Database Linking Tool

Connecting data and research articles on ScienceDirect

The Database Linking tool is available for researchers and data repositories as one method to ensure that data that is relevant for scientific, technical and medical research can be easily discovered and accessed.

By creating bidirectional links between data repositories and online articles on ScienceDirect. This provides ScienceDirect's readers with one-click access to relevant, trusted data that may help to validate research or drive further investigations.


Depositing data at a repository

Elsevier encourages authors to deposit raw experimental data at relevant data repositories. Instructions for authors depend on the data repository: in some cases data is extracted from the article by curators, while in other cases authors need to upload their data manually. Detailed information is available with the individual data repositories given in the listing of supported databases.

Supported Data Repositories


How data and articles are linked

There are several ways in which we support interlinking of articles and data:

  • Referencing data in your article through tagging identifiers or accession numbers: If your article contains relevant unique identifiers or accession numbers linking to information on genes, proteins, diseases, etc. or structures deposited in public databases, and you would like your article to link to that data, please identify these entities in the following way:

    database abbreviation: data identifier

    For example, "PDB: 1TUP" to identify the protein with accession number "1TUP" in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Please bear in mind that an error in a letter or number will result in a dead link in the article. Database abbreviations and further examples can be found in the listing of supported databases.

  • Data DOI's: Elsevier supports Data DOI's as persistent identifiers for scientific data. If you include a data DOI in your article, it will automatically turn into a link to your data on ScienceDirect.
  • Linked data repository banners on ScienceDirect: Elsevier collaborates with selected data repositories to show banner links next to relevant articles on ScienceDirect. This linking system requires that the data repository maintains accurate records of associations between articles and data sets. What you need to do as an author to support this type of linking depends on the data repository; see links to more information in the supported databases section.
  • Data visualization and integration applications: In close collaboration with selected data repositories, Elsevier has developed a number of data-integration and visualization applications that are shown next to the article on ScienceDirect, e.g. the Protein Viewer (with PDB), the PANGAEA data visualization tool, and the Genome Viewer (with NCBI). These applications build further on tagged entities or banner links to visualize data and integrate it into the online reading experience.

Benefits for Authors and Readers

Linking helps to make your articles and data better discoverable, attracting more usage. Sharing the data that underpins your conclusions is not only good scientific practice, it is also increasingly required by funding bodies.

Linking provides essential context to data sets for readers, and improves the reproducibility of published research.

More information on Research Data

Database Linking Tool