ScienceDirect Topics

What if the path not taken is the path to discovery?

Access the Topics pages

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ScienceDirect Topics

Your path to discovery

Researchers at every stage of their scientific careers encounter unknown terms and concepts and require background, contextual knowledge to progress. But finding one’s path through a literature search can be overwhelming.

On the way from hypothesis to discovery, a researcher can easily be caught up in the morass of siloed information, untrusted sources, and site hopping just to explore a single unknown idea or topic - the result is a lost thread where information is elusive, and knowledge is never truly acquired.

That’s why we created ScienceDirect Topics. This new research enhancement allows different areas of knowledge to connect and form an exploratory network—the optimal environment for intuitive learning.

Using this network, ScienceDirect Topics anticipates key topics vital to understanding and suggests critical contextual sources to foster and speed insight.


How ScienceDirect Topics works

Combining cutting-edge technology and essential content, ScienceDirect Topics is a research enhancement that brings the path of discovery to the user.

Topic pages on ScienceDirect are generated using innovative automated approaches for information extraction and relevancy ranking.

ScienceDirect Topics reveals succinct and selected contextual information from reference books, surfacing valuable content when and where it is needed in the research process.

It brings comprehensive, credible and interdisciplinary knowledge into a user’s natural research workflow.

ScienceDirect Topics

  • Offer tens of thousands of free topic pages with definitions, snippets from books and related terms
  • Terms within journal articles are hyperlinked to topic pages to create an interactive, seamless and convenient reading experience
  • Increase the discoverability and accessibility of essential reference content by indexing via search engines
  • Enable readers to click through to book content to dig deeper into topics
  • Foster and speed up insight
  • Free to access
  • Available in:
    • Neuroscience
    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Life Sciences

    And recently launched in:

    • Chemistry
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Food Science
    • Materials Science and Materials Engineering
    • Earth and Environmental Sciences

Click on the image above to see the detail or:

View an example topic page on ScienceDirect

Learn about the technology behind ScienceDirect Topics in the following resources:

Article: Technology + content = a better research process

Infographic: The artificial intelligence behind ScienceDirect Topics (PDF, 115kb)


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ScienceDirect Topics for researchers and academics

ScienceDirect Topics improves the overwhelming and disjointed research process encountered by researchers, academics, and students.

View an example topic page on ScienceDirect

Using smart technology and innovative algorithms, it integrates book and journal content chosen by natural language processing tools to create an interactive, seamless and convenient reading experience.

ScienceDirect Topics for researchers, academics and students

  • Unlocks critical contextual information making essential answers from books more accessible
  • Provides authoritative introductory overviews to help you understand and interpret scientific literature
  • Expedites research while increasing the depth of exploration
  • Enables quick onboarding to novel subject areas during interdisciplinary research
  • Offers an easy, interactive tool for students learning a new concept or understanding a journal article
  • Assures professors that the content their students are using is reliable and authoritative
  • Increases speed and convenience with hyperlinked terms from within journal articles
  • Pulls content from a range of book sources to connect the dots between ideas, facilitating cognitive leaps to move discoveries forward

Learn more and explore ScienceDirect Topics


ScienceDirect Topics for librarians

ScienceDirect Topics enables librarians to better guide researchers on their path to discovery.

View an example topic page on ScienceDirect

Guide your patrons to the path to discovery (PDF, 1631kb)

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It provides a necessary bridge between journals and books to speed research, foster insight and improve the understanding for your patrons. ScienceDirect Topics provides librarians with the most complete picture of researchers’ needs, revealing the true picture of demand for content. Library patrons need a selected mix of resources – journals, books and reference works – to successfully conduct research, teach or master their coursework.

ScienceDirect Topics for librarians

  • Ensures that researchers are accessing and using the most accurate and reliable resources
  • Increases discoverability of books
  • Encourages the co-usage of books, reference works and journals
  • Improves research productivity and research performance at your institution
  • Provides data on researcher behavior for better curation that fills connective gaps
  • Improves the return on your investment in content

Learn how your collection can benefit from ScienceDirect Topics


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ScienceDirect Topics for authors

ScienceDirect Topics enables access to content from our authors’ books.

View an example topic page on ScienceDirect

It brings researchers in touch with important and relevant book content by creating bridges from journal articles and search engines to books. With machine-readability and metadata, your essential chapters are seamlessly placed within researchers’ natural paths to discovery during journal or online searches to foster and speed insight and improve understanding of a topic.

ScienceDirect Topics for authors

  • Increases accessibility of your book through digitization and discovery
  • Reveals chapters right in multiple research workflows
  • Brings researchers in touch with your important and relevant contributions
  • Creates an essential bridge between journal articles and book chapters

Learn more about authoring or editing a book