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ScienceDirect book purchasing options

ScienceDirect offers a variety of book purchasing and access options designed for libraries and information resource centers, as well as purchase options for individuals. Scroll through or click the links above to learn more about our options.

Access-only (electronic)

Since patrons may not know beforehand which materials they will require, access-only purchases deliver a large set of titles to let your library’s users follow the information to wherever it leads.

  • All-Access & Focus Collections  

  • College Edition

  • Corporate Edition

  • Reference Collections (access only)

All-Access & Focus Collections


  • Access to all years of content available on ScienceDirect from our earliest titles published more than 100 years ago to the newest frontlist titles

  • Full coverage across all book content types, including monographs, textbooks, major reference works, serials and handbooks

  • Reference content across all subject areas to increase the freedom and flexibility of researchers and students to explore interdisciplinary sciences

Focus Collections 

  • 19 different subject areas

  • Full coverage across all book content types, including monographs, textbooks, major reference works, serials and handbooks – curated by subject

College Edition

Provides smaller academic institutions and secondary (high) schools with affordable access to dedicated subject book packages. College Edition comprises the same content as Corporate Edition but is split into three major subject areas: Physical Sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences and Health & Life Sciences.

Corporate Edition

Specifically designed for research and development groups working in industry and the for-profit sector. Provides access to most digital book content (e.g., major reference works, book series, handbooks, monographs) currently on ScienceDirect dating back to 1995. Exceptions: Methods in Enzymology, xPharm: The Comprehensive Pharmacology Reference, Health Sciences titles and textbooks.

Reference Collections (access only)

Reference Collections combine thousands of articles from major reference works into interdisciplinary collections available digital-only on ScienceDirect. Speak with your Elsevier Account Manager or contact our Sales team for details.

Patron-driven acquisitions

Elsevier’s patron-driven models let you purchase content according to the interests of your patrons. ScienceDirect includes tools that measure usage data, which you can then use to make acquisition decisions. Up-front fees are applied to the purchase price.

We offer three acquisition models:

  • Evidence-based Selection

  • Freedom Collection Books

  • Reference Collections Access Plus

Evidence-based Selection

Evidence-based Selection is a highly customized option that lets you try out titles before you purchase.

  • Includes one year of access to your selected titles for a minimal up-front fee.

  • At year’s end, choose the titles you wish to purchase based on detailed usage reports.

  • This approach is designed to replace the need to poll (or survey) patrons individually about their needs.

Freedom Collection Books

Some libraries need the widest possible range of titles. With Freedom Collection Books, your patrons have immediate access to the current year’s Books on ScienceDirect as these are published, plus four years of previously published titles.

  • Annual renewal price is predictable and includes access to all five years of titles from the first subscription year plus new titles published in each year that you renew.

  • At the end of each year, choose titles based on actual usage and keep them forever (perpetual access).

  • Option to add Backlist titles from 2011 to pre-2007 to your subscription agreement.

Reference Collections Access Plus

Includes the most relevant and current research, selected and kept up-to-date by an expert panel of research peers.

  • Choose from up to five curated Reference Collections and get access to all archived titles along with any updates and new articles to these works as they publish.

  • Subscribe at an access-only level or choose a level that permits conversion to perpetual access.

  • Under perpetual conversion, your renewal fee can used to purchase physical reference books to add to your collection in perpetuity.

Perpetual access collections

Perpetual Access Collections include a large number of titles in specific subject areas. Titles from each collection purchased are yours forever. Sold for a one-time fee, this option allows you to build a lasting collection in the subject areas specific to your users’ needs.

  • Annual Frontlist Collections

  • Backlist & Legacy Collections

  • Pick-and-Choose (includes textbooks)

  • Major Reference Works

For details about titles in these collections, please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or our Sales team.

Serials Collections: Book Series and Handbook Series

The subscription models for Book Series and Handbook Series are similar to our journals (serials) offerings.

Current subscription

You will receive perpetual access for the current year and 4 years back, with content added each new subscription year. This is available at the Book Series or Handbook Series level as well as in subject based Book Series Collections.

Book backfiles

Elsevier supports libraries that want to build a comprehensive archive of book series and handbooks by offering perpetual Backfile packages for a one-time fee.

Chapter-level purchasing

Sometimes your patrons need access to only one or a few chapters from a title. We have purchasing options to support them.

Options for individuals

Purchases using either option below are with credit card. Visit our Shop & Discover Store to explore and make purchases.


Guest users on ScienceDirect, as well as registered users from subscribing institutions, can purchase a single book chapter using a credit card. Access is available immediately and includes HTML and downloadable PDF versions of the purchased content.

Article Choice® for Books

Designed for individuals who do not have access to book titles in an annual ScienceDirect subscription but may have a regular need to download multiple book chapters for their work or studies over a specified timeframe.

A note for purchasers representing institutions, government agencies, ministries or departments and corporations:

ArticleChoice® is an option designed for only individuals. Corporations, institutions and anyone requesting a tax-exempt order can contact our Sales team for information about subscription and purchase options.

Frequently Asked Questions about ScienceDirect ArticleChoice

InterLibrary Loan

Elsevier actively seeks to identify and address access gaps. We support and engage partners such as libraries and document delivery services to provide additional ways to access Elsevier publications.

About Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) describes the process by which a user of one library receives published material owned by another library in the same country, either as a copy or in the original format, for non-commercial purposes. ILL is sometimes a matter of local national copyright laws but is not always expressly defined in local laws. It is generally understood that not every academic library can subscribe to every journal, and ILL is intended to help address academic library user access to content that is not considered “core” to their particular library (and not as a “substitute” for purchase or subscription).

Our policy

  • Elsevier aims to implement our interlibrary loan (ILL) policy in a fair and globally consistent way for publicly funded academic institutions

  • We do this through a standard ILL clause that is included in all academic ScienceDirect subscription agreements, which permits delivery of journal articles and book chapters to other academic libraries in the same country for the use by the receiving library’s user

  • In some cases we will reference or align with local ILL guidelines or codes of practice

  • Elsevier also permits ILL deliveries by subscribing academic libraries to libraries in the "least developed country" category of Research4Life institutionsopens in new tab/window

Document delivery service

Elsevier also provides additional options for individuals to access documents outside of their existing subscriptions through our document delivery (DocDel) service partners. One benefit of document delivery arrangements is that it provides for copies of articles across borders; Elsevier has commercial document delivery arrangements with entities such as Subito in Germany, CNRS in France and Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC) and Reprints Desk in the US. Libraries may also offer DocDel services.

Frequently asked questions

Let our sales representatives help you select a ScienceDirect subscription that's right for your organization

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