Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us

How societies and their journals can support the UN SDGs

May 31, 2022

By Luaine Bandounas, PhD

RELX SDG Resource Centre and World Health Day 2022 poster

At Elsevier, we create special issues in support of the UN SDGs — here’s how your journal can participate

To highlight some of the excellent research that is being done to support and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Elsevier has been curating special issues in recognition of UN Global Awareness Days. Each special issue contains freely available journal articles and book chapters focusing on one or more of the SDGs.

In 2015, the UN set out 17 Sustainable Development Goalsopens in new tab/window (SDGs) with the objective to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.” With an ambitious 2030 target deadline, these goals are an urgent call for action for all countries to work together to protect humanity and our planet.

At Elsevier, we have been working on a number of initiatives in support of the SDGs, and we would love your society’s journal to participate in these where appropriate.

Highlighting key research

Elsevier’s 2020 report The Power of Data to Advance the SDGs acknowledged the pivotal role research plays in tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. Being uniquely placed to help disseminate and promote the world’s leading research, we have taken a number of steps to ensure we are contributing to the SDGs. A central part of this has been the our SDG Resource Centreopens in new tab/windowLaunched in 2017 by Elsevier’s parent company, RELXopens in new tab/window, this is a free interactive platform highlighting curated content from across the organization related to the UN’s 17 SDGs. The site features freely available research articles, special issues, news, reports, videos, webinars, podcasts, events, tools and also includes content from our UN partners.

SDG special issues

To highlight some of the excellent research that is being done to support and advance the SDGs, we have been curating special issuesopens in new tab/window to recognize UN Global Awareness Days. Each special issue contains freely available journal articles and book chapters focusing on one of the SDGs. Recent special issues include:

The COP26 special issue proved particularly popular and benefited hugely from a large number of journal articles and book chapters nominated by many of our Editors and Society partners.

Having content hosted on the SDG Resource Centre has many benefits, including:

  • Papers are made freely accessible so that everyone can share and access the research.

  • The journals, the authors and their research receive extra promotional exposure.

  • Papers are widely read and downloaded, which could potentially result in more citations and collaboration opportunities with new research groups.

CHESTopens in new tab/window — the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) — participated in the special issue for International Women’s Day 2022, recognizing that it aligned nicely with the wider objectives of the ACCP.

"Encouraging submissions from women and diverse groups in medicine continues to be a top priority for us. Academia is beginning to shift from its traditionally male-dominated roots as more women step into research and leadership roles, and supporting initiatives around International Women's Day and similar events are integral to keep the focus on inclusivity within research."

Photo of Peter Mazzone


Peter Mazzone, MD, MPH, FCCP

Editor-in-Chief of CHEST

2021 Mental Health special issue for World Mental Health Day

This is the 2021 Mental Health special issue of journal articles and book chapters, created to raise awareness of mental health and research in the field. It was promoted on World Mental Health Day via social media and various email campaigns.

How you can participate

The special issues have included some articles published on behalf of our society partners, such as the American College of Chest Physicians mentioned above. However, with your permission, we would love to include more of these. We invite you to suggest potential content to be included in future and past special issues related to the planned awareness days, which are shown hereopens in new tab/window on the SDG Resource Centre. Articles that typically make a valuable contribution and see high usage include those that are published open access and clearly communicate the link to the SDGs and the societal impact.

We believe passionately in the benefits of this initiative and hope you will join us in helping to meet the vitally important SDGs. For more information, please discuss with your publisher at Elsevier.


Portrait photo of Luaine Bandounas


Luaine Bandounas, PhD

Executive Publisher, Engineering