ScienceDirect for R&D

Research to strengthen your competitive edge and innovate faster

Insights from published research are essential to generate the fresh ideas that advance R&D. To drive scientific innovation, researchers worldwide rely on the peer-reviewed research found in ScienceDirect.

ScienceDirect contains over 18 million full-text articles and chapters across a range of disciplines. With its high-quality content and smart search options, corporate researchers, scientists, chemists and engineers can:

ScienceDirect search options

  • Generate new product ideas or enhance existing products
  • Learn from existing research to avoid dead ends and validate faster
  • Support project decisions around methods, materials and safety

Get the scientific, technical and medical research you need from the world’s premiere knowledgebase.

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R&D leaders recommend ScienceDirect …

ScienceDirect offers a vast breadth of information, which is crucial in helping us take our research to the next stage. We saved more than a year of research time and $200 million in scale-up savings by finding the answers we needed in this excellent resource.

Senior Researcher & Technology Leader

The research we found on ScienceDirect gave us the key to massively improving the quality of a product that’s already on the market in a fraction of the time we’d expected.

R&D Director

ScienceDirect is very important to drug discovery and development. There isn’t a scientist I’ve worked with who doesn’t tap almost daily into this information source. It has an impact on almost every drug that comes to market.

Pharmaceutical Executive Director

Improve R&D outcomes

Does your R&D team have the research they need to conceive, validate, develop and optimize products and processes? Corporate researchers say ScienceDirect helps them to:

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Equip your R&D teams to generate revolutionary ideas and enhance existing products and processes. With ScienceDirect, they can dive deep into their own disciplines and learn from innovations in other fields. In an ROI study, 55,000 corporate researchers reported that ScienceDirect supported generating ideas in existing product lines and for new products, patents and intellectual property.

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99% of corporate researchers say ScienceDirect supports the journey for research innovation (ROI study).

The study found that existing scientific knowledge was used throughout all stages of the research process, particularly in the idea/development phase. See a real-word example:

A ScienceDirect customer success story: Developing a new process for water treatment

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A company in maritime engineering wanted to lower costs on its treatment of ballast water.

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They used ScienceDirect to find research on treatment methods, especially employing waste heat, and test results.

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With this information they developed a more cost-effective  treatment process, which is now patent pending.


To compete effectively, an agile R&D organization must stay informed, evaluate new science and technology and pivot research strategy. With new articles being continually added to the 18M+ articles already in ScienceDirect, your researchers can determine how novel or “patentable” an idea is and support patent applications.

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75% of corporate researchers say ScienceDirect helps them understand state-of-the-art technology and science (ROI study).

The ROI study revealed ScienceDirect empowers companies to achieve corporate business objectives. Using ScienceDirect, companies compete more effectively and can lower costs. See a real-word example:

A ScienceDirect customer success story: Lowering the cost of a manufactured good

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An equipment manufacturer needed to reduce the cost of producing its clothes dryers to stay competitive in the market.

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They applied knowledge found in ScienceDirect to reduce electrical consumption of the clothes dryers.

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This change resulted in a savings of US $20 per unit in manufacturing cost improving their market position.


Finding the right information fast is critical in R&D. When your researchers are forced to sift through irrelevant or — worse case scenario — fraudulent research,  they lose valuable time … when time to market could make or break business success. Jump start your researchers with the peer-reviewed research, proven methods and applied technology in ScienceDirect.

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90% of corporate researchers say ScienceDirect has the most accurate, reliable information available (ROI study).

The ROI study found Elsevier’s content is superior on issues such as authoritativeness, relevancy, practicality and overall value for the investment. Companies save time with the highly connected information within ScienceDirect. Like the biopharma company that located a dataset via ScienceDirect that they used to build a model to inform the design of new drug candidates. By surfacing this critical dataset, they saved several months of time that would have been spent in discovery.

The image below highlights multiple time-saving features within articles on ScienceDirect.

7 ways ScienceDirect articles improve R&D productivity

7 ways ScienceDirect articles improve R&D productivity

Learn more about how ScienceDirect's features improve researcher efficiency with alerts, search history and more.


Not all decisions will make or break a division or company. But R&D is costly. You want to reduce business risk by ensuring your researchers use reliable, science-based research and data. With the right information they can make the best project and experimental decisions, and address environment, health and safety concerns.

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68% of corporate researchers say ScienceDirect helps them avoid patent infringements/lawsuits (ROI study).

The ROI study also found that ScienceDirect helps ensure proposed products are found acceptable during approval processes. See a real-word example:

A ScienceDirect customer success story: Gathering evidence to support certification

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A medical device manufacturer was about to file a clinical evaluation report for CE certification.

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They improved the report quality in two days by adding relevant references and narrative review from ScienceDirect.

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The product passed its audit, ensuring the company could move forward with selling the device.


Can you improve R&D effectiveness? That’s a critical question as costs and competition climb. R&D teams are exponentially improving their products and processes with knowledge from ScienceDirect. By consulting the work of others, they have been able to increase production, save on materials costs and reduce time spent on new studies.

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88% of corporate researchers say ScienceDirect saves them time — 24 working days per year (ROI study).

The ROI study found that ScienceDirect generates significant, measurable returns on investment. See a real-word example:

A ScienceDirect customer success story: Increasing yield with a new purification method

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A biotech company needed to address problems in purification of an industrially important enzyme.

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With ScienceDirect, they found an aqueous two-phase system which is a rather unusual protein purification method.

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This purification method reduced time spent from 3 days to 1 day per process, and increased specific activity and yield.

Independent study:

ROI study: maximizing investments and accelerating the journey to research innovation

Data on corporate researchers is from a global, independent research study of the ROI generated by ScienceDirect in the corporate market. This study examines how access to existing technical knowledge impacts innovation, and ScienceDirect’s role in the journey.

Get the study

ROI study: Maximizing investments and accelerating the journey to research innovation

Research for your industry

Content in ScienceDirect is unparalleled in terms of quality and coverage.

ScienceDirect has more full-text scientific and technology research than any other resource. And that literature generates a disproportionate amount of citations, a quality indicator. With 24 disciplines in ScienceDirect, you will find in-depth research coverage for your industry. A multidisciplinary resource like ScienceDirect expands your researchers’ access to creative solutions from areas outside their normal focus.

Select the first section below to explore the 24 disciplines covered in ScienceDirect. Then explore how ScienceDirect enhances research within various industries, including relevant examples of journal and book content.

Subscription options

With ScienceDirect Corporate Edition, researchers get full-text access to multidisciplinary research seamlessly in their workflow. They make serendipitous discoveries alongside the research critical to their business outcomes. ScienceDirect Corporate Edition offers great value for your company as you only pay for articles consumed. And you can supplement your subscription with ebooks that complement your research priorities.

Alternatively, you may want full-text access to all articles within a journal or collection of journals, pre-1995 backfiles or to text mine.

Together, we can find the option that best meets your needs.