Elsevier's ScienceDirect offers more than a quarter of the world's scientific, medical and technical information online and supports physical sciences and engineering; the life sciences; the health sciences; and the social sciences and humanities and contains full text in many journals from 1995 to present.
When you first access ScienceDirect, you'll be taken to the browse journal titles page, but it’s better to start on the advanced search screen. So click on the link in the upper right hand corner to get to that page.
Once we’re on the advanced search page there are lots of options to search and narrow our results. Since we’re most likely looking for articles we can start by selecting the “journals” tab.
This will give us options for limiting by subject, document type, and date range. It's worth noting that the "All Years" option includes information on articles going back to the 1800's, so selecting a date range can be very helpful.
Beginning Your Search
You’ll want to start by entering your search terms in the boxes and select any options you need to narrow the search. Then click search to get to the results page.
Once you get to the results screen you’ll want to see how many results you've gotten. If it’s too many you can use some of the options on the left side of the screen to further limit your results, to particular journals, topics, and year. A great way to narrow the results is to limit by topic. You can select as many options as you need and then click “limit to” to help further narrow your search down.
Please note that results with a gray icon will not be available in full text (see image below). But don't let that stop you from taking a look at them, they could still have great information, and you can find full text elsewhere.
Finding Your Article
Once you’ve found an article that sounds promising, you can select the title of the article to see the abstract and other key information. If you’ve decided that the article is of interest to you, you can look for the “Download PDF” button in the upper left hand corner.
If the article does not have a full text, then look for “bibliographic information” on the right hand side of the screen and then click on the orange “find full text” button. This will automatically search all other library databases for full text access, and allow you to place an Inter-Library Loan request if necessary.