Green open access

What is green open access?

Authors who publish in Elsevier journals can share their research by posting a free draft copy of their article to a repository or website.  This is referred to as green open access.  

This approach to open access involves:

  • Additional effort from the author, as they will need to save the correct version of the article and post this to a repository, which will also need to add links and metadata to the hosted version of the article.
  • No open access fee for authors because publication costs are paid for by library subscriptions.
  • Access is granted after an embargo period has expired rather than immediately, because libraries understandably will not subscribe if the content is available for free immediately.

 Our approach

Elsevier has a journal-specific posting policy which varies according to the version of the article to be posted, and when/how it is posted. Further details on permitted reuse can be found in our open access license policy.

In most cases our posting policy is as outlined in this table:  

Preprints: Immediate post and dissemination of preprints is allowed anywhere at any time, except for articles published in Cell Press titles.
Accepted author manuscripts (AAM): Immediate posting and dissemination of AAM's is allowed to personal websites, to institutional repositories, or to arXiv. However, if your institution has an open access policy or mandate that requires you to post, Elsevier requires an agreement to be in place which respects the journal-specific embargo periods. Click here for a list of journal specific embargo periods (PDF) and see our funding body agreements for more details.
Published journal article (PJA): May only be posted where a gold open access fee has been paid and the article contains the CrossMark logo.  Gold open access articles have additional user rights determined by their choice of publication license. For specific details and restrictions on posting and reuse, please refer to the journal's homepage. 

For funding body mandates:

Elsevier has also established funding body agreements to ensure that authors can fully comply with the open access requirements of major funding bodies worldwide. Read more 

For institutional mandates:

For institutions with open access mandates or policies, Elsevier is working in partnership to test and learn more about how best to support sustainable green open access. We are streamlining this process to make it easier for everybody involved.  We are happy to work with institutions to facilitate the successful implementation of green open access mandates. We have established specific agreements which ensure authors can comply with open access mandates from institutions such as the World Bank. Read more