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Science

Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers 259

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-peer-reviewed-study-of-face-meeting-palm dept.
David Gerard writes "Elsevier, in final desperation mode, is going after authors sharing their own papers online. Academia.edu has told several researchers that Elsevier 'is currently upping the ante in its opposition to academics sharing their own papers online.' This is the sounds of a boycott biting."
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Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:06PM (#45621859)

    I agree that sharing these papers online is the right thing to do, but then maybe they shouldn't sign a contract giving up the right to do it?

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:28PM (#45622025)
      You can't possibly infringe on copyright by sharing your own work. (At least not where I live. People in some countries may be fucked, though.)
      • by Hatta (162192) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:33PM (#45622071) Journal

        Many of these journals require copyright assignment, at which point it's not your own work anymore. Just one more reason the traditional scientific publishing model needs to die a quick death.

        • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:37PM (#45622093) Homepage Journal

          I've said this before and I will say it again... corporations should be legally prohibited from owning copyrights. They should be legally limited to leasing copyrights from real persons. Copyrights were meant to make MORE material open, not to lock up material so that a corporate entity and gather rents without end.

          • Ok, so who would a company that designs and builds things (software companies, architectural firms, mechanical design companies, etc) "lease" the copyright from...?
            • by mspohr (589790) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:09PM (#45622401)

              The people who actually did the work and wrote the manual or designed the project.
              Corporations are not people. Corporations cannot create any "works". People create works. People should own their creations.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:22PM (#45622541)

                Corporations pretty much are equivalent to people under US law. They have many of the same rights including the right to donate to politicians....

                • The law is wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:34PM (#45623157) Homepage Journal

                  When a corporation is executed for causing the deaths of real people, then we might talk about corporate personhood.

                  In fact, when a corporation causes the deaths of hundreds, or even thousands of people, the corporation is protected.

                  Union Carbide seems to be doing quite well, despite major disasters such as this one.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster [wikipedia.org]

                  • by sumdumass (711423)

                    Corporations are executed all the time. Almost every state has a list of corporations that it has dissolved and or prohibited from operating within it's state.

                    What you seem to be confused on is that you actually think a corporation is somehow sentient. It isn't, it requires people inside the corporation to pull the levers and move the switches that make it run. Those people are the ones who are criminally liable for killing people if you can prove it. If the CEO says, "screw the safety cables, get the whate

                    • by sumdumass (711423)

                      when the corporation is used as a person, it is only done in reference to it's own behalf separated from non-controlling owners in compliance with its fiduciary responsibility. If it wasn't, any contract made would have the same effect as you making a contract with your lawnmower in that if it doesn't start, you cannot take legal action to make it start. Therefore, it has to be considered it's own person for a set of interactions normally present in commerce.

                      A corporation is not capable of good and evil, ca

              • by Oligonicella (659917) on Friday December 06, 2013 @07:29PM (#45623561)

                The people who actually did the work and wrote the manual or designed the project.

                Of course, they'll return their salaries? That's the reason they were paid, you know, to produce something for someone else. Do you also think that an artist should be able to come along later and remove a painting or sculpture because it's "theirs" because they created it? If the answer is no because someone paid them for the work, you have a problem with your original logic. .

          • by Aaden42 (198257) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:49PM (#45622205) Homepage

            Leasing doesn’t fix this problem. There’s no reason Slimy Pub Corp, Inc. can’t require authors to sign an exclusive 100 year agreement to lease the copyright only to them, their successors, and assigns. Perfectly valid under (US at least) contract law, and still gives the same end result where authors can no longer self-publish or otherwise distribute their own work. They still “own” the copyright, but they’ve contracted away their rights to do anything with it.

            I don’t know enough about the academic publishing situation to know why authors would agree to sign away self publishing rights, but presumably there’s some value to using Elsevier’s services, even if the “value” is only in the sense that authors are required to do it in order to be “published” and advance their careers.

            Requiring copyright ownership tied to the lifetime of a single real person would help against the destruction of the public domain (Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and Disney’s perpetual ownership of what’s become intwined in common US culture), but it doesn’t prevent copyright owners from being compelled to sign away their rights in situations such as this one.

            • by mspohr (589790)

              You could have the copyright law state that you always have a right to your own work. You can give or rent or lease it to others to use but you would always have a right to the work and you couldn't prevent the author from having the right to copy the work.

            • by xaxa (988988) on Friday December 06, 2013 @07:04PM (#45623411)

              I don’t know enough about the academic publishing situation to know why authors would agree to sign away self publishing rights, but presumably there’s some value to using Elsevier’s services, even if the “value” is only in the sense that authors are required to do it in order to be “published” and advance their careers.

              I may have misinterpreted, but that sounds like you're suggesting scientists only publish work for selfish reasons (for their own career). Publishing work in a peer-reviewed journal is part of the process which shows the research is reasonable, and -- in theory -- puts it somewhere where it can be accessed by other scientists, validated or contested, and cited. It's often a requirement of receiving a grant, including from the/a government.

          • by lgw (121541)

            I'm OK with corporations owning "work for hire" work - if you do the work as an employee, IMO it's OK for the employer to own the copywrite. It would be vastly harder to get a job otherwise. If you want to ban anyone ("corporations" is a distraction) from acquiring copyright from an individual (not work for hire), I'd be OK with that, but I'm not sure what the difference between "copyright" and "exclusive distribution license" would be in practice.

            But it's just nuts that that applies in any way to academi

          • by Hatta (162192) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:39PM (#45622687) Journal

            Everyone should be legally prohibited from owning copyrights. As in copyright should be abolished entirely. If I own an item, it's my right to do with it what I see fit. Use as intended, destroy, reverse engineer, or copy.

        • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:02PM (#45622329)

          Many of these journals require copyright assignment, at which point it's not your own work anymore.

          I think this is exactly the situation for which the "void where prohibited by law" phrase was invented.

        • by trackedvehicle (1972844) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:51PM (#45622779)

          Many of these journals require copyright assignment, at which point it's not your own work anymore. Just one more reason the traditional scientific publishing model needs to die a quick death.

          Many? More like... all of them! As a scientist, I am fucking sick of copyrights. Maybe they're useful for some (but certainly not all) artists, but for scientists they are nothing but a way for big media (and Elsevier, Nature Publishing etc. are big media) to wrestle control of the scientist's work away from the scientist him/herself.

    • by the_povinator (936048) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:00PM (#45622313) Homepage
      I had this problem, nearly a year ago, and as a result had to move my website from pages.google.com to my self-hosted website at www.danielpovey.com (I explain the situation there).

      What happened is I made available online a preprint of a paper that I had submitted to an Elsevier journal... this is explicitly allowed by the terms you agree to (the preprint is the draft version that you submit to the journal, before the reviewers suggest changes). Anyway, Elsevier's people submitted a DMCA request to Google, even though what I was doing was 100% allowed, and this caused Google to take down my whole homepage. Google restored my website about a week later, after I submitted a counter-notification or whatever they call it, but by that time I'd decided to move to self-hosting.

      So yes, fuck Elsevier.

      Dan

    • Yeah, but it's nice to have your cake and eat it too. Researchers need to publish in the highest impact journal they can, that's unfortuantely still elsevier in many cases. And Elsevier doesn't give you the option to publish WITHOUT signing all your rights away.

      So you're right, but I'm still blaming elsevier for doing a bit of arm twisting. Unnecessary arm-twisting at that. Universities are still going to pay elsevier for subscriptions to their journals. They're not going to say "Researchers often
      • by davecb (6526)
        Universities in at least Canada are starting to push back against "copyright collectives", and have similar concerns about scholarly publishers.
  • the authors are trying to do what now? it isn't clear at all.

    • Re:wait (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:19PM (#45621955)

      Short explanation:

      When a paper writer contributes a document to be published by Elsevier, they sign away their own rights to the document to allow them to be published.

      Most of the people that write these documents also post these documents on their own websites anyway.

      In this situation, Elsevier sent a take-down notice to Academia.edu who was hosting one of these documents (that he'd posted on Academia.edu). Academia.edu sent him a letter basically saying that they felt that this was a terrible thing to do, but they had no choice.

      • so they're sharing their own papers. well, why didn't the story mention that?

        • by Aaden42 (198257)

          Because contractually, it’s largely irrelevant. They may be the author of the paper, but if they’ve signed a contract pledging to not publish the papers and they’re doing it anyway, they’re in breach of contract.

          No idea what’s in the contracts in question, but sending a C&D might actually be the polite thing for Elsevier to be doing. If the contract has any penalty or breach clauses, Elsevier might be entitled to damages, withheld payments, etc. against authors who violat

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Withheld payments? Hilarious. That would require these contracts to actually pay the authors...

  • by icebike (68054) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:12PM (#45621897)

    Why do these researchers transfer ALL copyrights, instead of just giving a non-exclusive copyright?

    Why not just put it on their institutional web server, and submit the link to google? I never
    saw a university that didn't make such a web server available to Faculty and even Students.

    A boycott can't come soon enough.

    • by wuerz (314474) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:27PM (#45622013)

      Publish or perish. As an academic your worth is measured (among other things) by the number of publications. In an effort to keep up the stream of publications out of one's lab, people agree to anything the publishers demand.

      Of course one could also negotiate less onerous terms, but that is hard when the publisher prints my paper with absolutely no (publishing-related) cost to me.

      • Of course one could also negotiate less onerous terms, but that is hard when the publisher prints my paper with absolutely no (publishing-related) cost to me.

        Sounds to me like there very much is a cost - you have to surrender the copyright to your work.

        Remember, just because money never changes hands doesn't mean it didn't cost you anything.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:31PM (#45622043)

      Why do these researchers transfer ALL copyrights, instead of just giving a non-exclusive copyright?

      Because it costs $1500. I just published a paper with Elsevier and they extened their offer to publish my paper as open access.

      That said, the copyright that I transfered is not that bad. I can publish a prepublication version on my personal website (that is, without the journal formatting), as well as preprint versions on the arXiv. I need to put the information on where the paper was published, which seems fair enough. Anyone looking for it can find it.

    • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:33PM (#45622067)

      Why do these researchers transfer ALL copyrights, instead of just giving a non-exclusive copyright?

      Because those are the terms of the journal. Don't transfer all the copyrights, don't get published.

      Why not just put it on their institutional web server, and submit the link to google? I never saw a university that didn't make such a web server available to Faculty and even Students.

      Because that doesn't count. Research has to be published in a peer-reviewed journal (or at a peer-reviewed conference) or it doesn't exist. You don't get credit for it, it never gets cited or used by other research, it doesn't become part of the literature.

      • by akozakie (633875) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:33PM (#45623143)

        > Because that doesn't count. Research has to be published in a peer-reviewed journal (or at a peer-reviewed conference) or it doesn't exist.

        Well... true.

        > You don't get credit for it,

        Yup.

        > it never gets cited or used by other research, it doesn't become part of the literature.

        Nope, not necessarily, depends on the field. I see more and more citations of even blog entries. Some have more citations than the best paper anyone I met personally wrote. Some "not-papers" become cornerstones of entire branches of research, although they tend to be later replaced by real papers by the same author (with nothing new in them). Note that not all publishers will even accept citations like that.

        Still, these citations do not count - at least where I leave. You may be the author of the most influential text in the field in years. Your results may have been replicated by multiple peers and cited by almost everyone who matters, making you a real celebrity. However, it's not in a journal on the ministerial list. It is not indexed by the oficially endorsed database (mostly Web of Science here). It gets cited, but these citations do not appear in the database. So, your official parameters (like h-index) are unaffected. It is entirely possible to be - at the same time - one of the most influential researchers worldwide and a deadweight for your institution, lowering its total score. Also, grant proposals you submit will get lower scores, because you're "not influential enough", you're unlikely to produce anything worthwile.

        So, you're basically right. You will swallow any restrictions imposed by the publisher if the journal is good enough and wants to publish your paper. Because your evaluation is not based on your real achievements - that's too subjective. It is based on artificial scoring, in which some peer-reviewed journals, mainly from the largest publishers, simply rule.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:33PM (#45622073)

      Why do these researchers transfer ALL copyrights, instead of just giving a non-exclusive copyright?

      Why not just put it on their institutional web server, and submit the link to google? I never
      saw a university that didn't make such a web server available to Faculty and even Students.

      A boycott can't come soon enough.

      Publishing isn't just the act of getting your paper out there in research. It's the act of a review committee determining that your paper is of high enough quality to be presented through their Journal. The Journals are more or less ranked in prestige, which is related to how difficult it is to get your paper published in that Journal.

      So academic publishing is part review service, and part information distribution. The way the review service has been funded in the past is that they charge quite a bit to obtain the Journal's distribution. Libraries typically fund this directly, or occasionally the individual or laboratory. A yearly subscription to a key journal might cost more than a thousand dollars.

      As such, researchers are asked to give away publishing rights; otherwise, the journal could be undercut from it's revenue stream quite easily, via self-publishing or second-source publishing. This would lead to validation in the prestigious publication, and no funding going to that publication due to everyone buying access to the paper through other markets.

      Typically an author knows this, and there is an informal means of working around this in academia when a person who can't reasonably afford the journal needs a copy of the paper. They contact the original author, and if you can reach them (typically not possible unless you have a connection), and they are willing, they will give you a copy of the paper.

      This publication is deciding to protect it's revenue stream by going after it's authors for violating their agreements to not distribute the same material by a different means. Provided that giving away a copy of the paper is interpreted as redistribution, the original author is in the wrong; however, it is an unwise approach to punish authors, as it might tip the current balance of costs and benefits of publication in a prestigious journal to the side where other less prestigious Journals with more relaxed policies might start getting all the good papers.

      It's been like this for the past 30 years, this is nothing new. Getting published in Science or Nature is a resume builder, which will get you A-listed for grant money.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Why not just put it on their institutional web server, and submit the link to google?

      Because that doesn't count towards tenure.

    • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:41PM (#45622131)

      When the answer seems obvious, it's almost always wrong. More specifically, the words "Why not just..." should never be typed or said, because there is probably a good reason why not.

      In this case, you have two options: publish in a reputable journal, or make it available elsewhere. For many reasons, lots of people choose the first. Then the choice is turn over all rights, or not. To be published, the "standard" form includes giving up those rights. They already decided to publish, so the decision to sign the form was made - probably as part of the submission process on condition of being accepted.

      A simple solution would not resolve the complex issues of judging a paper's impact, awarding tenure, and piles of other aspects that are only mildly related to choosing where to publish, but are greatly impacted by it.

      • by icebike (68054)

        Sounds to me like a great deal of evil could be dispensed with by eliminating Tenure, a concept found in almost no other industry. It seems Tenure has become like patents, a perverted concept totally at odds with the needs of its most ardent supporters.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          Sounds to me like a great deal of evil could be dispensed with by eliminating Tenure,

          Tenure is a tenet of academic freedom. When you have reached a point in your career when you have proven worth, you get a bit of freedom to explore what you want without fearing that you'll be fired because of it. Yes, you could trust universities to not fire people for uncoordinated rambling in their research, but formalizing the relationship a bit isn't a bad idea.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          How would ditching tenure help in this case? Professors with tenure are free from the absolute "publish or perish" mentality that requires them to churn out as many papers in high-impact journals as possible, regardless of ethical considerations. Elsevier has bought up lots of old, respectable ("high impact factor") journals, so they profit from the fact that professors are driven by shallow numerical metrics to publish in them. Tenure allows senior, experienced professors to escape the cycle, so they have

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      Why do these researchers transfer ALL copyrights, instead of just giving a non-exclusive copyright?

      Because Elsevier demands it. And they can demand it because academics need citations and Elsevier provides them.

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:15PM (#45621925)

    I'm surprised authors would agree to terms not allowing them to share articles with others in their field and journalists.

    Once upon a time, scientific print magazines were the only way to "get the word out." That died over a decade back.

    Either those publishers get a new business model which adds value to the papers they "print" or they will die, just like Kodak no more 'paper' prints.

    A new business model could easily be searching and retrieving all the world's scientific or medical or whatever literature and providing that as a service.

    • You mean like Google Scholar?

      Or Google Books?

      Or that other one I used to use before scholar that had all the free papers etc?

      This is most certainly NOT a new business model!

    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      Once upon a time, scientific print magazines were the only way to "get the word out." That died over a decade back.

      Yup, I heard there was a guy at CERN who invented a nicer way of sharing work with other physicists...

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      I'm surprised authors would agree to terms not allowing them to share articles with others in their field and journalists.

      What choice do they have? Publishing is highly competitive and academic authors need citations. Academics would give away their firstborn to get into a highly ranked journal.

    • by spasm (79260) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:46PM (#45622741) Homepage

      It's not about just 'getting your work out' - it's about the fact that the university who decides whether you get tenure or post-tenure promotions still does so partially on the basis of how many publications you have in peer-reviewed journals, and how high the impact factor of those journals is. My institution literally has a tenure requirements document that says "at least 3 papers published in journals from this list of high-impact journals, or at least 5 in this other list of lower-impact journals'. So it's publish in those journals or lose your job when you fail to get tenure. So you sign whatever the journal wants you to sign if you get a paper accepted there, no matter how stupid the terms. What needs to change is universities removing journals who abuse everyone from those magic lists, so we can all safely ignore them.

    • by lorinc (2470890) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:49PM (#45622769) Homepage Journal

      Researchers agree these terms because they have no other choice. Ok, seems nobody outside the academic gets the sense of publish or perish.
      Let me tell you why I continue to send my works to Elsevier (or the others) journals, whatever they are asking in the terms and conditions.

      In my country (France), to get a research position you first have to get a "qualification" which involves a threshold on the number of journal papers you have. The higher the impact factor of the journal, the better it counts. Once you have this "qualification", you can try to get a position - the system is competition based, and most of the time it is based on the number of high impact factor journal papers you have. So yeah, basically, if you try to play the cowboy before you have the position, you'll never get one.

      Now, I do have such position and I could put all my stuff on arxiv. But I also have PhD students, and they want to work in the academic. if I tell them to go the open access way, they'll never get the "qualification" and the position. Thus, we chase these "important" journals (read significant impact factor), and send the articles there. As long as articles in these journals is mandatory to get a position, we have no other choice than publishing there for the students.

      To my mind, the solution lies not in the hands of the researchers, by is rather a political one. If the government dictates specific recommendations that positions should be awarded to people with open bibliography, the stupid behavior of Elsevier will die. As long as no political action is taken, it will continue as it was.

      • by fnj (64210)

        I understand that, but what I don't understand is why a competitor doesn't spring up and knock Elsevier off their high horse by offering the contributors better terms. It would take a while for this new competitor to acquire the necessary prestige, but all businesses face startup costs.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:18PM (#45621951) Journal
    I can't think of a better way to destroy your product than to annoy the people who create and deliver to you (at zero price) the basic ingredient to the product you sell.
  • by joe_frisch (1366229) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:26PM (#45622001)

    I work at a big national laboratory that is funded by the US government.

    Naturally the government needs to allocate limited funds among their various laboratories, each of which has more ideas for things to do than there is funding.

    In order to avoid corruption / favoritism (remember total we are talking billions of dollars), the government wants a quantifiable way to evaluate the performance of the laboratories in order to help determine how to best distribute the available funds.

    One of the metrics they have picked is number of publications in "high impact" journals. (its not easy to think of better quantifiable metrics).

    Most of the high impact journals are the old private journals like Physical Review, or Nature.

    So, if the scientists refuse to publish in these journals, the laboratory looks worse, and will tend to lose funds. This will direct money away from the best labs.

    Of course publishing in high impact journals also helps the scientists' careers - and the same sort of arguments apply.

    The journals of course are businesses and quite reasonably want to stay in business and make a profit.

    Sadly I don't have a good idea for a solution.

    • by toonces33 (841696) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:31PM (#45622047)

      If you are a government employee and you submit a paper, instead of assigning the copyright, you send them some sort of standard form informing them that since the work was done by the government, it is not copyrightable.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So, government employee as author on each paper to poison the source?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you are a government employee and you submit a paper, instead of assigning the copyright, you send them some sort of standard form informing them that since the work was done by the government, it is not copyrightable.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government [wikipedia.org]

        You'd think that Elsevier had heard of that already and put it at the top of their publishing agreement [elsevier.com] or something.

    • by neminem (561346)

      I do - take a hint from movie and music studios. Release your movies or music with all kinds of restrictive licenses, then surreptitiously hand them over to some other guy without your name on it to release it to the internet. When asked, say you got hacked and had nothing to do with it. Plausible deniability for everyone!

    • by kencurry (471519)
      good post - I wish I had mod points today.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Easy. Force all government funded research to be published in an open access journal as a condition of that funding. Nature will either have to accept papers that are available for free, or become a vanity press for corporations.

      Concerning impact factors, they seem a little indirect. The impact factor is the average number of citations a work in the journal receives. Why not just count the number of citations a work actually receives? If I publish a paper in Nature that receives no citations, what goo

  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:38PM (#45622095)
    Scientific publication is how science proceeds. It's how scientists communicate. Some countries and organizations encourage that better than others. When I find a paper that's paywalled, I know there's a good chance I may be able to find a similar paper from the UK or elsewhere where "publication" is seen as a means for scientists to communicate, rather than to get rich selling their papers. Scientists who publish in paywalled-only journals may find they aren't communicating as well as those who are able to be more open with their results. This could negatively impact their careers. This is not the same as the mechanism of nonscientific publications where making money from the reader for the author is the primary goal. There's a conflict of interest here and I'm afraid it doesn't bode well for the scientific journals. They are no longer the most effective and lowest cost means od disseminating scientific information. The observation of the "Kodak moment" is an apt one.
  • by Zarhan (415465) on Friday December 06, 2013 @04:43PM (#45622141)

    I have published a paper through Elsevier when I was working on my PhD. At least the contract I signed with them states that I retain the right to distribute the papers if I so choose, for example, on my own website.

    Of course, if the distrubution happens through a third party...that might be a different matter.

  • I work in an area where most of the top journals are owned by Elsevier. Also most of my publications are with Elsevier and I'm on several editorial boards for Elsevier journals.. I've been thinking of resigning from editorial boards on Elsevier journals and starting new arxiv based journals because of the cost of journals. This breaks the camel's back. Elsevier can bite me.

  • by QilessQi (2044624) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:13PM (#45622447)

    "Every-von Vould Be Better Off Publishink Else-vier"

  • One thing I was unable to ascertain from the article was whether Elsevier was going after authors who share the preprint version of their paper, or the one that is typeset by Elsevier. I have published in Elsevier journals before, and I send the preprint to arxiv.org where it will be permanently available for free. Then, after they accept it for publication, they send a PDF of the article typeset as it will appear in the journal, which is the same content, but laid out more professionally. When signing o
  • This is the fault of the Schools. The Schools pressure academics to publish, and the only publishing outlet is often Elsevier.

    The Schools need to bind all of their academics to these contractual terms:
    (1) The School reserves the right to openly publish all work of its author-professors for no money.
    (2) The School designates the author-professor of the work as its agent for such open publishing.
    (3) The School will never ever second guess any decision made by the agent/author-professor's regarding any open

  • by siwelwerd (869956) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:39PM (#45622681)

    This is complete flame bait. Here is a link to what Elsevier allows authors to do with their articles: http://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/author-rights-and-responsibilities#author-posting [elsevier.com] . The article asserts that posting to your own website is a violation of the agreement; note that Elsevier explicitly states that this is allowed. Posting the submitted version to preprint servers (e.g. arxiv.org) is explicitly allowed. What you can't do is post to some third party for-profit website, which is apparently how they view this academia.edu place. Given that they have an "about" page bragging about their investors, and they have a CEO, it does not seem far fetched to conclude that this academia.edu is gaining commercially from your posting the article, which is an explicit violation of the agreement with the publisher.

    So to me, this is a non-story. Disclosure: I have no love for Elsevier, but I have published with them in the past and will again in the future (we junior faculty don't have the luxury of taking principled stands).

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