It’s the International Year of the Periodic Table!

2019 has been designated the International Year of the Periodic Table. A symbol of the science underpinning every aspect of our lives, the periodic table was devised by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869 and showcases the vast array of elements and how they can be linked together by their various materials properties.

Our own 2019 celebration of science has been inspired by these properties of the periodic table. Over the coming months we will be linking each element to one of our reports, blog posts, social media segments, Catalyst Grant stories, and friends of Digital Science that are doing exciting things within the research landscape.

H 1
He 2
Li 3
Be 4
B 5
C 6


Carbon is the 6th element of the periodic table, and can take many forms, or allotropes, depending on how its atoms are linked to one another; tough diamond, soft graphite, superstrong graphene, cage-like buckyballs, and many more. One could call it multi-dimensional! Dimensions is a dynamic, easy to use, linked-research data platform that re-imagines the way research can be discovered, accessed and analysed.  Within Dimensions, users can explore the connections between grants, publications, clinical trials, patents and policy documents.
N 7
O 8


As oxygen is vital to aerobic life, a vital part of research is sharing findings with others. The best research is done collaboratively with many minds approaching the same problem. This could make writing up of findings difficult, but Overleaf irons out any potential problems in its collaborative LaTex editor. As it is online, there is no limit to how far flung your co-collaborators could be. All they need is an internet connection!
F 9


The lightest halogen is also the most electronegative element, meaning that fluorine, F, is desperate to collaborate with other elements to share electrons. Much like F, Figshare users are opening up their science to everyone as it is happening, encouraging exciting collaborations and promoting transparency of and engagement with cutting edge research.
Ne 10
Na 11


Sodium gets its elemental symbol from the Latin word natrium, but we have chosen to honour immunologist Indira Nath who is, among other things, responsible for research into the eradication of leprosy in India. We released our Gender Representation in Research Dimensions Report in her honour on her birthday, 14th January 2019.
Mg 12
Al 13


Aluminium is a strong, light, ductile metal used extensively in transportation. With such a strong connection to the public, we wanted to link Al to Altmetric, which tracks a range of sources to capture and collate information on the research that people are talking about, helping researchers monitor and report on the attention surrounding their work.
Si 14
P 15
S 16
Cl 17
Ar 18
K 19
Ca 20
Sc 21
Ti 22
V 23
Cr 24
Mn 25
Fe 26
Co 27
Ni 28
Cu 29
Zn 30
Ga 31
Ge 32
As 33
Se 34
Br 35
Kr 36
Rb 37
Sr 38
Y 39
Zr 40
Nb 41
Mo 42
Tc 43
Ru 44
Rh 45
Pd 46


Pd represents palladium in the periodic table, but represents Catalyst Grant June 2018 winners Paper Digest for us! Paper Digest is able to take an open access full-text article and turn sometimes obfuscatory sesquipedalian jargon into a quick and easy-to-read summary of the paper, and even outreach materials about the research.
Ag 47
Cd 48


Cd represents cadmium in the periodic table, but represents Catalyst Grant June 2018 winners Cadmore Media for us! Cadmore Media's platform enables scientific organisations to publish scholarly, professional and technical information through streaming video and audio, bring it to life in a way that a mere document could never manage.
In 49
Sn 50
Sb 51
Te 52


While tellurium may have no biological function, for us Te stands for TetraScience which could have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. Designed for life sciences research and development scientists, their data management tools free up time for scientists to do what they do best - make the world a better place.
I 53


Iodine turns from brown to blue-black when combined with starch, so it is used as an ink in marker pens to detect counterfeit paper bank notes, which are made from cotton fibres that contain no starch, unlike regular paper. In a similar way, IFI Claims is a patent database that can be used to search for existing patents, helping innovators to confirm that their brand new invention is not a copy of an existing patented product and can be fully realised into a viable product itself.
Xe 54
Cs 55


Caesium is the most reactive metal. Being reactive to an ever-changing research landscape is vital for continued innovation and development. Digital Science Consultancy delivers data-driven analytical reports and technology solutions to research policy and management clients such as higher education institutions, charities and funding agencies, publishers and policy bodies, enabling them to remain as productive as possible.
Ba 56
La 57


Lanthanum heralds the arrival of a whole new electronic orbital to organise the electrons in atoms, hence giving its name to the first group of f-block elements, the Lanthanides. Like La, Labguru offers a new method of organisation of lab work from planning to execution and through to data management, allowing researchers to better focus on the work they want to do, and not the paperwork they would rather avoid.
Hf 72
Ta 73
W 74
Re 75


Rhenium is a rare element that plays a vital role in chemical catalysis, making the most of resources by enabling them to react together to create new products. In a similar way to Re, ReadCube develops technology that makes the world of research more accessible and connected.
Os 76
Ir 77
Pt 78
Au 79
Hg 80
Tl 81
Pb 82
Bi 83


Bismuth crystals are beautiful, but a large amount of Bi could cause kidney damage, so safety measures must be in place when handling it. Safety is a huge part of the scientific process and can take a lot of time and effort to manage well, Luckily BioRAFT has created a software platform that simplifies safety tasks, allowing researchers to get back to the things that they love; their research.
Po 84
At 85
Rn 86
Fr 87
Ra 88
Ac 89


Ac symbolises Actinium, a fascinating radioactive element that emits a blue glow in the dark. Anywhere Access is not radioactive, but it does shine like a light at the end of the research tunnel. It is a next-generation library solution that delivers simple 1-click access to the full-text PDF for both Open Access & library subscribed content, providing instant benefits for libraries, their patrons and publishers.
Rf 104
Db 105
Sg 106
Bh 107
Hs 108
Mt 109
Ds 110


Ds may represent Darmstadtium in the periodic table but for us, Ds means one thing; Digital Science! Join us on 7th December 2019 for our ninth birthday celebrations when we will reflect on how far we have come, and share our thoughts on the changes we want to help become a reality before we reach our first decade in 2020.
Rg 111
Cn 112
Nh 113
Fl 114
Mc 115
Lv 116
Ts 117


The writer Toni Morrison said, "if there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it". In a similar fashion, scientists have created superheavy elements including Tennessine. Experimentation and synthesis is a huge part of science, but to make results meaningful, these experiments need to be carried out several times for true validity of results. As many of these experiments have many steps to carry out, lab automation can be a huge timesaver. Transcriptic provides a level of automation to make research, particularly into synthetic biology, a lot quicker and easier.
Og 118
Ce 58


Cerium is a soft, ductile metal whose oxides can be used as catalysts, or things that speed up reactions, making them faster and more efficient. In a similar way, our newest family member CC Technology streamlines the grant applications process. CCT provides a modern, configurable grants management workflow system to leading research funders, public bodies, and international development charities throughout the world, including the Wellcome TrustCaribbean Development Bank, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US.
Pr 59
Nd 60
Pm 61
Sm 62


149Sm, an isotope of Samarium, can act as a neutron absorber, so the element is often used in nuclear core reactors to help manage and operate it. To keep your research under control, Symplectic have created Elements. This software focuses on the automatic capture, and subsequent reuse of, research information, helping you manage your data and stay cool.
Eu 63


Europium is named after the continent of Europe, many of whose countries are part of the European Union, or EU, whose motto is 'In Varietate Concordia' which is Latin for 'United in Diversity'. Our recent report on Gender Representation in Research touched on how greater diversity of minds leads to more productive problem-solving. Today is EU Industries Day, an event focused on the impact the EU's industrial policy will have on solving key challenges. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019. Find out about the impact this will have on the UK at a local level at (a tool co-created by one of the founders of Overleaf), and for UK research in our report on Examining Implications of Brexit for the UK Research Base.
Gd 64


Compounds of gadolinium are used in conjunction with medical magnetic resonance imaging. These Gd compounds move around the body's network of vessels and enhance images in MRI. Much like these MRI contrast agents, GRID is a catalogue of research organisations across the world that helps researchers, institutions and funders keep track of their institutional data, allowing them to track networks of outputs and collaborations.
Tb 65
Dy 66
Ho 67
Er 68
Tm 69
Yb 70
Lu 71
Th 90
Pa 91
U 92


Uranium is widely used in nuclear power plants as when it falls apart it releases lots of energy that can be used to heat water to make steam and turn turbines to generate electricity. As no fossil fuels are burned in this process, it does not cause air pollution, and a small amount can go a long way, making it a clean and sustainable prospect for our future energy needs. Investing strategically in research like this is important for secure future development, which is something that Über Research focus on by creating tools that help funders in their decision-making processes.
Np 93
Pu 94
Am 95
Cm 96
Bk 97
Cf 98
Es 99
Fm 100
Md 101
No 102
Lr 103
6: Carbon - Dimensions
8: Oxygen - Overleaf
9: Fluorine - Figshare
13: Aluminium - Altmetric
52: Tellurium - TetraScience
53: Iodine - IFI Claims
57: Lanthanum - Labguru
58: Cerium - CC Technology
62: Samarium - Symplectic
64: Gadolinium - GRID
75: Rhenium - ReadCube
83: Bismuth - BioRAFT
89: Actinium - Anywhere Access
92: Uranium - ÜberResearch
110: Darmstadtium - Digital Science
117: Tennessine - Transcriptic