The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge the global community to build a world where no one is left behind. Recognizing that research plays a fundamental part in supporting these goals, attempts have been made to classify research publications according to their relevance in supporting each of the UN’s SDGs. In this paper, we outline the methodology that we followed when mapping research articles to SDGs and which is adopted by Times Higher Education in their Social Impact rankings. We compare our solution with other existing queries and models mapping research papers to SDGs. We also discuss various aspects in which the methodology can be improved and generalized to other types of content apart from research articles. The results presented in this paper are the outcome of the SDG Research Mapping Initiative that was established as a partnership between the University of Southern Denmark, the Aurora European Universities Alliance (represented by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), the University of Auckland, and Elsevier to bring together broad expertise and share best practices on identifying research contributions to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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Handling Editor: Vincent Larivière

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