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Understanding societal impact just got easier: We added the UN SDGs to the Document details page

on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 15:00

As part of our ongoing work to enhance the research signals and insights that Scopus delivers, in January 2022, we added a new option to the Document details page.

Alongside the publication’s metrics, we will list the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) relevant to that paper.

The list of SDGs that a publication is linked to can be found below the Indexed keywords on the Document details page.

Clicking on one of the listed SDGs opens a window containing additional information on the goal, with an option to analyze further in SciVal.

Why launch this feature now?

The SDG framework, with its 17 interlinked goals, continues to grow in importance globally:

  • It is increasingly used to evaluate the contribution of universities to society; in 2019, Times Higher Education launched the THE Impact Rankings, a global performance table that assesses universities against the SDGs with the help of this Scopus data set.
  • Universities are monitoring and mapping how the work of their researchers contributes to the SDGs.
  • Many funders now want evidence that the research they fund is positively impacting society, and is aligned with the SDGs.

Listing the relevant SDGs on the Document details page makes it easier to understand their relationship to a research publication. The SDG labels can also provide a useful reference when applying for funding, by demonstrating that research is making a difference in a particular area.

This also contributes another dimension to an array of metrics and indicators that one can use to understand research impact.

How does it work?

As with many other data processes in Scopus, we use a blend of expert curation and trusted technology to map each publication to its relevant UN SDGs.

You can learn more about the data set and conduct further analyses via Digital Commons or SciVal.

Next steps: Developing SDG features in 2022 and beyond

Future plans for Scopus include:

  • Exporting the SDG labels for an article or set of articles
  • Listing the SDGs that an institution’s research is aligned with on its organization profile
  • Listing the SDGs that a researcher’s publications are aligned with on their Author Profile
  • Introducing the ability to filter and search by the 2021 SDGs in Scopus

We have also developed a web guide packed with useful tips on how you can track societal impact using Scopus. Note that this relates to the existing 2020 definitions of the query; updates will be announced when the 2021 queries are available.

SDG offerings and the Research Intelligence Portfolio

In fact, the Scopus SDG developments are part of a wider Elsevier focus on supporting research stakeholders to understand and track their SDG activity to inform reporting, strategy planning, funding applications, decision-making and more.

  • Find out how SciVal supports high level analysis of the Scopus SDG data set.
  • Discover how Pure helps institutions and researchers showcase their contribution to the SDGs, set SDG targets, and track and report on their progress.
  • In the SDG Research Mapping Initiative, Elsevier’s data scientists collaborate with Universities worldwide to share data, expertise and best practices in sustainability research. The partners’ SDG queries are free to access, and researchers are invited to explore the data through the partner portals here.