’s innovative – and free – new enhancement, has been launched.  ScienceDirect Topics further expands our efforts to make your books more accessible through improved discoverability. Some current search technologies only skim the surface, directing researchers from journal article to journal article without pointing them to the profound and comprehensive understanding that books can provide. ScienceDirect Topics has changed all that, making science that was once estranged by discipline and format both connected and discoverable to a wider audience. It brings the critical contextual information contained in your books to researchers and academics, resulting in a new depth and quality to their understanding. You now have many more opportunities for your books to be found and used by the right mind at the right time!

  • Using smart technology, innovative algorithms for information extraction and relevancy ranking and natural language processing, some of the overwhelming and disjointed characteristics of the research workflow have been eliminated.
  • Hyperlinked key terms in journal articles offer instant access to relevant book and reference content right when and where it’s needed in the research process through new topic pages.
  • The topic pages offer a valuable overview of a topic with definitions and snippets, all taken from Elsevier book content.
  • Readers can easily click through to book chapters for deeper topic research.
  • Topic pages are also indexed via search engines such as Google offering even more book discoverability.

Valuable information formerly locked or hidden from discovery is now front and center when a search is undertaken, creating an interactive, seamless and convenient reading experience. With links to definitions, snippets and chapters from your books, topic pages help the research and academic communities better understand what they are reading, get up to speed quickly on new topics in their own or other disciplines, and streamline their workflow to generate more efficient and successful outcomes.

Advanced Technology + Essential Book Content = A Game-Changing Research Process

Building ScienceDirect Topics involved the collaboration of 106 individuals from nine different Elsevier teams. You partnered with us in creating this enhancement as well, with authors and editors providing input during user testing. Throughout the development process, we measured quality in every round, collecting feedback from subject matter experts and making iterative enhancements that ultimately produced the high-quality topic pages we wanted. Tens of thousands of topic pages are already increasing exposure to your books with definitions, snippets and related terms.

The technology employed in ScienceDirect Topics uncovers masked demand, demonstrating that library patrons need a mix of resources – books, reference works and journals – to successfully conduct research, teach or master their coursework. It anticipates relevant key topics that act as bridges between journal articles and the credible, interdisciplinary contextual literature found in books. Wherever they are in their scientific careers, students, educators and new or seasoned researchers face situations that require valuable ancillary information at certain points in their workflows. They can use your book content unearthed by ScienceDirect Topics in multiple ways: to remain current in their field, research a new subject, explore interdisciplinary work, write grants and articles, and design experiments.

ScienceDirect Topics Reveals the Value of Books

ScienceDirect Topics also enables librarians to set their users on a better path to discovery. Traditional search workflows have stifled the efforts of librarians to guide researchers to necessary contextual but authoritative sources, especially the fundamental, extensive knowledge and context provided by books. ScienceDirect Topics now ensures librarians have the most complete picture of researchers’ needs to make the right choices for their collections. With books being surfaced when and where they’re needed, librarians are able to make purchasing decisions based on the true demand for book content. ScienceDirect Topics illuminates the value of your books, and the benefits of co-usage with journals, like never before.

Prototype Generated Positive Response to a Powerful Enhancement

In testing a prototype of ScienceDirect Topics from October 2015 through June 2017 with our neuroscience literature, we grew traffic from a couple thousand hits per month to nearly half a million users per month. For many topic pages, we reached the first page in Google’s search results, and in some cases were selected for placement in the Google Knowledge Block as the highlighted page for people interested in a topic. Survey data of some 7,000 users indicated that ScienceDirect Topics is a powerful, well-received service that pairs readers with highly relevant book content. Users in every career stage, from undergraduates to department heads, were able to access the topic pages for a multitude of purposes.

By pulling content from a broad range of books to connect the dots between ideas, we are facilitating cognitive leaps to move discoveries forward.  Watch for further updates as usage of ScienceDirect Topics grows. We hope you are as excited as we are about this effort to reveal your book content in a whole new way!

For more information about ScienceDirect Topics visit or explore the below sample links:

  1. Benzoylecgonine
  2. Sanger Sequencing
  3. Reticular Activating System
  4. Squamous Epithelial Cell
  5. Hyperreflexia

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