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Access for Editors

Register for complimentary access to ScienceDirect

As an Editor or Editorial Board Member of an Elsevier journal, you may be eligible for complimentary access to ScienceDirect via an Ambassador Account. Your Elsevier Publishing Editor will provide a registration ID and password or an activation code.

Note:If you have an existing ScienceDirect profile, you will be able to associate that profile with your new ScienceDirect account only if you use the correctpage:

  • Go to the registration page to use a registration ID or the activation page to use an activation code.
  • Enter your registration ID and password. If you cut and paste, be sure not to include any blank spaces or formatting characters.
  • If you have an existing ScienceDirect profile, you will be asked to associate this to your Ambassador Account. Once the association has taken place, you can continue to use ScienceDirect.
  • If you are a new ScienceDirect user, you will be asked to complete the registration form.
  • Your username will be automatically generated based on your first and last name. You can select your own password.
  • Once registered, click My Settings to change your password, modify your registration details or make changes to your personal journal list or alerts.

For more information, please visit the Elsevier Editors' Home.

Rights and Permissions

If your reuse of Elsevier content is not permitted under the terms of your purchasing agreement, you can obtain permission on Science Direct via RightsLink or by contacting Elsevier's Global Rights Department.

When is permission required?

As a general rule, seek permission to reproduce any substantial part of a copyrighted work. This includes text, illustrations, charts, tables, photographs, or other material from previously published sources used without significant adaptation. Determining what is a "substantial part"is subjective, and depends on the significance of the material and the quantity of material used. Please note as well that sources of all data must be credited, whether or not permission is required.

Types of reuse that require permission include:

  • In a book, textbook, journal, magazine, thesis, dissertation, TV program, documentary, movie, or application
  • In a different format (CD-ROM or DVD)
  • In a newspaper or newsletter
  • In conference, classroom or training materials, including continuing medical education (CME)
  • Desktop delivery, electronic printing, or posting or other use on a website
  • In a government report
  • In a poster, presentation, slide kit, promotional material or pamphlet
  • Photocopies or reprints

Obtaining permission via RightsLink®

Elsevier recommends requesting reuse  permission using the Rightslink® automated service for its ease of use and 24/7 availability. To use RightsLink for ScienceDirect content, see Obtaining Permission to Reuse Elsevier Material.

For more information, contact Elsevier's Permissions Helpdesk, or (+1) 800-523-4069 x 3808.

Learn more

Permission-Seeking Guidelines for Elsevier Authors

Author Rights (for reusing and posting their own articles)

Access Methods

Access to ScienceDirect for individuals

Reading is a big part of your life. Whether you're conducting research, preparing to write or teach, or needing to read for your studies, you spend a lot of your time searching for and reading articles and books. So we understand how important access to scholarly literature is to you.

At ScienceDirect, we aim to make access to the full-text articles and books you need to advance your work as smooth as possible. Whether you are at an academic institution, research institute, hospital, business or government agency, we work with your library or information staff to make access to ScienceDirect possible. Access to ScienceDirect can take many forms. For example, you may have access only from within your organization's physical location. Or you may also have one or more remote access options available to you, which are typically indicated on the ScienceDirect platform itself.

If you have questions about how best to access ScienceDirect, we recommend you check directly with your library or information professional team. They'll give you advice according to how access has been set up for your organization.

Other ways for individuals to access content on ScienceDirect:

  • ScienceDirect offers a growing amount of open access and complimentary material for anyone to access and read
  • Individuals can order articles to be delivered in electronic or print format via pay-per-view, a credit card-based article purchasing option
  • On the Elsevier Store, you can order online or print subscriptions to many of our journals and books, as well as purchase article packages
  • Guest user access means you can access and read all abstracts and citations on ScienceDirect for free; you can even sign in on ScienceDirect to set up alerts and manage preference
Stay up-to-date when you're on the go
Articles that are hard-to-read on your mobile device are a thing of the past. Become a registered ScienceDirect user  and truly enjoy reading articles on your iOS or Android device. Click here to see a better mobile article for yourself.
Attention authors: Share your newest journal article with colleagues and get noticed
Share Link is a service that provides free access to your newly-published article on ScienceDirect for 50 days. You'll receive a customized link to your article, making it ideal for sharing with colleagues via email and your social networks.

Providing users with access to ScienceDirect for librarians & information professionals

Access to ScienceDirect relies upon Internet Protocol (IP) address authentication. The setup process is straightforward: You provide your organization's Internet Protocol (IP) address range(s) to Elsevier, and then we configure and activate your account.

If you wish to grant your users, or a group of users, access to ScienceDirect from outside your physical location, then you have several remote access options to choose from, some of which we can help you enable:

  • Extended access session (a.k.a., anonymous remote access)
  • Federated authentication through SAML (i.e., Shibboleth, OpenAthens, Enterprise SSO)
  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Secure proxy server
  • Self-managed remote access
  • Secure login link on your website (e.g., library portal) via a Ticketed URL link
  • Registration IDs provided by Elsevier
  • Registration IDs issued by librarian via Elsevier's Admin Tool

Remote access allows your users to securely access all of your subscribed ScienceDirect content whenever they are working from home, while traveling or from any other Internet location. We've summarized the different remote access methods in the table below to help you decide the best option(s) that you can offer your patrons.

Let your users know about access to ScienceDirect
Use the Promoting ScienceDirect Toolkit  to inform your patrons about access provided through your library.

Remote Access Options

Elsevier supports a range of options for your users to have secure remote access to your organization's subscribed ScienceDirect content. We recommend that you appoint one or more administrators who can manage some of these methods using the Elsevier Admin Tool.

Remote access method Best choice for... Requires setup by librarian? Contact Elsevier Customer Service? Basic overview How does the user access the product?
Extended access session (anonymous remote access) Academic institutions. No No*

The user experiences continued access for up to 48 hours after leaving the institution's IP address range(s) as long as: 

  • The user works from the same device and browser
  • Cookies  are enabled

*Contact Elsevier Customer Service  if you want this feature turned off for your institution.


Federated authentication through SAML:

  • Shibboleth
  • OpenAthens
  • Enterprise SSO

Member institutions of access management federations; organizations with a SAML-enabled identity infrastructure; organizations using OpenAthens by Eduserv.

Yes Yes

Secure remote access for users is inherent in these open source solutions, and you have the flexibility to define and limit access if desired.

Provides a high level of protection of identity and personal details of your users.

  • Shibboleth (federated identity solution) membership information is available at 
  • OpenAthens (a large Shibboleth community) information is available at
  • A listing of access management federations around the world is available at
  • Find a listing of federations that Elsevier participates in on ScienceDirect (click the arrow next to the box labeled "Select your group or region")
On ScienceDirect or directly through your library portal.
Virtual private network (VPN) Providing all authorized users secure remote access through your organization's VPN. Yes No Support for a VPN is provided by your organization's IT department (or equivalent).

Logs into your intranet via the VPN and then opens ScienceDirect.

Secure proxy server Organizations wishing to use a specialist intermediary (such as EZProxy) to authenticate users and provide secure remote access to authorized users. Yes No

Only your IT department (or equivalent) can provide operational support for your secure proxy server.

Important to note: We advise against web proxies as these are shared IP addresses that are not unique to your organization; therefore web proxies are not secure and cannot be used to authenticate access to Elsevier products.

Through your library portal and as directed by you.

Self-managed remote access Academic institutions that do not have another secure remote access method in place; or do not have the ability or desire to generate and support Registration IDs; or want to offer authorized users a method of enabling secure remote access on their own. No Yes

The most "barrier-free" method we support. Currently available only for Academic customers.

This option relies on institutional email domain(s) that you supply to us.

You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2).

On ScienceDirect via a "Remote access" link; user may be required to select a "self-managed remote access" department; setup is done just once.

Registration IDs via Elsevier:

User name/password activated with a registration key

Providing secure remote access to a defined group of authorized users with setup support from Elsevier Customer Service.

No Yes

Each authorized individual user receives a registration ID and password sent via email from Elsevier Customer Service.

Registration IDs may have an end date for user access, which you specify.

You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2).

On ScienceDirect via the "Sign in" link.

Registration IDs via Admin Tool:

User name/password issued by librarian through Admin Tool

Providing secure remote access to a defined group of authorized users on your own.

Yes No

You or an assigned administrator can configure and manage secure remote access for either individuals or groups (departments) using Elsevier's Admin Tool.

Each authorized user receives a registration ID and password sent via email.

Registration IDs may have an end date for user access, which you specify.

You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2).

On ScienceDirect via the "Sign in" link.
Secure login link on your website (e.g., library portal) via a Ticketed URL link

Organizations wanting to provide all authorized users secure remote access free from dependencies on external organizations or IP address authentication.

Yes Yes Elsevier generates an identifier (Ticketed URL Origin ID) that you code into your intranet or library website. Requires coding proficiency, i.e., it cannot be done as a simple cut-and-paste task. Through your library portal or other secure website from any internet location.

Remote access message to users

You can display a pop-up message to your users about remote access to ScienceDirect. Use the Elsevier Admin Tool  to enter the text you wish to display and then contact Elsevier Customer Service  to activate the message. Here's a sample:

You are outside the University of N's network. Please contact <name@libraryemail> for remote access instructions.

Walk-in access
The ScienceDirect agreement includes the ability for libraries to offer walk-in access to patrons for the purposes of personal research, education or non-corporate use. Walk-in access is at the discretion of your library.


For more information about any of the access methods to ScienceDirect described above or for help with access issues, please contact Elsevier Customer Service.

Open Access

Open Access Content

  • ScienceDirect hosts a growing number of open access journals. There are no subscription charges for these journals, and all articles are available to anyone with an Internet connection. You can find open access journals on ScienceDirect in the Open Access Journal Directory and read more about publishing in Elsevier Open Access Journals.
  • The majority of Elsevier subscription journals also offer the option for authors to publish individual articles as open access. You can easily find all Publications with Open Access Articles on ScienceDirect and read more about publishing open access articles.

Complimentary Access

  • Open Archives gives free access to archived material. For details please see the list of Free Access Titles.
  • Content items such as announcements, calendars, contents lists, editorial board listings, publisher's notes, personal reports and front matter of all book types are always free, and some journals offer the first issue of a year as a free sample copy.
  • Elsevier participates in a number of access initiatives to give researchers in developing countries or patients access to vital information.

For more information please also consult the Elsevier Open Access Policies and follow the open access related posts on Elsevier Connect.

Here are some other ways to find open access content on ScienceDirect:

1. Find a list of open access journals

From the ScienceDirect homepage, navigate to a list of open access journals by clicking "Open Access Journal Directory". You can also bookmark

2. Find a list of all journals that have open access articles

In addition to publishing open access journals, we give authors the option to publish open access articles in over 1,600 of our established journals. Find a list of these journals by clicking "View all publications with Open Access articles" on the ScienceDirect homepage.

From that list, you can limit your results to open access journals or journals that contain open access articles by selecting the appropriate checkbox.

3. Find open access articles relevant to your search terms

When you search for articles on ScienceDirect, look for the "Open Access" label in your search results.

4. Search only for open access articles

If you would prefer to see filtered results that show only open access articles, use the advanced search and tick the Open Access checkbox.

5. Find out if the article you are reading is open access

If you are reading an Elsevier-published article online, look for the orange "Open Access" label under the title and author information. To find out how to reuse an open access article, look at the footnote at the end of the article for details on the Creative Commons license selected by the author.

6. Find open access articles in a particular journal

Elsevier has over 1,600 journals that publish both open access and subscription articles. Look under the journal's title to see if it is either open access or supports open access.

For journals that support open access, click the open access article link on the left sidebar to navigate to its open access articles.