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SDG Resource Centre sheds light on sustainable development

Interactive platform features multimedia content and research by scientific, legal and business experts

Editor’s note: This month, Elsevier Connect is exploring “how science can build a sustainable future” A milestone is today’s launch of the RELX Group SDG Resource Centre.


Two years ago, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), setting an agenda to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”over the next 15 years.

Today, RELX Group, Elsevier’s parent company is launching the SDG Resource Centre: a free, interactive education platform curating content related to sustainability research. The Resource Centre houses articles, videos, interviews, webinars and discussion groups on science, law, business and events sourced from RELX Group’s different businesses, including Elsevier, as well as key partners. Content is grouped according to the SDGs it addresses.

“Businesses can make a real difference by harnessing their expertise to advance the SDGs,” said Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group. “This is our aim with the SDG Resource Centre.”

RELX is an early signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), in which businesses use the SDGs to chart their participation in achieving these goals.

Through this resource, RELX aims to support the UN in implementing the SDGs by promoting understanding and collaboration among governments, universities, researchers, companies, NGOs and others.

At Elsevier, we are pleased to be able to make unique contributions to sustainable development, from our rich research content and analytics capabilities to building research capacity in developing countries and advancing diversity in science in partnership with our global research and health communities.

Insight from the research community

Luaine Bandounas, PhDElsevier has committed to making 100 journal articles freely available each year for the next two years for the SDG Resource Centre. To identify the most relevant content, a special SDG Scientific Advisory Council was established, with members from academia, government, NGOs and industry. Using Mendeley, the council members will suggest and discuss papers that are likely to influence policy or help facilitate SDG implementation.

“We publish a lot of high-quality and high-impact content in our journals that is extremely relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said advisory council lead Dr. Luaine Bandounas, Senior Publisher for Elsevier’s Built Environment journals portfolio. “And our Scientific Advisory Council plays an important role in identifying some of the most relevant and interesting papers we feel should be highlighted with the regards to the SDGs.”

Data to explore the field of sustainability science

As an information analytics provider, we have published various reports related to sustainability science, which are all available to download in this Resource Centre. They include:

A forum for discussion

Sophie de KoningThe SDG Resource Centre aims to foster conversation about SDG solutions. There is a Mendeley discussion group for each SDG, which everyone is welcome to join. You can use these groups to connect with people working in your field, make new connections, stay up to date with research, share your insights, and help find answers to the challenges the SDGs address.

Mendeley is a tool for reference management and an online platform with social networking features to support dialogue and understanding. It’s free and open to everyone. To join Mendeley groups, sign up at Mendeley.com and create a Mendeley profile. Once you are logged in, you can access the groups you are interested in by clicking on the ‘Join the discussion’ button on the left-hand side of each SDG page. There are 17 groups in total – one for every SDG.

"Mendeley is a freely accessible platform where everybody interested in the sustainable development goals can enter the discussion," said Community Manager Sophie de Koning. "The Mendeley groups provide an open environment and encourage interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. This adds a valuable dimension to the resource centre and its rich content."

What's next?

The SDG Resource Centre will continue to be updated. At Elsevier, for example, we are inviting leading experts to write perspective papers related to each of the SDGs. A special Advisory Board was established to define priority themes and questions and propose lead authors, with a special focus on boosting North-South collaboration. Through these papers, we hope to support decision-making in sustainable development by catalyzing debate between academics, practitioners, policymakers and industry.

“This project is extremely important in building a highly impactful body of scientific knowledge that supports sustainable development,” said Dr. Philippe Terheggen, Managing Director of STM Journals at Elsevier. “It addresses some of the key findings of our report, Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape, such as interdisciplinary nature of research, North-South and South-South collaboration and diversity.”

How science can build a sustainable future

This month, we are exploring “how science can build a sustainable future.”  At Elsevier, we support sustainability science throughout our business, bringing sustainability research to a wider audience, for example, and providing information and analytics that shed light on sustainability research to help inform policy.

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