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Measuring Research Impact 3: Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Engaging in research in these domains can yield SDG recognition, bringing attention to your work, serving as a valuable reference during funding applications, demonstrating the impact of your research on the world, and increasing awareness and comprehension of the United Nations' significant framework.

Click each icon to view the 17 goals on the UN website.

SDG 1: No poverty | SDG 2: Zero hunger | SDG 3: Good health and well-being | SDG 4: Quality education | SDG 5: Gender equality | SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation


SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy | SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth | SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure | SDG 10: Reduced inequalities | SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities | SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production


SDG 13: Climate action | SDG 14: Life below water | SDG 15: Life on land | SDG 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions | SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals


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Aligning Publications with SDGs

  • Incorporate the SDGs in your research: Frame, use, or integrate the SDGs into your research to align it with the goals and promote its relevance.
  • Include SDG keywords in relevant sections: To attribute the SDGs in your publications, incorporate the appropriate SDG keywords in the title, abstract, author keywords and free text of your work. This enhances the visibility of your research in the context of the SDGs. Below are two sources of the SDG keywords that facilitate the mapping.
  • Tag SDGs upon publication submission: When submitting your work for publication, make sure to tag the relevant SDGs to provide a clear link between your research and the specific goals.
  • Publish in SDG-supported books/journals: Publishers like Springer Nature have introduced the Springer Nature's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Programme, which aligns their books and journals with each specific SDG. This program provides an opportunity to contribute to the SDGs through your research publications.

Locating SDGs of Publications

Scopus > 

1. On Scopus, click "Advanced document search".

2. On the next page, paste the query in the search box (e.g. SDG 2023 query for SDG1, no poverty) and click "Search". Refer to Elsevier 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Mapping for the queries.

3. On the result list, click the record title.

4. On the recod page, click "Sustainable Development Goals 2023" in the left panel to retrieve the SDGs assigned to the record.

Note: Scopus employs two approaches to assign SDG labels to its publications: search queries and a Machine Learning (ML) algorithm. The algorithm finds publications that can be mapped to one or more SDGs but are not captured by queries. For enquiries concerning SDG-related publications in Scopus, please contact Scopus: Access and Use Support Center.

Web of Science > 

1. On Web of Science, perform article search.

2. On the next page, scroll down to view "Sustainable Development Goals" in the left panel. Expand the menu and click "See all" to open up a full list of SDGs.

3. Check the desired SDGs and click "Refine".

4. On the result list, click the article title to open the recod page. The SDG of the article is under "Categories/Classification".