Reference Module in Life Sciences

The best research starts with Elsevier Reference Modules.

One of the most important parts of the research process is separating trustworthy, current information from everything else efficiently, this has been too difficult for far too long. Until now.

Hosted on ScienceDirect-Elsevier Reference Modules include thousands of cross-references and links to the related book chapters and journal articles available to you on ScienceDirect, providing the full spectrum of the subject on one easy platform.

Trustworthy-Elsevier Reference Modules provide you with access to thousands of peer-reviewed articles from Elsevier's Major Reference Works along with articles exclusive to the Reference Module, selected and organized by an expert external Editorial Board for each subject.

Discoverable-Selected articles are organized into an intuitive subject hierarchy designed by each Module’s Editorial Board. They are easy to navigate and search within, helping you quickly find essential information and understand the interdisciplinary links between topics.

Current-The Editorial Board continuously reviews the module, ensuring it covers the most significant recent developments in the field. Time stamps mark the date of the most recent review or update. New content is commissioned for the Reference Module as necessary to ensure its currency and breadth of coverage. As relevant Reference Works are published, selected articles are added at no additional cost.


Numbers at a glance

  • 2,500+ articles from 13 Major Reference Works
  • 400 new or updated articles for launch
  • 5,200+  contributors
  • 13 editorial board members
  • 13,000+ images

With continuously updated articles selected from the following Elsevier Major Reference Works:

  • Brenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics, 2nd Edition
  • Comprehensive Biophysics
  • Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Edition
  • Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science
  • Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior
  • Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences, 2nd Edition
  • Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd Edition
  • Encyclopedia of Cell Biology
  • Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology
  • Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology
  • Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 3rd Edition
  • Encyclopedia of Rose Science
  • Encyclopedia of Virology, 3rd Edition

Plus new articles exclusively commissioned for the Reference Module!


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Launching in November 2016


“The Reference Module is the perfect way for beginning graduate students and practicing scientists alike to keep abreast of basic knowledge in our time of rapid expansion of new knowledge and cross-fertilization between disciplines. Biophysics epitomizes these current trends.  The areas in which biophysicists are working are so diverse, no single person can be familiar with all of them. The articles in the Reference Module, written by experts at an introductory level and updated regularly, will be an invaluable resource.” Huan-Xiang Zhou - Subject Editor for Biophysics - Florida State University, US

“Research changes our knowledge every day, so we need new ways to communicate scientific advances. Furthermore, regular scientific articles are often difficult to understand for non-specialized readers. Elsevier Reference Modules offer a unique framework where current and relevant topics in Life Sciences are reviewed and periodically updated by experts in the field, with the aim that general public can learn the most relevant concepts in Biology” Oscar Zaragoza Hernandez - Subject Editor for Mycology - National Centre for Microbiology, ISCIII, Spain

“In our era, science progresses so fast that by the time a manuscript or a book comes out in print, it runs the risk of being already outdated. The Reference Module tackles this flaw because it is conceived to provide continuously updated and authoritative content: authors have the chance to keep their article current by periodical addition of the latest information, whereas readers, on the other side, can rely on a trustworthy source of reference material covering a wide range of topics in an easily accessible way” Francesca Pentimalli – Subject Editor for Cell Biology and Genetics - National Cancer Institute of Naples, Italy

“Life sciences include many different but interconnected disciplines. To progress, research needs to consider the whole of things analyzing all their possible aspects through different technical tools. We, as scientists, tend to specialize more and more into narrow fields but the Reference Module in Life Science now gives us the chance to better view ‘the big picture’. Thanks to this innovative publishing strategy, both specialists and non-specialists can access life sciences through different perspectives and easily find reliable sources of updated and authoritative material through well designed hierarchies of topics, which lead readers to both general overviews and detailed chapters satisfying all possible needs of information.” Antonio Giordano - Subject Editor for Cell Biology and Genetics - Temple University, USA

Academic, Government, and Professional Users can:

  • Build foundational, interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Keep current with new developments in their field
  • Explore new and related topics

Librarians and Information Specialists can:

  • Increase their service to patrons
  • Guide patrons toward superior research
  • Maximize the discoverability, and usage, of content their institution offers access to through ScienceDirect

Interested in Reference Modules on ScienceDirect?