Landmark analysis by Elsevier maps research data as UN Sustainable Development Goals reach fifth anniversary

Report identifies lack of sex and gender dimension across SDG research


Amsterdam, September 23, 2020

Elsevier, a global research publishing and information analytics provider, today published a landmark report on The Power of Research to Advance the SDGs to strengthen the understanding of the global SDG-efforts.

In 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set an ambitious target to achieve a sustainable and fair future for our planet by 2030. With 10 years left to achieve the goals, the global research community continues to be the backbone of this grand challenge with its commitment to finding evidence-based answers for advancing global health and wellbeing, poverty reduction and life expectancy. Research leads the way to change.

Elsevier is committed to sharing its insights in content, data and analytics to help achieve the 2030 goals. The Power of Data to Advance the SDGs shows that over the last five years, SDG-related publications have reached a staggering 4.1 million articles.

This presents both opportunities and challenges for the global research, health and public policy communities. To help them navigate this body of data, so that important decisions can be made based on the rich scientific knowledge, the report maps the latest sustainability research and initiatives within each SDG area with unique, easy-to-digest data and expert insights. The report takes a comprehensive approach to assess the progress made and identify unmet research needs as well as opportunities for concrete action.

The report also highlights the limitations of data and research around the SDGs. It demonstrates a correlation between the areas of intensive research; higher levels of public discourse; and the shortcomings of the siloed nature of the research that has been conducted to date.  Using the new SciVal matching tool methodology, the report highlights unprecedented research from Elsevier’s International Center for the Study of Research, which assesses the first 16 SDGs, revealing a stark absence of sex and gender analysis across all the SDGs research.

Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia, founder of the Gender Summits, and member of Elsevier’s Inclusion & Diversity Board, stresses: “SDG and sustainability research today suffers from gender blindness, and unless this changes, the implementation of SDGs will not achieve the successes it could. All SDGs would benefit from applying a gender perspective when planning implementation strategies for the next 10 years to ensure that the outcomes benefit everyone equally.”

Kumsal Bayazit, CEO of Elsevier, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has shown the critical role science plays in society. We are deeply committed to contributing to this critical global effort, both through actions within our organization and through our unique strengths in quality information, data and analytical tools to help all stakeholders in research, healthcare and public policy make the UN SDGs a reality. I would like to call upon these communities to explore the findings of our SDG report so that, together, we can evolve our understanding of the science and concrete actions needed to advance these mission-critical goals.”

With the help of the new SciVal matching tool methodology, the report highlights gaps in the knowledge base, helping to inform on decisions about future lines of investigation. The research findings are accompanied with research and NGO expert insights in 4 focus areas: Gender, Health, Reducing Inequalities and Climate. The experts take a deep look into what has been achieved thus far on these SDGs and what is still missing to achieve real progress on them.

With this report, Elsevier aims to encourage the research community to make use of these datasets to create their own SDG analytics projects, taking advantage of the full range of Scopus and SciVal features and access to the ICSR Lab.

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Notes for editors
The full methodology documentation of the SDG search queries that informed these projects are freely available on Mendeley.

The findings of the SDG and gender study presented in the report are also available as a preprint on SSRN.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

Media contact
Jonathan Davis
Elsevier Communications, Europe
j.davis.1@elsevier.com
newsroom@elsevier.com