- Preprint of an article doesn't count as prior publication
- Authors don't have to remove electronic preprints from publicly accessible servers
- Articles are edited and peer-reviewed to give the quality the audience expects
Elsevier is liberal with respect to authors and electronic preprints. Unlike some publishers, we do not consider that a preprint of an article (including a prior version as a thesis) prior to its submission to Elsevier for consideration amounts to prior publication, which would disqualify the work from consideration for re-publication in a journal. We also do not require authors to remove electronic preprints from publicly accessible servers (including the author's own home page) once an article has been accepted for publication. Further, we have announced in May 2004 a change in policy that facilitates institutional repositories by permitting authors to revise their personal versions of their papers to reflect changes made in the peer review process. This new policy permits authors to post such revised personal versions on their own web sites and the sites of their institutions, provided a link to the journal is included.
Our policy however is that the final published version of the article as it appears in the journal will continue to be available only on an Elsevier site.
Peer Reviewing - Seal of Approval
The scientific communication process revolves around the peer review process and the question of what the scientific record is. Researchers need to know when they obtain an Elsevier journal article that it is the article as published, that is, as having been edited and peer reviewed in conformity with the quality that the researcher associates with that particular journal. Having the final published article on an Elsevier server provides the integrity seal of approval for researchers.
Elsevier's competitive interest is to ensure that we can invest in the technological resources for electronic distribution, to facilitate the digitization of the material, linking and cross-referencing, and easy access and searching. Elsevier has made substantial investments in such technologies over the past several years, and exclusivity with respect to the electronic distribution of the form of article as published will we believe permit Elsevier to cover these costs and ensure a profit, which ultimately means the success of such systems.
Fundamentally the point concerns the role of publisher. The publisher is responsible for registering and ensuring quality, and this accreditation role continues to be of vital importance to science.