Elsevier celebrates Open Access Week
Rachel Martin is Universal Access Communications Manager at Elsevier.
This week is Open Access Week, and on campuses around the world, there will be events to mark the occasion and to raise awareness of open access. While open access may mean different things to different people, everyone agrees that greater access to research is a good thing. For this reason, Elsevier is actively participating in open access week.
A lot of people might be surprised to read that we’ve offered open access options for authors for several years. The reality is that Elsevier wants to support all researchers by providing greater choice as to how and where they can publish their research.
We first started offering the option to publish open access back in 2006 in 50 hybrid open access titles. Today we have expanded the program and now give researchers the choice to publish in over 1,500 hybrid open access titles. Within these journals, we’ve published 3,286 articles and will be actively encouraging our authors to use this option during Open Access Week. For a full list of hybrid journals see Elsevier’s open access pages.
In addition to hybrid journals, we publish 26 fully open access journals. Our first, the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, was launched in 2010 and has published over 265 case reports that anyone can use to improve patient outcomes. As more authors become comfortable with open access publishing — and more funding for article publishing charges becomes available — we will continue to scale our services and launch new titles.
Our approach to licensing with these journals has been to test and learn what authors really want. In our flagship journal Cell Reports, we offer authors a choice of Creative Commons licenses. What we are learning from this is that authors often appreciate a choice of open access license options. In this case, we found 25 percent choose the Creative Commons BY option and 75 percent choose the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND option.
We are also aware of concerns from the research community over charging twice for the same content, so called “double dipping,” We have a clear policy in place to ensure that articles published open access are paid for via article publishing charges, and subscriptions pay only for subscription content. We regularly update our polices and encourage researchers to look at these on our policy pages.
We also continue to work in partnership with librarians, funders and other stakeholders. This is particularly demonstrated by our involvement in initiatives such as SCOAP 3, which brings together various funding agencies, national and international libraries and library consortia to promote open access in the high-energy physics community. Elsevier is participating with two Elsevier journals; Physics Letters B and Nuclear Physics B, which will become open access in 2014. We are very excited to be part of this initiative and see this as a very good opportunity to engage with the research community.
Alicia Wise, PhD
So, how are we celebrating Open Access Week? Elsevier is taking part in open access discussions around the world. Alicia Wise, Director of Universal Access for Elsevier, will attend an open access meeting organized by Science Europe in Brussels followed by meetings of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other organizations in China. David Tempest , Team Leader of Universal Access, will speak at the University of Dundee in Scotland and has provided a prerecorded video for an OA event at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Internally, we have held open access roadshows in our Amsterdam, London and New York offices and will be hosting a fourth in our Beijing office in early November. This has enabled a broad spectrum of employees to learn a lot more about open access. All aspects of our business – IT, Production, Marketing, Customer Services, Strategy, Sales, Publishing, Products, Legal, Rights – are touched by and transformed in some way by our accelerating engagement in open access publishing.
Open Access has many more layers to it, of course, beyond what we’ve described here. There are a lot of positive aspects about open access that we are excited about. We also have some concerns about how sustainable the open access landscape will be if governments simply mandate open access without providing adequate funding. Choice is crucial, and we believe that publishers should give researchers a broad range of options.
At Elsevier, we look forward to continuing to be part of this important evolution in scientific publishing.
For an in-depth discussion of Elsevier’s approach to providing access to scientific literature, I refer you to a series of articles about open access in Editors Update, including a special issue from the spring.