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| footnotes =| intl =}}Elsevier ({{IPA-nl|ˈɛlzəviːr|lang}}) is a Dutch information and analytics company and one of the world's major providers of scientific, technical, and medical information. It was established in 1880 as a publishing company.WEB,weblink Elsevier finds its one globe voice, It is a part of the RELX Group,WEB,weblink RELX Group homepage, Reller, Tom, known until 2015 as Reed Elsevier. Its products include journals such as The Lancet and Cell, the ScienceDirect collection of electronic journals, the Trends and Current Opinion series of journals, the online citation database Scopus, and the ClinicalKey solution for clinicians. Elsevier's products and services include the entire academic research lifecycle, including software and data-management, instruction and assessment tools.WEB,weblink Plum Goes Orange – Elsevier Acquires Plum Analytics, 2017-02-02, Elsevier publishes more than 470,000 articles annually in 2,500 journals.WEB,weblink 2018 RELX Group Annual Report, March 2019, RELX Company Reports, RELX, Its archives contain over 16 million documents and 30,000 e-books.WEB,weblink Science Direct, Reller, Tom, Total yearly downloads amount to more than 1 billion.Elsevier's high operating profit margins (37% in 2018)PRESS RELEASE
, RELX — Results for the year to December 2018
, 21 February 2019
, RELX Group
, London, United Kingdom and Amsterdam, The Netherlands
, 2019-03-27
, Adjusted operating margin for 2017 for the publishing division is 36.8% (p6).
and its copyright practices have subjected it to criticism by researchers.NEWS,weblink Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher, The New York Times, Thomas, Lin, 13 February 2012,
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Elsevier was founded in 1880{{sfn|Groen|2007|p=217}} and adopted the name and logo from the Dutch publishing house Elzevir that was an inspiration and has no connection to the contemporary Elsevier.{{sfn|Groen|2007|p=217}} The Elzevir family operated as booksellers and publishers in the Netherlands; the founder, Lodewijk Elzevir (1542–1617), lived in Leiden and established the business in 1580. As company logo, Elsevier used the Elzevir family's printer's mark, a tree entwined with a vine and the words Non Solus, which is Latin for "not alone." Elsevier suggests that this logo represents, "the symbiotic relationship between publisher and scholar".WEB,weblink Interesting Fact - History of the Elsevier Logo, Facebook, 2019-06-12, The expansion of Elsevier in the scientific field after 1945 was funded with the profits of the newsweekly Elsevier, which published its first issue on 27 October 1945. The weekly was an instant success and earned lots of money.Gerry van der List, Meer dan een weekblad. De geschiedenis van Elsevier The weekly was a continuation, as is stated in its first issue, of the monthly Elsevier, which was founded in 1891 to promote the name of the publishing house and had to stop publication in December 1940 because of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.In 1947, Elsevier began publishing its first English-language journal, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.WEB, Reed Elsevier Timeline,weblink, 13 September 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 30 October 2015, dmy-all, In 2013, Elsevier acquired Mendeley, a UK company making software for managing and sharing research papers. Mendeley, previously an open platform for sharing of research, was greatly criticized for the acquisition, which users saw as acceding to the "paywall" approach to research literature. Mendeley's previously open sharing system now allows exchange of paywalled resources only within private groups.WEB, Amirtha, Tina, THE OPEN PUBLISHING REVOLUTION, NOW BEHIND A BILLION-DOLLAR PAYWALL,weblink Fast Company, 26 January 2016, 2015-04-17, The New Yorker described Elsevier's reasons for buying Mendeley as two-fold: to acquire its user data, and to "destroy or coöpt an open-science icon that threatens its business model".WEB,weblink When the Rebel Alliance Sells Out, David, Dobbs, The New Yorker, 12 April 2013, In December 2013, Elsevier announced a collaboration with University College London, the UCL Big Data Institute.WEB,weblink University College London and Elsevier launch UCL Big Data Institute | Elsevier Connect,, 26 December 2013, Elsevier's investment is "substantial" and thought to be more than £10 million.WEB,weblink Reed Elsevier announces knowledge partnership with University College, London, The Independent, 18 December 2013, 29 September 2014,

Company statistics

{{as of | 2018 | alt = During 2018}}, researchers submitted over 1.8 million research papers to Elsevier-based publications. Over 20,000 editors managed the peer review and selection of these papers, resulting in the publication of more than 470,000 articles in over 2,500 journals. Editors are generally unpaid volunteers who perform their duties alongside a full-time job in academic institutions,JOURNAL, James A., Coleman, How to get published in English: Advice from the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, System, 2014-01-03, 0346-251X, 404–411, 42, 10.1016/j.system.2014.01.004, Remember that editors and reviewers are unpaid, and are undertaking their tasks voluntarily, in addition to a full-time job, although exceptions have been reported.In 2013, the five editorial groups Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and SAGE Publications published more than half of all academic papers in the peer-reviewed literature.WEB,weblink These Five Corporations Control Academic Publishing, 10 June 2015,, 31 January 2018, JOURNAL, The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era, Vincent Larivière, Stefanie Haustein, Philippe Mongeon, PLoS ONE, 10, 6, 2015, 10.1371/journal.pone.0127502, 26061978, 4465327, e0127502, 2015PLoSO..1027502L, At that time, Elsevier accounted for 16% of the world market in science, technology, and medical publishing.WEB, Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill,weblink, 7 November 2016, Elsevier breaks down its revenue sources by format and by geographic region. Approximately 44% of revenue by geography in 2018 derived from North America, 24% from Europe and the remaining 32% from the rest of the world. Approximately 83% of revenue by format came from electronic usage and 17% came from print.Elsevier employs more than 7,800 people in over 70 offices across 24 countries. Following the integration of its Science & Technology and Health Sciences divisions in 2012, Elsevier has operated under a traditional business structure with a single chief executive officer (CEO).WEB,weblink Elsevier Next Steps, Information Today, 7 November 2016, The CEO is Kumsal Bayazit,WEB,weblink Kumsal Bayazit,, 22 February 2019, who was appointed on 15 February 2019.In 2018, Elsevier accounted for 34% of the revenues of RELX group (₤2.538 billion of ₤7.492 billion). In operating profits, it represented 40% (₤942 million of ₤2,346 million). Adjusted operating profits (with constant currency) rose by 2% from 2017 to 2018.

Market model

Products and services

Products and services include electronic and print versions of journals, textbooks and reference works, and cover the health, life, physical and social sciences.The target markets are academic and government research institutions, corporate research labs, booksellers, librarians, scientific researchers, authors, editors, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, medical and nursing students and schools, medical researchers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and research establishments. It publishes in 13 languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Japanese, Hindi, and Chinese.Flagship products and services include VirtualE, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Scirus, EMBASE, Engineering Village, Compendex, Cell, SciVal, Pure, and Analytical Services, The Consult series (FirstCONSULT, PathCONSULT, NursingCONSULT, MDConsult, StudentCONSULT), Virtual Clinical Excursions, and major reference works such as Gray's Anatomy, Nelson Pediatrics, Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy, and online versions of many journalsHealth Advance. Elsevier. including The Lancet.ScienceDirect is Elsevier's platform for online electronic access to its journals and over 6,000 e-books, reference works, book series, and handbooks. The articles are grouped in four main sections: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities. For most articles on the website, abstracts are freely available; access to the full text of the article (in PDF, and also HTML for newer publications) often requires a subscription or pay-per-view purchase.

Research and information ecosystem

RELX Group has been active in mergers and acquisitions, with dozens of deals completed for a total of over 5 billion dollars in ten years.WEB,weblink RELX Group plc, Crunchbase, Elsevier has been joined by businesses which were either complementing or competing in the field of research and publishing and which reinforce its market power,NEWS,weblink Elsevier Continues To Build Its Monopoly Solution For All Aspects Of Scholarly Communication, 2017-08-04, Techdirt, 2018-10-17, Glyn Moody, such as Mendeley (after the closure of 2collab), SSRN,NEWS,weblink Disappointing: Elsevier Buys Open Access Academic Pre-Publisher SSRN, 2016-05-17, Techdirt, 2018-10-17, Mike Masnick, bepress/Digital Commons, PlumX.The group contains additional information and analytics companies, particularly LexisNexis and ThreatMetrix.

Global conferences

Elsevier conducts conferences, exhibitions and workshop worldwide, with over 50 conferences a year covering life sciences, physical sciences & engineering, social sciences, and health sciences. In 2014 Elsevier conducted 48 conferences attended by 11,328 delegates from 128 countries.WEB,weblink Elsevier Global Conferences,,


In the 21st century, the subscription rates charged by the company for its journals have been criticized; some very large journals (with more than 5,000 articles) charge subscription prices as high as £9,634, far above average,JOURNAL,weblink Guardian, Monbiot, George, 29 August 2011, Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist, and many British universities pay more than a million pounds to Elsevier annually.WEB,weblink Elsevier journals — some facts, Gowers's Weblog, 24 April 2014, 27 July 2014, The company has been criticized not only by advocates of a switch to the open-access publication model, but also by universities whose library budgets make it difficult for them to afford current journal prices.For example, a resolution by Stanford University's senate singled out Elsevier's journals as being "disproportionately expensive compared to their educational and research value", which librarians should consider dropping, and encouraged its faculty "not to contribute articles or editorial or review efforts to publishers and journals that engage in exploitive or exorbitant pricing".Faculty Senate minutes February 19 meeting Stanford Report, 25 February 2004 Similar guidelines and criticism of Elsevier's pricing policies have been passed by the University of California, Harvard University, and Duke University.WEB,weblink Fac Sen addresses costly journals, The Stanford Daily, 20 February 2004, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 5 November 2012, dmy, In July 2015, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced a plan to start boycotting Elsevier, which refused to negotiate on any Open Access policy for Dutch universities.Danny Kingsley Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer?, University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication In December 2016, Nature Publishing Group reported that academics in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are to lose access to Elsevier journals as negotiations had broken down with the publisher.JOURNAL, Schiermeier, Quirin, Mega, Emiliano Rodríguez, Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier journals, Nature, 10.1038/nature.2016.21223, 28054621, 541, 7635, 13, 2016, 2017Natur.541...13S, A complaint about Elsevier/RELX was made to the UK Competition and Markets Authority in December 2016.NEWS,weblink Referring Elsevier/RELX to the Competition and Markets Authority, Martin Paul Eve, en-US, 2016-12-14, In October of 2018, a competition complaint against Elsevier was filed with the European Commission, alleging anti-competitive practices stemming from Elsevier's confidential subscription agreements and market dominance.NEWS, Kelly, Éanna, Researchers complain to Brussels over ‘dominant position’ of RELX Group in scientific publishing,weblink 16 January 2019,, 2 November 2018,

Shill review offer

According to the BBC, "the firm [Elsevier] offered a £17.25 Amazon voucher to academics who contributed to the textbook Clinical Psychology if they would go on and Barnes & Noble (a large US books retailer) and give it five stars." Elsevier said that "encouraging interested parties to post book reviews isn't outside the norm in scholarly publishing, nor is it wrong to offer to nominally compensate people for their time. But in all instances the request should be unbiased, with no incentives for a positive review, and that's where this particular e-mail went too far", and that it was a mistake by a marketing employee.Finlo Rohrer, "The perils of five-star reviews", BBC News Magazine, 25 June 2009.

Blocking text mining research

Elsevier seeks to regulate text and data mining with private licenses, claiming that reading requires extra permission if automated and that the publisher holds copyright on output of automated processes. The conflict on research and copyright policy has often resulted in researchers being blocked from their work.JOURNAL, Richard, Van Noorden, Elsevier opens its papers to text-mining, Nature, 2014-02-03, 0028-0836, 17, 506, 7486, 10.1038/506017a, 24499898, free, “It was a legitimate criticism, that people sent text-mining requests in to publishers and they bounced around for a time without any response,” admits Chris Shillum, vice-president of product management for platform and content at Elsevier., 2014Natur.506...17V, In November 2015 Elsevier blocked a scientist from performing text mining research at scale on Elsevier papers, even though his institution already pays for access to Elsevier journal content.JOURNAL, Bloudoff-Indelicato, Mollie, Text-mining block prompts online response, Nature, 20 November 2015, 527, 7579, 413, 10.1038/527413f, 2015Natur.527..413B, WEB, Moody, Glyn, Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers 'Could Be Considered' Stealing,weblink TechDirt, 21 November 2015, The data were collected via parsing of downloaded PDF and HTML files,JOURNAL, Nuijten, Michèle B., Hartgerink, Chris H. J., van Assen, Marcel A. L. M., Epskamp, Sacha, Wicherts, Jelte M., The prevalence of statistical reporting errors in psychology (1985–2013), Behavior Research Methods, 23 October 2015, 48, 4, 1205–1226, 10.3758/s13428-015-0664-2, 26497820, 5101263, although Elsevier claimed that the method used was screenscraping.A. Wise, 2015-11-17, Elsevier stopped me doing my research - Comment by Dr Alicia Wise

Academic practices

"Who's Afraid of Peer Review"

One of Elsevier's journals was caught in the sting set-up by John Bohannon, published in Science, called "Who's Afraid of Peer Review?"JOURNAL, Bohannon, John, John Bohannon, Who's Afraid of Peer Review?, 10.1126/science.342.6154.60, Science, 342, 6154, 60–65, 2013, 24092725, 2013Sci...342...60B, The journal Drug Invention Today accepted an obviously bogus paper made up by Bohannon that should have been rejected by any good peer review system.NEWS, Claire Shaw,weblink Hundreds of open access journals accept fake science paper,, 26 December 2013, The Guardian, 2013-10-04, Instead, Drug Invention Today was among many open access journals that accepted the fake paper for publication. As of 2014, this journal had been transferred to a different publisher.WEB,weblink Drug Invention Today,,

Fake journals

{{further|Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine}}At a 2009 court case in Australia where Merck & Co. was being sued by a user of Vioxx, the plaintiff alleged that Merck had paid Elsevier to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewed academic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs.NEWS,weblink Doctors signed Merck's Vioxx studies, Rout, Milanda, 9 April 2009, The Australian, 4 May 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 6 May 2009, yes, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Merck published fake journal, Grant, Bob, 30 April 2009, The Scientist (magazine), The Scientist, 4 May 2009, NEWS,weblink Merck accused of 'ghost writing' medical article, Hagan, Kate, 23 April 2009, The Age, 4 May 2009, Ben Goldacre, "The danger of drugs … and data", The Guardian, 9 May 2009 Merck described the journal as a "complimentary publication," denied claims that articles within it were ghost written by Merck, and stated that the articles were all reprinted from peer-reviewed medical journals.PRESS RELEASE, Merck Responds to Questions about the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine Journal, 30 April 2009,weblink Merck & Co., PDF, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 31 December 2009, dmy, In May 2009, Elsevier Health Sciences CEO Hansen released a statement regarding Australia-based sponsored journals, conceding that they were "sponsored article compilation publications, on behalf of pharmaceutical clients, that were made to look like journals and lacked the proper disclosures." The statement acknowledged that it "was an unacceptable practice."PRESS RELEASE, Statement from Michael Hansen, CEO Of Elsevier's Health Sciences Division, regarding Australia based sponsored journal practices between 2000 and 2005,weblink Elsevier, The Scientist reported that, according to an Elsevier spokesperson, six sponsored publications "were put out by their Australia office and bore the Excerpta Medica imprint from 2000 to 2005," namely the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine (Australas. J. Bone Joint Med.), the Australasian Journal of General Practice (Australas. J. Gen. Pract.), the Australasian Journal of Neurology (Australas. J. Neurol.), the Australasian Journal of Cardiology (Australas. J. Cardiol.), the Australasian Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (Australas. J. Clin. Pharm.), and the Australasian Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (Australas. J. Cardiovasc. Med.).NEWS, Bob, Grant, Elsevier published 6 fake journals,weblink 7 May 2009, The Scientist (magazine), The Scientist, Excerpta Medica was a "strategic medical communications agency" run by Elsevier, according to the imprint's web page.WEB, "Excerpta Medica", official webpage,weblink Elsevier, In October 2010, Excerpta Medica was acquired by Adelphi Worldwide.WEB, "Excerpta Medica Joins Adelphi Worldwide", press release,weblink Elsevier,

Chaos, Solitons & Fractals

There was speculationJOURNAL, Self-publishing editor set to retire, 10.1038/456432a, 456, 7221, Nature, 432, 19037282, Schiermeier, Q, 2008, that the editor-in-chief of Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Mohamed El Naschie, misused his power to publish his own work without appropriate peer review. The journal had published 322 papers with El Naschie as author since 1993. The last issue of December 2008 featured five of his papers.Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 38(5), pp. 1229–1534 (December 2008) The controversy was covered extensively in blogs.WEB,weblink The Scholarly Kitchen, WEB,weblink El Naschie Watch Blog, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 15 October 2010, dmy-all, The publisher announced in January 2009 that El Naschie had retired as editor-in-chief.JOURNAL, 10.1016/S0960-0779(09)00060-5, Publisher's note, 2009, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 39, v–, 2009CSF....39D...5., {{As of|2011|11}} the co-Editors-in-Chief of the journal were Maurice Courbage and Paolo Grigolini.BOOK,weblink Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, November 2011, In June 2011 El Naschie sued the journal Nature for libel, claiming that his reputation had been damaged by their November 2008 article about his retirement, which included statements that Nature had been unable to verify his claimed affiliations with certain international institutions.NEWS, Nature journal libel case begins, BBC News, Ghosh, Pallab,weblink 11 November 2011, 11 November 2011, The suit came to trial in November 2011 and was dismissed in July 2012, with the judge ruling that the article was "substantially true", contained "honest comment" and was "the product of responsible journalism". The judgement noted that El Naschie, who represented himself in court, had failed to provide any documentary evidence that his papers had been peer-reviewed."Nature libel verdict 'a victory for free speech'",The Guardian 6 July 2012 Judge Victoria Sharp also found "reasonable and serious grounds" for suspecting that El Naschie used a range of false names to defend his editorial practice in communications with Nature, and described this behavior as "curious" and "bizarre".JOURNAL, Aron, Jacob, 6 July 2012, Nature Publishing Group wins libel trial, New Scientist, 2873,weblink 14 July 2012,


Some Elsevier journals automatically screen submissions for plagiarism,WEB,weblink Plagiarism detection, Elsevier, but not all.WEB,weblink UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd, Ivan Oransky, 2018-08-23, In 2018, Elsevier journal Procedia was reported to have published plagiarism by an Albanian politician in 2012.NEWS,weblink Massive Plagiarism Scandal Hits Albanian Officials without Consequences, 2018-12-25,

Control of journals

Resignation of editorial boards

In November 1999 the entire editorial board (50 persons) of the Journal of Logic Programming (founded in 1984 by Alan Robinson) collectively resigned after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations with Elsevier Press about the price of library subscriptions.Joan Birman. "Scientific publishing: a mathematician’s viewpoint". Notices of the AMS. Vol. 47, No. 7, August 2000 The personnel created a new journal, Theory and Practice of Logic Programming, with Cambridge University Press at a much lower price, while Elsevier continued publication with a new editorial board and a slightly different name (the Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming).In 2002, dissatisfaction at Elsevier's pricing policies caused the European Economic Association to terminate an agreement with Elsevier designating Elsevier's European Economic Review as the official journal of the association. The EEA launched a new journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association.WEB, EffeDesign,weblink The EEA's journal: a brief history,, 26 December 2013, In 2003, the entire editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms resigned to start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher,WEB,weblink Changes at the Journal of Algorithms, 26 December 2013, at the suggestion of Journal of Algorithms founder Donald Knuth.WEB,weblink Donald Knuth, 25 October 2003, Letter to the editorial board of the Journal of Algorithms, 18 February 2008, The Journal of Algorithms continued under Elsevier with a new editorial board until October 2009, when it was discontinued.WEB,weblink Journal of Algorithms page at ScienceDirect,, 26 December 2013, The same happened in 2005 to the International Journal of Solids and Structures, whose editors resigned to start the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. However, a new editorial board was quickly established and the journal continues in apparently unaltered form with editors D.A. Hills (Oxford University) and Stelios Kyriakides (University of Texas at Austin).WEB, Journal declarations of independence,weblink Open Access Directory, Simmons College, 23 May 2012, JOURNAL, Kyriakides, Stelios, Hills, David A., Editorial, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 1 January 2006, 43, 1, 1, 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2005.11.001, Charles R. Steele succeeded Herrmann as editor in chief in 1985 and served in that capacity until June 2005. During his 20-year tenure the journal grew both in size and in reputation, becoming one of the premier journals in the field. We have accepted an invitation to serve as editors of the journal as of October 1, 2005, being cognizant of the immense contributions, leadership, and high standards exercised by our two predecessors on the way to making IJSS the forum it is today., In August 2006, the entire editorial board of the distinguished mathematical journal Topology handed in their resignation, again because of stalled negotiations with Elsevier to lower the subscription price.WEB,weblink 10 August 2006, Resignation letter from the editors of Topology, 18 February 2008, This board then launched the new Journal of Topology at a far lower price, under the auspices of the London Mathematical Society.Journal of Topology (pub. London Mathematical Society) {{webarchive |url= |date=7 February 2007 }} After this mass resignation, Topology remained in circulation under a new editorial board until 2009, when the last issue was published.BOOK,weblink Topology,, 13 March 2015, WEB,weblink Topology page at ScienceDirect,, 26 December 2013, The French École Normale Supérieure has stopped having Elsevier publish the journal Annales Scientifiques de l'École Normale SupérieureJohn Baez: What We Can Do About Science Journals 13 August 2007 (as of 2008).WEB,weblink Publisher's description of Annales Scientifiques de l'École Normale Supérieure, Elsevier, 18 February 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2008, dmy-all, The elevated pricing of field journals in economics, most of which are published by Elsevier, was one of the motivations that moved the American Economic Association to launch the American Economic Journal in 2009.David Glenn. "American Economic Association Plans 4 New Journals". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 25 January 2008. Available online at Chronicle.comIn May 2015, Stephen Leeder was removed from his role as editor of the Medical Journal of Australia after its publisher decided to outsource the journal's production to Elsevier. As a consequence, all but one of the journal's editorial advisory committee members co-signed a letter of resignation.WEB,weblink Medical journal editor sacked and editorial committee resigns, 18 May 2015, 2015-05-03, In October 2015, the entire editorial staff of the general linguistics journal Lingua resigned in protest of Elsevier's unwillingness to agree to their terms of Fair Open Access. Editor in Chief Johan Rooryck also announced that the Lingua staff would establish a new journal, Glossa.NEWS,weblink Language of Protest, Jaschik, Scott, 2 November 2015, Inside Higher Ed, 18 January 2017, In January 2019, the entire editorial board of Elsevier's Journal of Informetrics resigned over the open-access policies of its publisher and founded open-access journal called Quantitative Science Studies. WEB,weblink Elsevier journal editors resign, start rival open-access journal, WEB,weblink Elsevier journal editors resign, start rival open-access journal,, en, 2019-01-14, JOURNAL, Chawla, Dalmeet Singh, 2019-01-14, Open-access row prompts editorial board of Elsevier journal to resign,weblink Nature, EN, 10.1038/d41586-019-00135-8,

"The Cost of Knowledge" boycott

In 2003 various university librarians began coordinating with each other to complain about Elsevier's "big deal" journal bundling packages, in which the company offered a group of journal subscriptions to libraries at a certain rate, but in which librarians claimed there was no economical option to subscribe to only the popular journals at a rate comparable to the bundled rate.{{sfn|Groen|2007|p=177}} Librarians continued to discuss the implications of the pricing schemes, many feeling pressured into buying the Elsevier packages without other options.{{sfn|Groen|2007|p=180}}On 21 January 2012, mathematician Timothy Gowers publicly announced he would boycott Elsevier, noting that others in the field have been doing so privately. The three reasons for the boycott are high subscription prices for individual journals, bundling subscriptions to journals of different value and importance, and Elsevier's support for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act.NEWS, Flood, Alison,weblink Scientists sign petition to boycott academic publisher Elsevier, The Guardian, 2 February 2012,weblink 16 February 2012, no, dmy, WEB, Fischman, Josh,weblink Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 30 January 2012,weblink 16 February 2012, no, dmy, NEWS,weblink Scientific publishing: The price of information, The Economist, 4 February 2012,weblink 16 February 2012, no, dmy, Following this, a petition advocating non-cooperation with Elsevier (that is, not submitting papers to Elsevier journals, not refereeing articles in Elsevier journals, and not participating in journal editorial boards), appeared on the site "The Cost of Knowledge". By February 2012 this petition had been signed by over 5,000 academics, growing to over 17,000 by November 2018.WEB,,weblink 12 January 2013, Elsevier disputed the claims, claiming that their prices are below the industry average, and stating that bundling is only one of several different options available to buy access to Elsevier journals. The company also claimed that its profit margins are "simply a consequence of the firm's efficient operation". The academics replied that their work was funded by public money and thus should be freely available.On 27 February 2012, Elsevier issued a statement on its website that declared that it has withdrawn support from the Research Works Act.WEB, Elsevier Backs Down as Boycott Grows,weblink 25 August 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 11 September 2014, dmy-all, Although the Cost of Knowledge movement was not mentioned, the statement indicated the hope that the move would "help create a less heated and more productive climate" for ongoing discussions with research funders. Hours after Elsevier's statement, the sponsors of the bill, US House Representatives Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney, issued a joint statement saying that they would not push the bill in Congress.WEB, Sponsors and Supporters Back Away from Research Works Act,weblink 25 August 2014,

Plan S

The Plan S open-access initiative, which began in Europe and has since spread to some US research funding agencies would force researchers receiving some grants to publish in open access journals by 2020.JOURNAL, Noorden, Richard Van, Wellcome and Gates join bold European open-access plan, Nature, 5 November 2018, 10.1038/d41586-018-07300-5,weblink 16 January 2019, EN, A spokesman for Elsevier said "If you think that information should be free of charge, go to Wikipedia".NEWS, 11 EU-landen besluiten: vanaf 2020 moet alle wetenschappelijke literatuur gratis beschikbaar zijn, Maarten, Keulemans,weblink De Volkskrank, 4 September 2018, 25 September 2018, Dutch, 'Als je vindt dat informatie gratis moet zijn: ga naar Wikipedia.', In September 2018 UBS advised to sell Elsevier (RELX) stocks, noting that Plan S could affect 5-10% of scientific funding and may force Elsevier to reduce pricing.NEWS, Elder, Bryce, Stocks to watch: SSE, BAT, Galápagos, RELX, Telefónica, RBS,weblink 14 October 2018, Financial Times, 12 September 2018,

Relationship with academic institutions


In 2015 Finnish research organizations paid a total of 27 million euros in subscription fees. Over one third of the total costs went to Elsevier. The information was revealed after successful court appeal following a denied request on the subscription fees, due to confidentiality clauses in contracts with the publishers.WEB,weblink Scientific journal subscription costs in Finland 2010-2015: a preliminary analysis, rOpenGov, 2017-10-15, Establishing of this fact lead to creation of petition demanding more reasonable pricing and open access to content signed by more than 2 800 members of the research community.WEB,weblink,, en-GB, 2017-10-15, While deals with other publishers have been made, this was not the case for Elsevier, leading to the boycott of the publisher signed more than 600 times.WEB,weblink No deal, no review – #nodealnoreview,, en-US, 2017-10-15, In January 2018, it was confirmed that a deal had been reached between those concerned.WEB,weblink FinELib and Elsevier Reach Agreement for Subscription Access and Open Access Publishing, Kukkonen, Suvi, 2018-01-17, National Library, en, 2018-01-17, NEWS,weblink Finland takes steps in the openness of academic journal pricing, Toma Susi, 2018-01-25, Mostly Physics, 2018-05-01, PUBLICATION, Marie Farge, 2018-05-01, Transition vers l’Accès Libre: le piège des accords globaux avec les éditeurs,weblink Matematika, Club de Mediapart, fr,


Almost no academic institution in Germany is subscribed to Elsevier. WEB,weblink Vertragskündigungen Elsevier 2018, Haufe, Gottfried, 20 November 2018,, 6 March 2019, JOURNAL,weblink Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier's paywall, Else, Holly, 5 February 2019, Nature, 6 March 2019, 10.1038/d41586-019-00492-4, Germany's DEAL project (Projekt DEAL) which includes over 60 major research institutions, has announced that all of its members are cancelling their contracts with Elsevier, effective 1 January 2017. The boycott is in response to Elsevier's refusal to adopt "transparent business models" to "make publications more openly accessible".WEB, Doctorow, Cory, Germany-wide consortium of research libraries announce boycott of Elsevier journals over open access,weblink Boing Boing, 27 December 2016, 15 December 2016, WEB, No full-text access to Elsevier journals to be expected from 1 January 2017 on,weblink Göttingen State and University Library, 27 December 2016, yes,weblink 27 December 2016, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Pressemitteilungen,, de-de, 2017-07-11, WEB,weblink Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts, The Scientist, 2017-07-18, NEWS,weblink A bold open-access push in Germany could change the future of academic publishing, 2017-08-23, Science {{!, AAAS|access-date=2017-08-24|language=en}}NEWS,weblink Researchers resign editorship of Elsevier journals, Conference, German Rectors', 2017-10-16, en, Horst Hippler, spokesperson for the DEAL consortium states that "taxpayers have a right to read what they are paying for" and that "publishers must understand that the route to open-access publishing at an affordable price is irreversible". In July 2017, another 13 institutions announced that they would also be cancelling their subscriptions to Elsevier journals.WEB,weblink German universities to let Elsevier contracts lapse {{!, Books+Publishing||language=en-AU|access-date=2017-07-29}} In August 2017, at least 185 German institutions had cancelled their contracts with Elsevier.WEB,weblink Vertragskündigungen Elsevier 2017 – Projekt DEAL,, en-US, 2017-09-12, In 2018, whilst negotiations were ongoing, around 200 German universities who cancelled their subscriptions to Elsevier journals were granted complimentary open access to them until this ended in July of the year.NEWS
, Matthews, David
, Elsevier maintains German access despite failure to strike deal
, 4 January 2018
, Times Higher Education (THE)
, London, United Kingdom
, 0049-3929
, 2018-01-05
, Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals, DIANA KWON, The Scientist, July 19, 2018JOURNAL
, Schiermeier, Quirin
, Germany vs Elsevier: universities win temporary journal access after refusing to pay fees
, 4 January 2018
, Nature News
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On 19 December 2018 the Max Planck Society (MPS) announced that the existing subscription agreement with Elsevier would not be renewed after the expiration date of 31 December 2018. The Max Planck Society counts 14.000 scientists in 84 research institutes, publishing 12.000 articles each year. WEB,weblink Max Planck Society discontinues agreement with Elsevier; stands firm with Projekt DEAL negotiations - MPDL, NEWS, Gary, Price,weblink Max Planck Society Discontinues Agreement with Elsevier. Affirms Support for Projekt Deal, Library Journal, 19 December 2018, 19 December 2018,


In March 2018, the Hungarian Electronic Information Service National Programme entered negotiations on its 2019 Elsevier subscriptions, asking for a read-and-publish deal.WEB, Hungarian Consortium terminates negotiations with Elsevier,weblink, 16 January 2019, Negotiations were ended by the Hungarian consortium in December of 2018, and the subscription was not renewed.NEWS, McKenzie, Lindsay, Elsevier journal editors resign, start rival open-access journal,weblink 16 January 2019,, 14 January 2019, en,


In 2013, Elsevier changed its policies in response to sanctions announced by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control that year. This included a request that all Elsevier journals avoid publishing papers by Iranian nationals which are employed by the Iranian government.WEB,weblink Scientific sanctions: A catastrophe for the civilized world, Behnam, Baghianimoghadam, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2014-02-09, 2018-12-25, WEB,weblink Taylor & Francis group bans publication of articles by Iranian authors, Fars News, 2013-11-05, 2018-12-25, Elsevier executive Mark Seeley expressed regret on behalf of the company but did not announce an intention to challenge this interpretation of the law.WEB,weblink Mark, Seeley, Trade sanctions against Iran affect publishers, Elsevier, 2013-05-09, 2018-12-25,


CRUI (association of Italian universities) sealed a 5-year-long deal,WEB,weblink I ricercatori italiani potranno beneficiare dell'accesso continuo al database ScienceDirect di Elsevier - CRUI - Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università italiane, despite protests from the scientific community.WEB,weblink Svezia-Italia 1-0. Berlino 2018: Italia fanalino di coda nell'Open Science, 2018-12-10, Paola Galimberti, Roars: Returns on Academic Research,


In 2015 a consortium of all of Netherlands' 14 universities threatened to boycott Elsevier if it could not agree that articles by Dutch authors would be made open access and settled with the compromise of 30% of its Dutch papers becoming open access by 2018. Gerard Meijer, president of Radboud University in Nijmegen and lead negotiator on the Dutch side notes that "it's not the 100% that I hoped for".JOURNAL, Schiermeier, Quirin, Mega, Emiliano Rodríguez, Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier journals, Nature, 541, 7635, 13, 10.1038/nature.2016.21223, 28054621, 2017Natur.541...13S, 2016, WEB, Bohannon, John, In unique deal, Elsevier agrees to make some papers by Dutch authors free,weblink ScienceMag, 27 December 2016, 11 December 2015, WEB, Dutch Universities and Elsevier reach agreement in principle - Library UvA - University of Amsterdam,weblink Universiteit van Amsterdam, 27 December 2016, 12 October 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 27 December 2016, dmy-all, WEB,weblink How Elsevier plans to sabotage Open Access, 2017-03-25, Medium, 2017-03-26,


In March 2019, the Norwegian government on behalf of 44 institutions — universities, university colleges, research institutes and hospitals — decided to break negotiations on renewal of their subscription deal with Elsevier, because of disagreement regarding open access policy and Elsevier's unwillingness to reduce the cost of reading access. WEB,weblink Norwegian research institutions have decided not to renew their agreement with Elsevier, 2019-03-12, UNIT, 2019-03-12,

South Korea

In 2017, over 70 university libraries confirmed a "contract boycott" movement involving three publishers including Elsevier. As of January 2018, whilst negotiations remain underway, a decision will be made as to whether or not continue the participating libraries will continue the boycott.NEWS,weblink 70여개 대학 도서관, 새해 첫 날부터 일부 논문 못 봐 - 한국대학신문, 2017-12-29, 2018-01-05, ko-KR, It was subsequently confirmed that an agreement had been reached.NEWS,weblink South Korean universities reach agreement with Elsevier after long standoff, 2018-01-15, Science {{!, AAAS|access-date=2018-01-16|language=en}}


In May 2018, the Bibsam Consortium, which negotiates license agreements on behalf of all Swedish universities and research institutes, decided not to renew their contract with Elsevier,WEB,weblink Sweden cancels Elsevier contract as open-access dispute spreads, 16 May 2018,, {{citation |url= |title=Big Deal Cancellation Tracking | |publisher=Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition |location=US |accessdate= 30 June 2018 }} alleging that the publisher does not meet the demands of transition towards a more open access model, and referring to the rapidly increasing costs for publishing.WEB,weblink Bibsamkonsortiet - Kungliga biblioteket, annwen,, SV, 2018-05-31, Swedish universities will still have access to articles published before 30 June 2018. Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Chairman of the Bibsam Consortium, said that "the current system for scholarly communication must change and our only option is to cancel deals when they don't meet our demands for a sustainable transition to open access".NEWS,weblink Sweden stands up for open access – cancels agreement with Elsevier, 2018-05-16,, 2018-05-30, sv-SE, Sweden has a goal of open access by 2026.WEB,weblink Sweden stands up for open access – cancels agreement with Elsevier, Wentzel, Annica, 16 May 2018,, 6 March 2019,


In Taiwan more than 75% of universities, including the region’s top 11 institutions, have joined a collective boycott against Elsevier. On 7 December 2016, the Taiwanese consortium, CONCERT, which represents more than 140 institutions, announced it would not renew its contract with Elsevier.WEB, 關於Elsevier資料庫合約談判 CONCERT聲明,weblink 27 December 2016, WEB, Taiwan Tech to Discontinue Subscription to Elsevier ScienceDirect Starting 2017 - NTUST Library,weblink 27 December 2016, WEB,weblink Asia Advances Open Access Research, Schmitt, Jason, 2017-03-30, Huffington Post, en-US, 2017-04-29,

United States

In March 2018, Florida State University's faculty elected to cancel its $2 million subscription to a bundle of several journals. Starting in 2019 it will instead buy access to titles à la carte. In February 2019, the University of California said they would terminate subscriptions "in push for open access to publicly funded research."WEB,weblink UC terminates subscriptions with world's largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research, 28 February 2019,, 6 March 2019, WEB,weblink University of California terminates subscriptions to Elsevier, Yirka, Bob, 4 March 2019,, 6 March 2019, NEWS,weblink The Real Cost of Knowledge, Zhang, Sarah, 4 March 2019, The Atlantic, 6 March 2019, en-US, After months of negotiations over open access to research by UC researchers and prices for subscriptions to Elsevier journals, a press release by the UC Office of the President issued Thursday, 28 February 2019 stated "Under Elsevier’s proposed terms, the publisher would have charged UC authors large publishing fees on top of the university’s multi-million dollar subscription, resulting in much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier."WEB,weblink Why UC split with publishing giant Elsevier, Kell, Gretchen, Berkeley, U. C., 2019-03-06, University of California, en, 2019-06-12,

Dissemination of research

Lobbying efforts against open access

Elsevier have been known to be involved in lobbying against open access.WEB,weblink Lobbying Spending Database - RELX Group, 2017,, en, 2017-08-30, These have included the likes of:
  • The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPPA)WEB,weblink Federal Research Public Access Act (Alliance for Taxpayer Access),, en, 2017-03-25, NEWS,weblink Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead, 2012-02-27, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2017-03-25,
  • The Research Works ActNEWS,weblink How Corporations Score Big Profits By Limiting Access To Publicly Funded Academic Research, 2013-03-03, ThinkProgress, 2017-03-25, WEB,weblink The Dangerous "Research Works Act", Contributor, TechCrunch, 2017-03-25, NEWS,weblink Academics Want You to Read Their Work for Free, Hu, Jane C., The Atlantic, 2017-03-25, en-US, WEB,weblink Message on the Research Works Act, Elsevier,, en, 2017-03-25, NEWS,weblink Scientists' Victory Over the Research Works Act Is Like the SOPA Defeat, Kakaes, Konstantin, 2012-02-28, Slate, 2017-03-25, en-US, 1091-2339, WEB,weblink Elsevier withdraws support from Research Works Act, bill collapses, 2012-02-28, Boing Boing, 2017-03-25, NEWS,weblink Academic publishers have become the enemies of science, 2012-01-16, The Guardian, 2017-03-26, en-GB, 0261-3077,
  • PRISM.NEWS,weblink Elsevier, Wiley are getting PR advice from Eric Dezenhall, Transcription and Translation, 2017-03-25, en-US, JOURNAL, Dyer, Owen, 2007-02-03, Publishers hire PR heavyweight to defend themselves against open access, BMJ: British Medical Journal, 334, 7587, 227, 10.1136/bmj.39112.439051.DB, 0959-8138, 1790741, 17272546, NEWS,weblink Scientific Publishers Offer Solution to White House's Public Access Mandate, 2013-06-04, Science {{!, AAAS|access-date=2017-03-25|language=en}} In the case of PRISM, the Association of American Publishers hired Eric Dezenhall, the so-called "Pit Bull Of Public Relations".NEWS,weblink "The Pit Bull Of Public Relations" - Bloomberg, 2006-04-17,, 2017-03-25,
  • Horizon 2020NEWS,weblink Muscle from Brussels as open access gets an €80bn boost, 2012-05-17, Times Higher Education (THE), 2017-03-26, en, WEB,weblink Horizon 2020 to promote open access, 2012-05-17, Gowers's Weblog, 2017-03-26, NEWS,weblink Horizon 2020: A €80 Billion Battlefield for Open Access, 2012-05-24, Science {{!, AAAS|access-date=2017-03-26|language=en}}NEWS,weblink European Union links research grants to open access, 2017-03-26,
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)NEWS,weblink Inside Higher Ed: Big push for open access, 2013-02-26, Times Higher Education (THE), 2017-03-26, en, NEWS,weblink Elsevier distances itself from open-access article, 2013-05-22, Times Higher Education (THE), 2017-03-26, en, NEWS,weblink How Corporations Score Big Profits By Limiting Access To Publicly Funded Academic Research, 2013-03-03, ThinkProgress, 2017-03-26,
  • The European Union's Open Science Monitor was criticised after Elsevier were confirmed as a subcontractor.NEWS,weblink Hated Science Publisher Elsevier To Help EU Monitor Open Science - Including Open Access, Techdirt., 2018-04-05, WEB, Lykkja, PÃ¥l Magnus, Myklebust, Jan Petter, Open science in the EU – Will the astroturfers take over?,weblink University World News, 2018-04-13, 17 March 2018,

Selling open access articles

In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017,NEWS, 2018-04-30, Hybrid open access is unreliable,weblink Ross Mounce, 2017-02-20, Elsevier was found to be selling some articles which should have been open access, but had been put behind a paywall.WEB,weblink Elsevier: bumps on road to open access, Times Higher Education, 27 March 2014, 9 March 2015, Jump, Paul, A related case occurred in 2015, when Elsevier charged for downloading an open access article from a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. However, it was not clear whether Elsevier was in violation of the license under which the article was made available on their website.WEB,weblink Are commercial publishers wrongly selling access to openly licensed scholarly articles?, Creative Commons News, 13 March 2015, 14 March 2015, Vollmer, Timothy,

Action against academics posting their own articles online

In 2013, Digimarc, a company representing Elsevier, told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by faculty authors on university web pages; although such self-archiving of academic articles may be legal under the fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law,NEWS, 2018-05-01, Elsevier Ramps Up Its War On Access To Knowledge,weblink Techdirt, Mike Masnick, the university complied. Harvard University and the University of California, Irvine also received takedown notices for self-archived academic articles, a first for Harvard, according to Peter Suber.NEWS, Peterson, Andrea, How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research,weblink 6 January 2015, The Washington Post, 19 December 2013, NEWS, Masnick, Mike, Elsevier Ramps Up Its War On Access To Knowledge,weblink 6 January 2015, Techdirt, 20 December 2013, WEB,weblink How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research, Washington Post, 2017-03-26, Months after its acquisition of rival Mendeley, Elsevier sent thousands of takedown notices to, a practice that has since ceased following widespread complaint by academics, according to founder and chief executive Richard Price.JOURNAL, Parr, Chris, Sharing is a way of life for millions on, Times Higher Education, 12 June 2014,weblink 14 September 2015, JOURNAL, Howard, Jennifer, Posting Your Latest Article? You Might Have to Take It Down, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 December 2013,weblink 14 September 2015, After Elsevier acquired the repository SSRN in May 2016 academics started complaining that some of their work has been removed without notice. The action was explained as a technical error.Mike Masnick SSRN accused of copyright crackdown, Techdirt.

Sci-Hub and LibGen lawsuit

In 2015 Elsevier filed a lawsuit against the sites Sci-Hub and LibGen, which make available copyright protected articles available for free. Elsevier also claimed illegal access to institutional accounts.WEB,weblink Elsevier v. Sci-Hub on the docket, Stephen Reid, McLaughlin, 18 March 2016, 2016-06-28, WEB,weblink Simba Information: Five Professional Publishing News Events of 2015 Signal Times Are A-Changin', 17 December 2015, 28 June 2016, PR Newswire,

Rejection of the Initiative for Open Citations

Among the major academic publishers, Elsevier alone declined to join the Initiative for Open Citations. In the context of the resignation of the Journal of Informetrics' editorial board, Elsevier stated:WEB,weblink About the resignation of the Journal of Informetrics Editorial Board, 15 January 2019, Reller, Tom, Elsevier Connect, 15 March 2019,


Elsevier uses its imprints (that is, brand names used in publishing) to market to different consumer segments. Many of the imprints have previously been the names of publishing companies that were purchased by Reed Elsevier.{hide}columns-list|colwidth=30em| {edih}

See also

  • List of Elsevier periodicals
  • 2collab, a free researcher collaboration tool launched by Elsevier in 2007 and discontinued in 2011
  • Sci-Hub, a website providing free access to otherwise paywalled academic papers on a massive scale that is involved in a legal case with Elsevier





  • BOOK, harv, Groen, Frances K., Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good, 2007, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Mar., 978-0-8108-52723, 217,

External links

{{commons category|Reed Elsevier}} {{Reed Elsevier|state=collapsed}}{{authority control}}

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