Leveraging Global Scientific Developments To Spur Chemical Innovation for a More Sustainable World
With ScienceDirect, a chemist creates new ideas, researches viability, and reduces time and risks by continuously tracking global developments
Gordon*, an industrial chemist, was driven to create a more sustainable world by developing alternative feedstock for oil-based materials. He has spent more than 10 years as an industrial scientist in various petrochemical and chemical companies and currently works for a global chemical company with over $25 billion in sales. In his approach to his work, Gordon consistently keeps up with what’s going on in various industries and science circles, which helps him and his R&D team generate fresh ideas.
"We can save ourselves a lot of experiments by knowing what others did and what their conclusions were… and that's where Elsevier's ScienceDirect comes in. If I didn't have access to ScienceDirect, I think I would feel incomplete in doing my work." Gordon, Industrial Chemist
Everything starts with ideas, and the best way to capture and develop ideas is to observe and explore leading-edge science — particularly for investigating new potential uses of technology. But at the same time, “the pace of work and experimentation has increased exponentially in recent years,” Gordon says. In the last 10 years, for example, scientists have gone from one to dozens of experiments per week. Additionally, new ideas must be quickly and efficiently evaluated for originality and commercial potential.
ScienceDirect helps Gordon stay current on potentially relevant developments in industries and countries beyond his own. He receives regular alerts of new research in about 25 journals and spends roughly half a day every week scanning the alerts and reading articles that look promising. “The ScienceDirect interface is among the best. I have limited resources — I cannot afford to spend most of my time on literature,” he explains. “In just a few minutes on ScienceDirect, I can access a historical list of developments in that field.” He relies on ScienceDirect for interdisciplinary research, a comprehensive database, and the most up-to-date literature.
In addition, he has found that the ability to conduct large amounts of research seamlessly from the desktop saves time and meets the need to quickly identify and act on promising ideas. Gordon finds ScienceDirect's utility and search flexibility superior to other resources in this regard.
"Quick access and a fast database means that if I want to search for something, I know that I can find it in a couple of minutes, and it's not an hour exercise to get one single paper. Using ScienceDirect saves me maybe 75% of the time that I spent in the past." Gordon, Industrial Chemist
“ScienceDirect is one of the most complete offerings. It’s not only a few journals, it’s a range of journals that are interesting. All of the cross-references to other work at a global level help me quickly assess the state of the art. You can immediately scan related documents that are in the same area, and every time, you can collect a number of relevant references that you can use yourself to shape the idea you have,” he says.
With today's competitive pace of discovery, being able to reduce the time it takes to get to decision points is a crucial benefit. It's also important to avoid developing a solution that might already exist. Using ScienceDirect to target his searches allows Gordon to quickly identify priorities and avoid costly experimentation in early stage development. This has proven vital to his success and efficiency.
*Names have been changed to protect rights to innovation
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