Science and health journalists face the critical challenge of presenting science in a way that is easily understandable as well as accurate. In many cases, their readership is predominantly non-scientific and not used to reading and interpreting research studies.
A science writer's work, therefore, involves a great deal of "researching the research." These journalists cannot limit themselves to simply rewriting a press release or rewriting the conclusions of the study itself; they must examine the facts, data and findings first-hand to write an objective report that puts in the finding in context, while telling the story in a way that speaks to a broad, lay audience.
Access to the published research is therefore critical to their work.
What is ScienceDirect?
ScienceDirect is Elsevier' full-text database with almost a quarter of the world's peer-reviewed scientific content. It's home to nearly 2,200 journals, 900 serials and 25,000 book titles. Journals include The Lancet, Cell, Current Biology, Biomaterials, Biological Psychiatry, Social Science & Medicine, Cognition, and Behavioural Brain Research).
Free access for journalists
To help them, Elsevier offers credentialed science journalists free access to all Elsevier content published online on ScienceDirect, Elsevier's full-text database of journals and books.
Although the service has been around for many years, we know, from speaking and working with science journalists, that many are unaware of the opportunity. Others do know about it and have a media code but are less familiar with ScienceDirect and are not getting the most out of access.
To help journalists get optimal use out of ScienceDirect, we have created three video tutorials. The videos not only include the basic "getting started" steps, but also tips on how to customize settings in the database to alert users of research papers in a particular field or those that have only just appeared online.
How to get the most out of ScienceDirect
Elsevier's TrainingDesk has created a series of three video tutorials called ScienceDirect for Journalists. The videos were developed by Susannah Beatty-Tucker, Online Training Manager for the TrainingDesk. You can watch them here:
Video 1: Activating your media account
Video 2: Getting Started
Video 3: Staying-up-to-date
If you cannot view these videos, visit the TrainingDesk website:
Elsevier Connect Contributors
Ellen van Gijlswijk is Corporate Relations Project Manager, based in Elsevier's Amsterdam headquarters. She has been active in various marketing, project management and communications roles at Elsevier.
Press Officer Sacha Boucherie works closely with Elsevier's journal publishers, editors and authors at one end, and with science journalists and reporters at the other end, with the aim of spotlighting and promoting interesting, topical research articles. She is based in Amsterdam.
Susannah Beatty-Tucker, Online Training Manager for Elsevier's TrainingDesk, developed the video tutorials.