[Irtalk] How Elsevier Can Improve Its Public Image

Smith, Ina <ismith@sun.ac.za> ismith at sun.ac.za
Mon May 14 14:30:19 SAST 2012


Along with the majority of publishers today, Elsevier is a Green publisher: Elsevier has formally recognized immediate (unembargoed) institutional Green OA self-archiving by its authors ever since 27 May 2004<http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/3771.html>.

Recently, however, a new clause has been added to "Authors' Rights and Responsibilities<http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/rights>," the document in which Elsevier formally recognizes its authors' right to make their final, peer-reviewed drafts Open Access immediately upon publication (no embargo) by posting them on their institutional website (Green Gratis OA). The new clause is:
"but not in institutional repositories with mandates for systematic postings."
The distinction between an institutional website and an institutional repository is bogus.

The distinction between nonmandatory posting (allowed) and mandatory posting (not allowed) is arbitrary nonsense. ("You retain the right to post if you wish but not if you must!")

The "systematic" criterion is also nonsense. (Systematic posting would be the institutional posting of all the articles in the journal; but any single institution only contributes a tiny, arbitrary fraction of the articles in any journal, just as any single author does; so the mandating institution is not a 3rd-party "free-rider" on the journal's content: its researchers are simply making their own articles OA, by posting them on their institutional website, exactly as described.)

This "systematic" clause is hence pure FUD, designed to scare or bully or confuse institutions into not mandating posting, and to scare or bully or confuse authors into not complying with their institutional mandates. (There are also rumours that in confidential licensing negotiations with institutions, Elsevier has been trying to link bigger and better pricing deals to the institution's agreeing not to adopt a Green OA mandate.)

Elsevier's public image is so bad today<http://cdn.anonfiles.com/1334923359479.pdf> that rescinding its Green light to self-archive<http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/#32.Poisoned> after almost a decade of mounting demand for OA is hardly a very attractive or viable option.

And double-talk, smoke-screens and FUD<http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/822-.html> are even less attractive or viable.

It will hence very helpful in helping researchers to provide -- and their institutions and funders to mandate -- Open Access if Elsevier drops its "you may if you wish but not if you must" clause.

It will also help to improve Elsevier's public image.

Stevan Harnad

Ina Smith

[cid:image001.png at 01CD31DB.73CD0FB0]<http://www.berlin10.org/>

E-Research Repository Manager (SUNScholar) | Library and Information Service | Stellenbosch University | Private Bag X5036, 7599 | South Africa
http://scholar.sun.ac.za | http://www.journals.ac.za | E-mail: ismith at sun.ac.za<mailto:ismith at sun.ac.za> | Tel:  +27 21 808 9139 | Skype: smith.ina | Office hours: Mo-Fr: 08h00-16h30

E-Navorsingsbewaarplekbestuurder (SUNScholar) | Biblioteek- en Inligtingsdiens | Universiteit Stellenbosch | Privaatsak X5036, 7599 | Suid-Afrika
http://scholar.sun.ac.za  | http://www.journals.ac.za | E-pos: ismith at sun.ac.za<mailto:ismith at sun.ac.za> | Tel:  +27 21 808 9139 | Skype: smith.ina | Kantoorure: Mo-Fr: 08h00-16h30

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