Researchers at every stage of their scientific careers encounter unknown terms and concepts and require background and contextual knowledge to progress. But finding one’s path through a literature search can be overwhelming. It is easy to be caught up in siloed information, untrusted sources and site hopping just to explore a single unknown idea or topic.
With science becoming more interdisciplinary, the information researchers are retrieving often doesn’t provide sufficient contextual knowledge to make the connection between the various scientific disciplines.
Additionally, students require critical foundational knowledge when learning about a new topic, but finding one’s path through a literature search for this knowledge can be overwhelming. Simply put, students, educators and scientists need a more natural research workflow, one that is optimized for research, teaching and learning.
Researchers could be missing an entire class of content in their literature searches, because traditional search technology prioritizes journal articles and search engines generate an avalanche of results, in which it may be difficult to find the most relevant sources.
Researchers have often found it hard to easily discover the valuable information in scholarly books– the critical content that has the potential to speed research, improve decision-making and spark new insights. Librarians have been missing accurate analytical data, too. Many available literature search tools don’t reveal the paths researchers want to take, the topics that might expand their understanding, or vital, but often hidden, contextual sources. These tools don’t guide researchers to the sources they need, when they need them. So, when researchers don’t arrive at those necessary sources, librarians never receive data on what those sources might be.
A solution to these problems: ScienceDirect Topics
Elsevier has combined technology and content to develop a new tool that improves the research process. ScienceDirect Topics offers information seekers – from students to the most seasoned researchers – credible, accurate and relevant content, right at the point of need in their workflows.