Need Scholarly Research in the Sciences? Explore ScienceDirect

Have an assignment in one of the sciences? Try out ScienceDirect! ScienceDirect offers access to scholarly science journal content, including life, medical, technical, social, and physical sciences. 

ScienceDirect logo, including a man in a schoalr's robe picking an fruit (or some other plant) off a tree with the latin phrase Non Solus on a scroll

You can search using your own keywords, search specific journals by title, or browse by science type or journal title.

Screenshot of ScienceDirect landing page, including default search boxes: keywords, author name, journal/book title, volume, issue, pages, and Advanced Search

Additionally, over 1.2 million articles on ScienceDirect are Open Access, meaning they are peer-reviewed and made freely available for everyone to read, download, and reuse responsibly. 

You can also set up alerts based on specific keywords (scroll to the bottom of the homepage). Are you looking for new information on stem cell cancer therapies? Make a free account, find your ideal keywords, and set up an alert. The database itself is not free– the Library pays so that you can have access– but like in the other databases that your Library provides, you can create your own personalized account. 

We strongly recommend using good search strategies in this database in order to get what you’re looking for. For example, “heart attack” (two words contained within quotation marks) will search for that phrase exactly.

Example search results for "heart attack" (two words using quotation marks to fix the words together as one phrase)
There are lots of results here, so we’d recommend adding another search word or phrase and using the limiters on the left side to narrow down your 35,000 results.

heart attack (no quotation marks) with search for both heart AND attack, may give you results that are less relevant to you are looking for.

Example of search using heart attack (two words without quotation marks containing them)
The first results contains our desired phrase– heart attack– while the second result contains the two words, just not connected and less meaningful to our particular research.

Using technical terms is okay in this database, but avoid abbreviations to begin your search. For example, the phrase “myocardial infarction” instead of “heart attack” brings up more results. 

Screenshot of search using technical term for a heart attack, "myocardial infarction"

There are even more results here than in our previous “heart attack” search, so we’d definitely recommend adding another search word or phrase and using the limiters on the left side to narrow down your 35,000 results.

Remember you can always go back and change your keywords– disappointing results often mean you need to revise your search terms first before giving up. Want some pro tips? Check out ScienceDirect’s tips and tricks or the Library’s Online Learning Resources page (scroll down to Searching the Library’s Electronic Databases). 

Logging in from home is simple– use the link from the library’s Articles, Journals, and Databases box on the library homepage (S for ScienceDirect) and log in using your Durham Tech username and password, the same one you would use for Sakai or Self-Service.

Why would I want to go directly to an individual database instead of using the Summon integrated search [the Search Library box on the Library homepage]?

Good question! A good analogy is that when you’re looking for craft supplies, going to a craft store is more likely to get you what you want than if you go to a big box store that has a little bit of everything, including craft supplies but it might not have the exact supplies you’re looking for.

If you know you’re searching for a resource that needs to be subject-specific to the sciences, going to a science database is a good bet to get you on the right track. 

Need help or have additional questions? Contact the library and we’ll be glad to work with you.