No Double Dipping Policy

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")

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.

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.