The following sets out Elsevier’s policy on ScienceDirect archiving and and includes information about when a subscriber’s relationship with ScienceDirect changes and a description of the third party archival agreements that Elsevier maintains. Please note: This policy applies only to journals published by Elsevier. Journals on the online service not published by Elsevier may have different terms and conditions.
• Elsevier maintains a digital archive of the journals it owns and makes available over ScienceDirect.
• It is Elsevier’s intention to maintain the digital files of Elsevier journals in perpetuity, converting them as appropriate if the technology used for storage or access changes. The current format standards are XML and .pdf; most files are being retained in both formats.
• Elsevier understands the permanent availability of these archival files is of critical concern to its customers. Therefore, Elsevier made the commitment that, in the unlikely event that neither it nor ScienceDirect could assume responsibility for maintaining the archive, Elsevier would assure access to the archive via one or more repositories mutually acceptable to Elsevier and its independent board of library advisors. There are currently three such independent third party agreements
• Elsevier publishes many journals owned by scientific and medical societies. To the extent it has the right to do so, Elsevier includes these journals in ScienceDirect and maintains them in its digital archives in the same manner in which it maintains Elsevier journals. Should Elsevier cease to be the publisher for such a journal or cease to have electronic rights, it will use reasonable efforts to ensure that either the volumes published remain available through the ScienceDirect or that the owner makes them available on the same access terms via a new host and that the journal archive remains in the designated independent third party archives. Elsevier cannot guarantee the permanent availability of journals owned by others.
• If Elsevier sells or otherwise transfers ownership of an Elsevier journal to another publisher, it will use reasonable efforts to retain a non-exclusive copy of the digital archive for that title and make it available through ScienceDirect to existing subscribers. The title will also be retained in third party archives.
• If Elsevier ceases publication of an Elsevier journal, the digital archive will be maintained at Elsevier and be made available through ScienceDirect. Again, it would also remain in the third party archives.
• The ScienceDirect Content Fee provides certain entitlements to the journal issues for that publication year for the subscribed titles, including Backfiles. Under present policy, the subscriber is also given access to the archive of all issues from the previous four years of the journals even if they were unsubscribed. In all cases, the term “subscription” relates specifically to electronic, not paper, subscriptions.
• If the subscriber does not renew its electronic subscription to a particular title in the agreement but remains a ScienceDirect customer, then the subscriber’s access to the lapsed title is limited to the publication year(s) for which the subscriber paid a fee for an electronic subscription. This backfile access will be offered through the normal online system consistent with access to current subscribed content.
• If the subscriber’s relationship with ScienceDirect expires, is not renewed or is terminated by the subscriber or ScienceDirect (except for violation of content integrity provisions), the subscriber may, at its option, acquire electronic copies of all or part of subscribed content that is still made available through the service for the year(s) for which the subscriber paid for an electronic subscription, provided it defrays the costs of preparing the data sets sought. Terms and conditions for licensing the data continue to apply including access and security. The electronic archive copy will be provided in the then-current format and may not contain all links and other features associated with the online version. Alternatively, the subscriber may continue to access the titles and years for which it paid a full subscription price online via the ScienceDirect platform for a modest annual fee based on the number of full text downloads in the immediately preceding year.
• Finally, subscribers that are participants in the Portico archiving program may use Portico to access the subscribed journals, again limited to the subscribed years. Note that titles to which the subscriber had access via a Subject or Freedom Collection do not have archival entitlements.
The Interlibrary Loan Policy for electronic journals is included in each institution’s agreement with Elsevier for ScienceDirect. In short, the provision allows and provides for the use of electronic journal articles as a source for the fulfillment of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests with some provisions.
Interlibrary Loan Conditions
This grant applies only to journals published by Elsevier. Other publishers have different conditions or may not permit interlibrary loans. The licensor grants the subscriber the right to use articles from subscribed content in the case of ScienceDirect as source material for interlibrary loans subject to the following conditions:
• The ILL request comes from an academic or other non-commercial, non-corporate research library located in the same country as the subscriber.
• The requested article is printed by the subscriber mailed, faxed or transmitted by Ariel (or a similar ILL system) to the requesting library. For libraries in the U.S. complying with the CONTU guidelines, it is not necessary to first print the article and then scan it for electronic transmission.
A Note on National Boundaries
Interlibrary loan and document delivery activities, and the legal basis for such activities, vary from country to country. As an international publisher, Elsevier has worked hard to establish an international level playing field, where all libraries can provide documents to libraries on the same terms and conditions. Those terms are intended to support domestic ILL. They are also intended to reign in those libraries who have abused ILL and provide what is more accurately described as document delivery to anyone anywhere in the world in the name of ILL.
In the US, ILL operates within the CONTU guidelines, which provide a balance between free ILL and payments to publishers. The responsibility for adhering to CONTU rests with the requesting, not the fulfilling, library. Requesting libraries located outside of the US are not part of the CONTU agreement and have no restriction on the number of copies requested on a free (no royalty) basis. That is not a level playing field.
Elsevier recognizes that there are less developed countries in the world and libraries that cannot afford to purchase subscriptions or individual articles. For that reason we were a founding partner in the HINARI/AGORA/OARE programs and continue to give them our strong support. Under these programs libraries in 69 countries have completely free access to Elsevier journals (and the journals of more than 110 other publishers). In an additional 44 countries, a single annual fee of $1000 (which does not go to the publisher but supports the program administrators) assures access to the journals of all publishers participating in these programs.
If a ScienceDirect subscriber library has a partner library in one of these countries, we believe that it will help that partner library the most to introduce that library to the HINARI/AGORA/OARE programs and even, if necessary, pay the annual fee on their behalf. That action opens the library to a wealth of information that they can access themselves on an unrestricted basis. We strongly believe that is in the best interest of all libraries and researchers. It is for that reason, for example, that Elsevier made a $80,000 grant to the Medical Library Association for Hinari training. We hope others will join in this effort.