Why write a major reference work article?

What are the advantages of becoming an author for one of these titles and how can you submit your own suggestion?

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Edited and authored by highly regarded experts in their respective fields, handbooks and references are an invaluable source of reliable information on both established and emerging subject areas. But what do you do if you’re completely new to a subject? What if you’re a graduate student, or a researcher working in an area that’s unfamiliar to you? How do you get up to speed quickly? How do you know where to start?

This article first appeared on SciTech Connect – our blog for science and technology book authors, resources and news.

What are Elsevier’s Major Reference Works?  

Elsevier’s Major Reference Works are multi-contributor, multi-volume, Encyclopedia, Treatise, or Comprehensive titles that provide authoritative and accessible definitions and background information on a wealth of subjects supporting, in particular, those engaged in cross-disciplinary work.

Major Reference Works are an incredibly useful resource for today’s researchers, providing a one-stop shop for foundational information on a subject. They are a researcher’s secret weapon, providing the information they need to quickly get up-to-speed.

Why should you write an article for a Major Reference Work?

The pressures on researchers and professionals are ever-increasing. There’s always another grant application to write, or a journal article to research, so why should you take time out to contribute to a Major Reference Work?

Contributing to a Major Reference Work gives you the opportunity to define the landscape for your subject area, providing a baseline level of knowledge that will be referred to, and relied upon, for further research. It’s quite a responsibility, but it’s also absolutely necessary to ensure that new discoveries can be made that allow science to move forward.

Other benefits to you include:

  • Increased visibility and professional standing
  • Greater recognition of you as a leader in the field
  • Enhanced networking opportunities with new colleagues and collaborators
  • Promotion of your work to new audiences
  • Support for your grant and funding applications

So, if you’re asked to write one of these articles, allow yourself a moment of quiet satisfaction. It’s a pretty big deal. Not only are you are being recognized by your peers for your expertise, you are also being asked to contribute to the accepted knowledge of your subject and lay the foundation for generations of your colleagues to follow.

What’s next? Elsevier’s Reference Modules

You’ve contributed an article to a Major Reference Work. Time passes and science moves on, but your article stays the same. How does a colleague or a new graduate who comes across your article, two, three, or even five years after publication know that it is still up-to-date and correct? Enter Elsevier’s Reference Modules.

Elsevier’s Reference Modules are a collection of thousands of encyclopedic and comprehensive articles that are all made available in one place, online on ScienceDirect.

  • Reference Modules have the most complete content available by subject area
  • Students and researchers can easily link to different subject areas
  • Articles are continuously reviewed and updated, and include a date stamp so readers can be sure that an article is up-to-date and reliable

Reference Modules represent the next generation of publishing. Users are able to discover comprehensive, up-to-date content much more quickly and easily than traditional reference books and other online resources allow.

As an author, you’ll benefit from having your research made available online to a large audience as soon as it has been approved by the editors. Crucially, articles can also be updated when necessary so each author can ensure their work remains perpetually relevant and valuable to researchers and scholars in the field.

Do you have any idea for a Major Reference Work or a Reference Module article?

If you have any questions about the proposal process, speak with an Elsevier Major Reference Works Editor in your related field.

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