Elsevier updates it article-sharing policies, perspectives and services - Open Access Archivangelism

Amsciforum 2015-05-01


I've looked over the latest Elsevier revision of its policy on author OA self-archiving, as requested. The essential points of the latest policy revision are two: I. Elsevier still endorses both immediate-deposit and immediate-OA, for the pre-refereeing preprint, anywhere (author's institutional home page, author's institutional repository, Arxiv, etc.). II. Elsevier still endorses immediate-deposit and immediate-OA for the refereed postprint on the author's home page or in Arxiv, but not immediate-OA in the author's institutional repository, where OA is embargoed. (1) Elsevier should state quite explicitly that its latest revision of its policy on author OA self-archiving has taken a very specific step backward from the policy first adopted in 2004: An author may post his version of the final paper on his personal web site and on his institution's web site (including its institutional respository). Each posting should include the article's citation and a link to the journal's home page (or the article's DOI). The author does not need our permission to do this, but any other posting (e.g. to a repository elsewhere) would require our permission. By "his version" we are referring to his Word or Tex file, not a PDF or HTML downloaded from ScienceDirect - but the author can update his version to reflect changes made during the refereeing and editing process. Elsevier will continue to be the single, definitive archive for the formal published version. Elsevier has withdrawn its endorsement of immediate-OA in the author's institutional repository. It's best not to try to conceal this in language that makes it sound as if Elsevier is taking positive steps in response to the demand for OA. (2) The distinction between the author's institutional home page and the author's institutional repository is completely arbitrary and empty. Almost no one consults either a home page or a repository directly. The deposits and links are simply harvested by Google and Google Scholar (and other harvesters), and that's where users search and retrieve them. (Hence all an institution need do is designate the institutional disk sector containing the author's publicatiosn in the "repository" to be part of the author's "home page.") (3) If an author (foolishly) decides to comply with an Elsevier OA embargo, there is the automated copy-request Button, with which the author can provide a copy almost-immediately, with one click from the requestor and one click from the author. (Elsevier's reputation is not enhanced by the fact that many users and authors will now have to do two extra clicks to get a copy, because Elsevier was not happy to let them do it with one click.) My advice is accordingly to go back to the original 2004 policy. You had it right the first time. The rest has only muddied Elsevier's reputation.



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Date tagged:

05/01/2015, 08:42

Date published:

05/01/2015, 04:42