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ScienceDirect: Quick Start Guide: About

A quick start guide to using the ScienceDirect subscription database, available to VDOT employees through the VDOT Research Library.

What Is ScienceDirect?

ScienceDirect logo

ScienceDirect is one of the most highly regarded full-text online databases for locating and downloading peer-reviewed scientific and technical journals and book chapters. VDOT employees may access more than 16 million full-text articles from more than 4,100 journals and chapters from more than 39,000 e-books through ScienceDirect in hundreds of subjects within the broad categories of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences. 

ScienceDirect is accessible from the Library’s Web site or the Library’s Online Catalog. The direct link to VDOT's account in ScienceDirect is:​

What Is Available Through VDOT's Subscription?

More than 16 million articles and chapters from 4,100 journals and 39,000 e-Books in ScienceDirect are accessible through VDOT's subscription for self-service download by VDOT employees, including nearly 1 million "Open Access" articles (learn more about Open Access), which are freely accessible to any connected user. 

Some of the best technical journals consulted by top engineers, researchers and decision makers in transportation are published by Elsevier through ScienceDirect. Since the list grows daily the best way for users to keep up is to search or browse all 4,100 journals and 39,000 e-Books in ScienceDirect. 

Some of the resources may not seem relevant (like health sciences and disciplines not closely related to transportation), so we are in the process of compiling an A-Z List of "Core Journals" most frequently used by transportation professionals, including titles in ScienceDirect.

Here are some

How Access Works

ScienceDirect is unique among VDOT's subscriptions. Unlike other databases (where we pay a "flat annual fee" to license unlimited access to articles) the library has negotiated a per-article/per-chapter licensing fee with ScienceDirect in order to control costs. This approach has pros and cons.

Pro: From an "access" standpoint, that means virtually every article and book chapter in ScienceDirect is available to VDOT employees to download if needed in the course of their work and professional development. While the library's account is debited each time this happens, we have negotiated an affordable fee.

Con: VDOT employees must be aware that every time they download an article VDOT will be charged a fee, so we will monitor this account closely. If you believe you will need more than 15 ScienceDirect articles in a month, please contact the library staff for assistance.  

Bottom line: If you work at VDOT and find an article or chapter in ScienceDirect that you need, please feel free to download it, but please do so sparingly or we won't be able to maintain this account.

Question: How will I know when I am about to incur a download, and thus a fee for VDOT?
When you see the wording "Please select "Continue" to access this article under your organization's agreement with Elsevier" you'll know that if you click "Continue" you will download the article and thus incur a fee for VDOT:

Downloading an article.


NOTE: As the screen states VDOT funds allow employees to access articles and fees are absorbed by the Library, however all sales are final as soon as you click "Continue." So we encourage users to review article abstracts carefully before downloading. Library staff review all user downloads on a regular basis

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