Pricing


Price setting

Elsevier publishes journal articles under two separate publishing models:

  1. Articles whose publication is funded by payments that are made by subscribing individuals or institutions, and that are free to authors (here called "subscription articles").
  2. Articles whose publication is funded by payments that are made by authors or their institutions or funding bodies, and that are free to readers (here called "open access articles").

The total volume of articles published globally by the industry has grown on average at 4% per year over the last few years, driven by the ongoing increase in global research activity. Elsevier's article growth has been higher than this 4% figure. In 2013, Elsevier published over 330,000 new articles.

For subscription articles

Adjustments in individual journal subscription list prices reflect a number of factors including growth in the number of subscription articles published; competitive considerations; market conditions; journal impact factor; usage; journal function; editorial processes; technical features; and other revenue streams such as commercial contributions from advertising, reprints, and supplements. For specific information please see our subscription price list for librarians and agents. Open access articles are not included in these calculations.

For open access articles

Adjustments in article publishing charges (APCs) reflect a number of factors including competitive considerations; market conditions; journal impact factor; article type; journal function; editorial processes; and technical features. Our APCs are journal specific and range from $500 to $5000 US Dollars. For specific pricing information, please refer to the individual journal homepages or alternatively download the 2015 APC price list. Subscription articles are not included in these calculations.

For Collections

Collections pricing is tailored according to the specific customer situation and reflects a number of factors including competitive considerations, market conditions, the number of archival rights they purchase, and agreement specific factors like agreement length, currency and payment terms. Collection prices are adjusted on an annual basis, and any adjustment is based on including competitive considerations, market conditions, the number, quality, and usage of subscription articles published, and on technical features and platform capabilities. Open access articles are not included in these calculations.


Article Publishing Charges (APCs)

Articles which are published under a gold open access model are permanently free to be read by everyone. These articles require an article publishing charge (APC) to be paid either by the author or on their behalf (for example by their institution or funder).

Click here to download a list of 2015 APC prices (PDF).

Waiving

If an author would like their article to be published under a gold open access model, but cannot afford the APC, then individual waiver requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted in cases of genuine need. Priority for this waiver program will be given to applications by authors from countries eligible for the Research4Life program.

Funding body agreements

Elsevier has established funding body agreements to help authors comply with the open access requirements of the major funding bodies. In some cases, funding bodies will reimburse the APC paid by the authors. 

Pilot RCUK prepaid institutional plan

For authors funded by one of the Research Councils UK, Elsevier is piloting a prepaid plan with participating UK institutions which help authors easily publish their research under a gold open access model. Read more.

Retrospective open access

In general, Elsevier does not offer authors the option to retrospectively make an article gold open access after publication. We do, however, understand that there are sometimes exceptional circumstances. We are happy to assist authors as it may still be possible to make a subscription article, published in a hybrid journal, gold open access up until 31st January of the following year. For example, if the article has a formal date of publication of March 2016, authors are able to make their article open access up until the 31st January 2016. This cutoff date is necessary to accurately assess the open access uptake in each individual hybrid journal for the previous year which ensures we do not charge subscribers for open access content. To request retrospective open access or for further details, please contact us.


Subscription options

Elsevier provides a wide range of ways that customers can purchase content as described below. For details about our additional access programs, which includes supporting developing countries, please see access initiatives.

For individuals

Researchers who are not affiliated to an institution, or who would simply like convenient access to a title not available from their library, can take advantage of our personal access options:

  • Single articles and titles: 
    • Pay per view: A credit card based transactional article sale option for occasional corporate or unaffiliated users accessing ScienceDirect.
    • DeepDyve: Affordable rental service allowing 24 hour access to articles from selected journals for the general public to access on an ad-hoc basis.
    • Personal access: via the Elsevier Store that offers online or print personal subscriptions to many of our titles.
    • Open archives: In selected journals, Elsevier enables free access to articles, as part of entire issue, from ScienceDirect after an embargo period.

For libraries and institutions

  • Single articles and titles: 
    • Article choice: Flexible way to access ScienceDirect on an as-needed basis, paying for the articles you use as an alternative to Document Delivery, available as pre-purchased bundles of 20, 50, 100, 200 or 500 articles
    • Individual journal title selection: Available for order for institutions
    • Pay per view: A credit card based transactional article sale option for occasional corporate or unaffiliated users accessing ScienceDirect.
    • Pre-Paid articles: Allows you to read and download articles that are not included in your subscription at a fixed price per article
    • See the print price list for librarians and subscription agents which can be crosschecked against the new, merged and discontinued titles, or the print price list.
  • Editions: We offer broad access to ScienceDirect content tailored to particular user groups, including a Corporate Edition, a College Edition and a Government Edition.
  • Collections: Great value for institutes with a specific research focus. Options include:
    • Journal Collections: option to subscribe to additional titles online and includes complete, standard, journal subject, core mathematics and freedom collections.
    • Backfiles: Historical packages of journals, many going back to Volume 1, Issue 1.
  • Developing Countries: Research4Life provides researchers in developing countries with broad access to ScienceDirect either for free or low cost.

For public access

  • Guest access to abstracts: abstracts to all Elsevier journals are freely accessible to everyone.
  • Walk-in access - We provide public walk-in access to our ScienceDirect platform through libraries. Almost all universities have implemented this option, please contact your local university for more details.
  • Open access articles - All subscribers and non-subscribers can access, use and easily search for open access articles on the ScienceDirect platform for free. 
  • See our other access initiatives.

No Double Dipping

Elsevier's policy is not to charge subscribers for open access articles and when calculating subscription prices only to take into account subscription articles – we do not double dip. 

To put this in context here are some relevant data points: 

  • The total volume of articles published globally by the industry has grown on average at 4% per year over the last few years, driven by the ongoing increase in global research activity. 
  • Recently Elsevier's article growth has been higher than this 4% figure.
  • In 2013, Elsevier published over 330,000 new articles. 
    • This figure includes an increase of over 20,000 more subscription articles than in 2012.
    • This figure includes an increase of around 3,500 more open access articles than in 2012. 
      • 1,500 of these were published in journals that only publish open access articles.
      • 2,000 of these were published in journals that publish both subscription articles and open access articles.

For journals that publish only subscription articles 

  • Adjustments in individual journal subscription list prices reflect a number of factors including growth in the number of subscription articles published; journal impact factor; usage; journal function; editorial processes; technical features; and other revenue streams such as commercial contributions from advertising, reprints, and supplements. 

For journals that publish only open access articles 

  • Adjustments in article publishing fees (APCs) reflect a number of factors including journal impact factor; article type; journal function; editorial processes; and technical features. 

For journals that publish both subscription articles and open access articles:

  • Adjustments in individual journal subscription list prices are made in the same way as for journals that publish only subscription articles. We do not count open access articles when setting subscription prices for titles. Subscription prices are therefore not affected by the volume of open access articles published in the journal. 
  • Adjustments in article publishing fees (APCs) are made in the same way as for articles that are published in journals that publish only open access articles. We do not count subscription articles when setting APC prices for articles. APC prices are therefore not affected by the volume of subscription articles published in the journal.
  • In general we do not offer authors the option to retrospectively make a subscription article open access after publication. We do, however understand that there are sometimes exceptional circumstances and allow exceptions up until 31st January of the following year. This cutoff date is necessary to accurately assess the open access uptake in each journal in the previous year and correctly adjust the pricing of each individual journal in the future. 

For Collections that include both subscription articles and open access articles: 

  • Collection subscription prices are linked to the prices of individual titles in a collection, which as mentioned above do not count open access articles when setting subscription prices. 
  • Collection prices are customer-specific and offer substantial discounts. These discounts are based on a variety of factors, for example the size and type of customer, whether the customer is willing to make a multi-year commitment, and whether the customer wants print or e-only titles. Collection prices are adjusted on an annual basis, and any adjustment is based on the number, quality, and usage of subscription articles published, and on technical features and platform capabilities. Open access articles are not included 

Implications of the growth of open access articles on the price of journals and Collections that include both subscription articles and open access articles: 

  • The subscription prices of journals and Collections that include both subscription articles and open access articles are set by taking into account only the volume of subscription articles and those mechanisms associated with journals that publish only subscription articles. They are set independently from the volume of open access articles published. 
  • The volume of subscription articles in journals and Collections that include both subscription articles and open access articles grew significantly in the last year. 
  • Therefore, even though the volume of open access articles published grew in the last year, and the subscription price of several journals declined, the subscription price of most journals and Collections that include both subscription articles and open access articles increased.