Ebook Collections: ScienceDirect Books

This guide highlights a range of ebook collections, giving details on the content of the collections, and how to use them

About ScienceDirect Books

ScienceDirect provides access to Ebooks published by a range of publishers, predominantly covering the Sciences, but including Social Sciences and Humanities subjects. Access is provided through a SHEDL trial until February 2016.  See our blog entry for further information about what happens after the trial period.


You have access to almost 3000  titles, all of which are available to print, download, or read online.  There is unlimited concurrent user access, which allows a whole class to use the same ebook at the same time.  

The content is split into four main subject collections:

Physical Science and Engineering - including Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth & Planetary Science; Enengy; Engineering; Material Science; Mathematics; and Physics and Astronomy.

Life Sciences - including Agriculture and Biological Sciences; Biochemistry; Genetics and Molecular Biology; Environmental Science; Immunology and Microbiology; and Neuroscience.

Health Sciences - including Medicine and Dentistry; Nursing and Health Professions; Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science; and Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine.

Social Sciences and Humanities - including Arts and Humanities; Business, Management and Accounting; Decision Science; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Psychology, and Social Science.

Accessing ebooks on ScienceDirect

Finding Ebooks on ScienceDirect

All the ScienceDirect ebooks which are available to the University of St Andrews  can be accessed on the ScienceDirect plaftorm, and can be found using Library Search. When you find a ScienceDirect Ebook  click the green ebook button to access it.


You will need to login to use ScienceDirect off-campus:

  • From the ScienceDirect homepage click Login at the top right of the page
  • Click the link Go to Athens/Other Institutional Login
  • In the Location box, select UK Access Management Federation 
  • Choose University of St Andrews from the list of Institutions
  • From the University of St Andrews SSO page enter your username and password

You will not need to login if you are on-campus.

Can I read all the Ebooks on ScienceDirect?

No, there will be an icon located to the right of the title of a book  

 - You have access to the abstract only, not the full text.  This will allow you to view limited materials, including a Table of Contents, Preface and Acknowledgements, but you won't be able to view any of the chapters.

 - This is a subscribed title to which you have full-text access to all the content of the book.

- This title contains Open Access materials, you will have access to either selected content or all the content of the book,                                                       depending on how much has been published as Open Access.


If you are searching ScienceDirect for ebooks and want to limit results to items where you have full-text access:

  • Select Books from the options in the green menu bar
  • To the right of the contents screen, choose Full-text Access from the range of options in the All Access Types dropdown menu

All the titles available to you can be found on SAULCAT.

Read Online, Print and Download options

You are permitted to access, print or download as much of an Ebook on ScienceDirect as you need for your own research.  

Viewing a book's content on ScienceDirect 

If you have accessed a ScienceDirect ebook from a link in SAULCAT you'll be taken straight to the contents area of a book.  If you are using the search functions on ScienceDirect to find a book, click the title of the book to access the content.

Select the PDF icon to view the chapter you want 

You can choose to read the PDF on screen or choose to print or save it.

If you want to view multiple chapters you need to access each chapter individually.

Examples of ScienceDirect Ebooks

Ask a Librarian

Need help? Chat to Library Staff, Monday - Friday, 9.00-17.00 using the box below.  When "Ask a Librarian" is unavailable email library@st-andrews.ac.uk with your question.