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Elsevier
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ScienceDirect Major Reference Works and Reference Collections

The go-to for authoritative, foundational knowledge

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Support your institution's educational mission to enhance learning in new and interdisplinary subject areas

In the research workflow, researchers and students need an authoritative place to access fundamental knowledge while performing interdisciplinary research and learning about new subject areas.

The one stop solution to foundational knowledge

  • 260+ Major Reference Works

  • 115,000+ chapters written by world-renowned authors who are experts in the field

  • Around 20 new Major Reference Works publish each year

  • Each Major Reference Work is reviewed and vetted to rigorous standards by expert Editors-in-Chief and Section Editors

  • No DRM restrictions on downloads and printing

  • Unlimited, concurrent access for multiple users

  • Included in the Reference Collections

TechValidate Survey

The portfolio of Major Reference Works covers 18 subject areas:

  • Agricultural, Biological, and Food Sciences

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

  • Biomedical Engineering

  • Biomedical Science

  • Chemical Engineering

  • Chemistry

  • Clinical Medicine and Surgery

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

  • Energy

  • Engineering

  • Environmental Science

  • Immunology and Microbiology

  • Materials Science

  • Mathematics and Computing

  • Neuroscience & Psychology

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science

  • Social Sciences

  • Transitional Medicine

Download the full list of Major Reference Works (opens in new tab/window)

Find out more about Major Reference Works publishing in 2024(opens in new tab/window)

Major Reference Works samples

Major Reference Works provide enduring value, with 60% of their usage maintained over a decade after publication.*

* Based on Usage Analytics on ScienceDirect, 2023

All-in-one access to all Major Reference Works in a field with Reference Collections

  • Provide the most comprehensive overview of a field, covering all the fundamental knowledge in one authoritative resource

  • Include exclusive access to chapters-in-press for forthcoming Major Reference Works, allowing users to get the most up-to-date information

  • Offer a fundamental overview for interdisciplinary researchers and students exploring a novel field

  • Are aligned with other content types on ScienceDirect, ensuring your researchers are making the most of your content and getting the full picture of a subject area

Reference Collections are available in 8 subject areas: 

Frequently asked questions

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