There is a basic SDK available for the RP APIs at GitHub. Please note this SDK is not supported by Elsevier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the Elsevier Research Products APIs?
APIs (Application Programming Interface) are tools that allow for computer to computer interaction.
Elsevier Research Products APIs help researchers integrate Elsevier data into
their work. Elsevier has APIs available for many of our Research Products
including ScienceDirect, Scopus, Engineering Village, Embase, SciVal, PharmaPendium, Geofacets, and SUSHI.
Q: Who can use the Elsevier Research Products APIs?
Anyone can obtain an API Key and use the APIs for non-commercial purposes
free of charge subject always to Elsevier's
policies for using our APIs and
data. For non-commercial research, Elsevier only grants full Scopus APIs
access to clients with Scopus subscriptions. If you do not have a Scopus
subscription you can still use the APIs, however you will have limited access
to basic metadata for citation records, and basic search functionality.
We require a dedicated API subscription for any individual or organization
using any of the APIs for commercial purposes. Commercial API subscriptions
are subject to a legal agreement that binds Elsevier and the customer to
contact us to discuss the options.
Q: Where can I learn more about a specific set of APIs?
API Technical documentation grouped by product is available here. In addition,
review our step-by-step technical guides. Each guide walks you through the typical technical approach for a given use case, explaining
which API calls need to be made at what point in your application's logic and for what purpose. These steps may
need adapted for your particular situation.
Q: How do I start using the Research Products APIs?
First, obtain an API Key. If you do not already
have an Elsevier user ID, you will have to register prior to obtaining an API Key. Once you have
the API Key, you can start using the APIs. Our step-by-step technical guides are available should
you require instructions with greater detail.
Q: What are the quotas and throttling rates for the Research Products APIs?
For information about default API settings, quota, and throttling rate limits, refer to our Default API Key Settings documentation.
Q: I have access to some API resources, but others are returning
"unauthorized" or "insufficient privileges" responses. Can this be
Your API key has
; access to some APIs and service levels is enabled by default, while
access to others can be enabled manually but require further permissions
from Elsevier. Attempts to access features not enabled by default will
result in such error responses.
In addition, the data available depends on your institutional
subscriptions, and only when you're making calls from within your
institutional network are you considered a subscriber. If you attempt to
access a subscriber-only feature from home, you're likely to receive
such an error response. Elsevier Research Products APIs rely primarily on Institutional IP address for authentication.
API access through proxies is not supported, however Elsevier will provide remote access direct to the
APIs using a special access credential ("Institutional Token"). If you are working away from your main
institutional network or your institution accesses Scopus.com, Scival.com, or ScienceDirect.com through a proxy, please
contact us to enquire about Institutional Token access.
If you require access to additional API resources that are not available by default, please contact us through the above link.
Q: How can I obtain a list of articles (cited-by list) that cite
the articles of interest to me?
The Scopus Search API supports this functionality, but Elsevier limits
access only to subscribers and only for specific use cases. If you
require use of this feature, please contact us as described in the
'Attention Subscribers' section on the
key settings page
A common misconception is that the Citation Overview API provides this
functionality. However, this API supplies only article citation values,
with or without self-citations, broken down by year. It does not enable
you to extract a list of articles that produce those values.
Q: I found authors with multiple author IDs. Can this be fixed?
The creation of both author and affiliation profiles is an automated
process performed by complex algorithms during content processing. The
original data is sourced from thousands of publishers and contains
numerous flaws due to translations between languages, differences in
naming conventions, varied publishing and data standards, etc. When
matching documents to existing profiles, the algorithm takes a
conserative approach to avoid misattribution, occasionally resulting in
the creation of a new author profile for an existing author. This is a
superior approach as it's far easier to analyze and correct duplicate
profiles than incorrectly merged profiles.
To address the problem of duplicate profiles, Scopus created Profile
Wizards that allow authors and affiliations to correct their profiles
directly through the Scopus web interface. The API team isn't involved
in the process, but when the corrections are made in the Scopus
database, they're immediately reflected in the API response data.
Q: How can I obtain more than 5,000 / 6,000 results through
Scopus / ScienceDirect APIs?
The number of results that can be retrieved through the ScienceDirect
Query API is 6,000. This limitation is not specific to any API key or
client; it's an artifact of the back end search technology that is used
for this API.
For Scopus subscribers, this restriction
no longer applies
to the Scopus Search API.
Example: Your Scopus query TITLE-ABS-KEY(mars) returns 38,000+ document
By using the "next" cursor value or URL link, one can retrieve the next
25 results. Note that when using the "next" cursor value rather than URL
the link, the "next" cursor value must be URL encoded before submitting
the request. The process can be repeated until the entire 38,000 results
have been retrieved.
Q: What is the difference between ScienceDirect and Scopus Data?
ScienceDirect and Scopus use two different databases.
ScienceDirect contains full text articles from journals and
books, primarily published by Elsevier but also including some hosted
Scopus indexes metadata from abstracts and references of
thousands of publishers, including but not limited to Elsevier, and
builds additional functionality on top of that data: citation
matching, various metrics, author profiles, and affiliation profiles.
The relationship between articles, authors, and affiliations is
Scopus indexes -- with some exceptions -- nearly the entire
ScienceDirect database but without articles' full text. Scopus builds
the profiles and metrics using that data.
Note that ScienceDirect cannot be searched using Scopus-native
identifiers like AF-ID, Scopus ID, etc.
For more information about our content, you can visit the content
sections of the Scopus and ScienceDirect product sites: