Share Link offers temporary free access to new articles

Author: Dr. Inez van Korlaar

For more than a decade, we have provided authors publishing in an Elsevier journal with an 'e-offprint' of their article – a PDF version they can share with their colleagues and peers.

But times and technologies have changed, and this year we are rolling out a new functionality: Share Link. Instead of a PDF, authors will receive a personalized link providing 50 days' free access to their newly-published article on ScienceDirect.

Each customized link is ideal for sharing via email and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mendeley, and ResearchGate. Users clicking on the Share Link will be taken directly to the article with no sign up or registration required.

When will this technology be available?

In December 2013, a trial mailing was sent to 26,000 authors whose articles were published in October of that year. Feedback was encouraging with authors welcoming the opportunity to share their research.

David J. NashAfter publication of a paper in Journal of Human Evolution, David J. Nash, Professor of Physical Geography at the School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton, tweeted his enthusiasm about Share Link.

He later commented: "I'm very supportive of making research as widely available to end-users and the interested public as possible. Not everyone has access to academic journals, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa where I do much of my research. Rather than having to send my contacts personal copies of papers, it is much more useful to have free access, even if only for a limited period. The research I published last year in the Journal of Human Evolution was funded internally by my institution. As such, I did not have the resources to pay for full open access to my article. Any move to improve this situation would be welcomed."

Following an expansion of the initial Share Link trial, the decision has now been taken to roll out the program and we expect to make it available to all eligible Elsevier titles by mid-2014.

Which journals will offer Share Link?

The majority of Elsevier's journals will benefit from the program. Journals operating outside the Elsevier Production Tracking System (PTS), from which the Share Link data is extracted, and a selection of other titles are currently not included.

What are the benefits?

  • By sharing a link via their own social media accounts and email, authors can generate extra interest in their article.
  • The process is simple for the author's connections – if they click on the link during the 50-day free access period, no registration is required.
  • The article becomes more visible, which has the potential to increase downloads and citations.

What will happen to the current e-offprint program?

Once the Share Link program has been rolled out to all eligible journals, the current e-offprint program will be closed. For those journals not using Share Link we are working on an alternative solution.

Author biography

Dr. Inez van KorlaarDr. Inez van Korlaar
DIRECTOR OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Inez van Korlaar (@InezvKorlaar) joined Elsevier in 2006. After three years in publishing, she moved to the marketing communications department of STM Journals. In her current role she is responsible for global marketing communication projects, which includes outreach to researchers in their role as an author. She has a PhD in health psychology from Leiden University in The Netherlands and is based in Amsterdam.