Open letters to the mathematics community

SERIES OF OPEN LETTERS: FIFTH LETTER

Happy New Year and welcome to the fifth Open Letter from Elsevier to the Mathematical Sciences community. This letter contains a brief note on the second meeting of the Scientific Advisory Council, as well as an update on the first anniversary of the open archives. There is also information on the 2014 pricing for our Mathematical Sciences journals. Whilst publishing with Elsevier ensures your paper is disseminated to a global audience we also look at what else you can do to maximize the impact of your research. Finally, we look back at what was a very busy International Year of Statistics 2013 and reflect on how Elsevier contributed to making it a success.

Second Meeting with Scientific Advisory Council

The Council members met with representatives from Elsevier for the second Council meeting on June 1, 2013. The discussions were continued from the first meeting with Council with topics such as peer review initiatives and developments in open access being discussed.

A summary of this meeting can be found here.

Open Archives Anniversary

In September 2012, we announced the opening of the archives of our primary mathematics titles back to Volume 1, Issue 1.  Any paper published in a journal with an open archive now becomes free to access 4 years after publication.  Over 155,000 articles were initially opened, and this number is continuing to grow over time.  We are pleased to report that during the first year after opening the archives, there were over 2.5 million free full-text downloads of these articles, demonstrating the value and relevancy of these important works today.

Following feedback from the community and several direct requests, we have also taken the opportunity to enhance our open archives in recent months by adding the first 12 volumes of the European Journal of Combinatorics (1980-1991).  After acquiring paper copies of these volumes and creating the digital versions, these are all now freely available as part of the open archive.

More information and a list of journals with open archives can be found here.

Pricing Update

As part of our pledge to increase Elsevier’s value to the mathematical sciences community, we have been busy in the last year working with our Editors to ensure that our journals publish the high-quality research that we know the community expects. This pursuit of quality has resulted in tighter controls on what we publish and we continue to work with all our Editors to build on this foundation.

As a result of this and our pledge to aim for a list price of US$11 per published article, we are pleased to announce that after reductions last year, our overall increase for Mathematical Sciences in 2014 is limited to 0.5%. The full list will be available on the Mathematical Sciences journal pricing page shortly.

The Mathematics Core collection continues to be available for those that want to take it.

Share, disseminate and maximize the impact of your research

We understand that you - as a researcher - want to be as effective as possible in sharing your work with your peers. We therefore allow you to post your accepted manuscripts on the arXiv, on your personal website, as well as on social networks. Remember to link the manuscript to the journal article, so that peers can find the published article and cite your work correctly. A PDF version of your published article is also provided after your article has been formatted, which you can then disseminate at your discretion. For a full list of entitled (re)uses of your accepted manuscript, please visit the rights and responsibilities page.

For those researchers mandated to post their accepted manuscripts on institutional repositories or websites, please note that there are journal-specific embargo periods that you need to adhere to. These embargo periods are needed to ensure the sustainability of the journals. Find out more here.

International Year of Statistics 2013 draws to a close

From the outset, we embraced the 2013 International Year of Statistics initiative, whose aim is to celebrate and promote the importance and contributions of statistical science to the broader scientific community and general public.

Our activities have been wide-ranging:

  • We opened the archives of all Elsevier and society-owned statistics titles, hosted on ScienceDirect from 2009 back to Volume 1 Number 1, for the duration of the year. This resulted in more than half a million article downloads.
  • We offered free access to special solicited content, such as special issues and specially invited papers. Free access was also given to a selection, by the Editors, of the most impactful papers, published in the same journals, throughout their lifespan.
  • We added to our existing prizes and awards program, including the sponsorship of the newly introduced ISI Karl Pearson Prize that was presented during the 59th World Statistics Congress in August.
  • We evolved our collaborations with many learned societies by participating in, and financially supporting numerous niche events, conferences and workshops across the globe.

Please visit our Statistics2013 webpage  as well as the individual journal homepages to find out more about our activities.

We look forward to seeing you during the year at one of the conferences we are attending.

Sincerely,

Christopher Greenwell, Publishing Director, Mathematical Sciences
Elena Griniari, Journal Publisher Mathematics and Statistics
Laura Schmidt, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Valerie Teng-Broug, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Laura Hassink, Senior Vice President, Physical Sciences

SERIES OF OPEN LETTERS: FOURTH LETTER

This is the fourth in our series of open letters to the mathematical sciences community, initiated in an effort to foster transparency and communication. Please find below a brief overview of some our recent developments and initiatives.

First Meeting with Scientific Advisory Council

In the last open letter, we informed you that a Scientific Advisory Council had been established. The Council members met with representatives from Elsevier for the inaugural Council meeting on December 1, 2012. The Council provided guidance on a wide range of topics including the need to find better solutions to motivate good and timely peer review, and the development of innovative tools for enhancing usability, readability and searchability of content.

A summary of this meeting can be found here.

Journal Typeset Model Survey

In seeking to enrich our offerings to the community, and to ensure your research is clearly communicated, we asked for feedback on journal typeset models in a survey last December. The survey was sent to over 13,000 researchers and consisted of a variety of current and possible typeset models. Specifically, we sought feedback on the readability of text, appearance of formulae, and general spacing on a page.

The results provide a good understanding of preferences in the field; for example, there is a broad appeal for models using Computer Modern and Times fonts. Most importantly, we are able to examine preferences by subject areas and demographics and will work to adjust current and new models to suit these preferences for use in the mathematics and statistics journals. 

See a snapshot of the survey results here.

Sponsored Access

We want to ensure that every author can publish in the journal of their choice. Therefore in the light of an increase in institutional, governmental, and funding body requirements for open access publishing we are pleased to announce that all our journals will now publish both subscription articles and open access articles, giving authors a choice of publication models. Articles published open access in these journals will also have a range of additional user rights and will be made freely available immediately after publication. To avoid conflicts of interest, authors will not arrange for payment of the open access article fee until after acceptance. It is important to note that Elsevier does not charge regular subscribers for content that is published open access and has a strict no double dipping policy which ensures we only take into account content published under the subscription model when setting journal prices.

As part of this process, we have reviewed our pricing for Sponsored Access and the majority of our titles now charge US$1500.

The full list of revised prices are available here.

MathJax

As a partner level sponsor of MathJax, the open source JavaScript display engine, we recently integrated it on ScienceDirect, our journals platform. Employing MathJax is one of the ways in which we are continuously improving the online article presentation on ScienceDirect. In addition to offering a better online reading experience, it aims to enrich usability and accessibility of content.

Find out more about this exciting feature on ScienceDirect.

Expanded Awards Program

Granting awards to authors and researchers is an integral part of our culture; we have a long-standing tradition of recognizing and celebrating talented mathematicians’ and statisticians’ achievements. In 2013, we will expand our awards program further to include three significant prizes:

  • The James S.W. Wong JMAA Prize
  • Mary Ellen Rudin Young Researcher Award Fund
  • Karl Pearson Prize

Learn more about these awards here.

2013 International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013)

All through 2013, we will be participating in the worldwide celebrations of the International Year of Statistics, to communicate the impact and importance of statistics to other scientific fields and to the society at large. In addition to our existing program of initiatives to support the statistics and probability communities, we have inaugurated a number of specific activities to contribute to the celebrations, including the opening of the archives of all our statistics and probability titles back to the first available issue during the entire year of 2013, publications of special invited issues and papers, sponsorships of invited lectures and conferences and more. 

View the full list of our celebratory activities.

We welcome your views on these and all our efforts at:
mathematics@elsevier.com. We will, as always, be present at a range of conferences throughout the year and look forward to the opportunity to meet with you. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please get in touch. You can find our conference listing here.

New Appointment

You may note from the signatures below that our Mathematics and Statistics publishing team has expanded and that we now have a dedicated Publishing Director. This will allow us to further engage with the community and to provide a dedicated voice within Elsevier to drive our initiatives forwards. 

Sincerely,

Christopher Greenwell, Publishing Director, Mathematics and Statistics
Elena Griniari, Journal Publisher Mathematics and Statistics
Laura Schmidt, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Valerie Teng-Broug, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Laura Hassink, Senior Vice President, Physical Sciences

THIRD IN OUR SERIES OF OPEN LETTERS TO THE MATHEMATICS COMMUNITY

Following our previous letters in February and May this year, we would like to update you on the progress of several initiatives we mentioned, as well as inform you of some new initiatives we are undertaking with regards to our mathematics journals.

Free access to over 155,000 archived articles
We recognize how important archival material is for supporting advancements in mathematics research. That’s why in April we opened up access to all articles, from 4 years after publication to 1995 for the primary mathematics journals. We are pleased to announce that we have now significantly expanded this program to offer free access to all available archived articles, back to Volume 1/Issue 1, for this set of journals.

More than 155,000 articles are now freely available to the mathematics community via ScienceDirect, including:

  • Advances in Mathematics, established 1965, now over 3,500 articles freely available
  • Discrete Mathematics, established 1971, now over 9,900 articles freely available
  • Journal of Algebra, established 1964, now over 11,900 articles freely available
  • Topology and it Applications, established 1971, now over 4,000 articles freely available

For more information on this program and the titles included, please visit our information page.

Update on 2013 institutional prices
Earlier this year we indicated that we were striving to reach prices at or below US$11 per article (equivalent to 50-60 cents per normal typeset page on average), placing us below most university presses, some societies and all other commercial competitors. As the 2013 prices are now set, this has resulted in further price-decreases for several journals, including Journal of Number Theory, Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A & B and Journal of Functional Analysis. For a complete overview of the 2013 institutional print prices of all mathematics journals, please visit the mathematics pricing page.

We received feedback from librarians and members of the mathematics community that our Mathematics Subject Collection is beyond their means or exceeds their needs. In order to offer libraries and mathematics departments greater flexibility in purchasing options, we have established a new core collection of 16 highly used, highly regarded Elsevier journals. For the list of titles in the Mathematics Core Collection, please click here.

Support for the mathematics community
As communicated in our previous open letter, it is our belief that a Scientific Council for Mathematics will be able to play an instrumental role in advising us on our mathematics journal program and on how we can best support the mathematics community going forward. They will also be closely involved in monitoring and reviewing the impact of the initiatives mentioned today and in our earlier communications. We are very pleased to announce that the Scientific Council is now in place and further details will be available on our website shortly.

In addition to our increased efforts to address concerns related to pricing and access, we continue to support and expand our initiatives supporting the mathematics community. For an extensive list, please see our support for the community page.

We would like to highlight that a daily feed to MathSciNet has now been put into place of all newly published articles from our mathematics journals. This means that the bibliographic data is now available in MathSciNet within a week of publication. For several years, we have been financially supporting the development of the STIX fonts and MathJaxand will continue to do so. Although not just of interest to the mathematics community, Elsevier, in collaboration with an independent panel of experts in research and publishing ethics, has established the Ethics in Research & Publication Program. It offers young researchers advice on how to avoid misconduct and provides recommended reading and other resources about research and publication ethics.

We are proud of our rich tradition as a publisher of high-quality, peer-reviewed mathematics journals since 1960. Wecherish our collaboration and relationships within the community and aim for our mathematics program to meet the needs of the mathematics community today and in the future. The Editors of our mathematics journals have been invaluable in providing us with their constructive feedback and we would like to thank them for their continued input and support. We would like to share with you some Editor’s feedback on our recent initiatives.

We value your continuing feedback about our program. We invite you to share your views with us at mathematics@elsevier.com and please feel welcome to stop by the Elsevier booth at forthcoming mathematics conferences.

Sincerely,

Elena Griniari, Journal Publisher Mathematics and Statistics
Laura Schmidt, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Valerie Teng-Broug, Journal Publisher Mathematics
Laura Hassink, Senior Vice President, Physical Sciences

28 September 2012

A LETTER TO THE MATHEMATICS COMMUNITY - UPDATE

In February, we informed you of a series of important changes that we are making to how the Elsevier mathematics program will be run. In this letter, we would like to update you on where we currently stand, and inform you of some new initiatives we have undertaken based upon the feedback we have received from the community.

Pricing
We already indicated that our target is for all of our core mathematics titles to be priced at or below US$11 per article (equivalent to 50-60 cents per normal typeset page), placing us below most University presses, some societies and all other commercial competitors. That will lead to a number of our titles seeing further and significant price reductions from their next volumes.

Further to this, and in response to feedback from the community for more flexibility around the packages and collections that we offer to libraries, we will take the added step of defining a smaller subject collection (around 15-20 journals) with our key core mathematics titles. The definitive list of journals will be determined shortly but will in any case include journals like Advances in Mathematics, Journal of Algebra, Journal of Number Theory, Journal of Functional Analysis, Journal of Combinatorial Theory A and B, and European Journal of Combinatorics, available with the discount levels offered on our subject collections.

Open Archives
In February, we made the archives of 14 core mathematics journals open, from four years after publication, back to 1995, the year when we started publishing digitally. We made more scholarly mathematics content freely available than has ever occurred before.  We have now gone further and expanded the open archives back to 1995 for 43 journals in mathematics and related areas. For a full listing of Elsevier journals with an Open Archive, please see our information page

Support for reviewers
At present, reviewers receive 30 days access to ScienceDirect and Scopus. For mathematics, this period is simply too short given the intensive and lengthy review process. We also hear of retired mathematics researchers without access to the current literature who still are actively reviewing work. Therefore, to support reviewers in their work, we will provide editors of the mathematics journals with the opportunity each year to select 50 reviewers whom we will provide with free access to all mathematics journals for one year.

Access for the developing world
We are a founding partner in Research4Life, a public/private partnership providing journal content to researchers in the developing world. More than 2000 Elsevier journals and 6,000 Elsevier e-books are available through this program. In addition to the core Hinari and Agora programs, we have now ensured that all Elsevier mathematics titles will be also be available via the Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) program since we understand that this is particularly accessible to mathematicians in these countries.

Support to the mathematics community
Based on the feedback we have received, we are taking steps to improve and make visible our support to the mathematics community. Individual initiatives, such as our support for the development of the STIX fonts, or the individual journal level sponsorships are often overlooked. As announced, we are in the process of setting up a Scientific Council for mathematics. We believe this Council will play an instrumental role in advising us on our journal programs and on how we can best support the mathematics community going forward.

It is our goal is to ensure that the leading mathematics journals that we publish are as valuable and respected – and contribute as much to the community – as any other mathematics journal. We want to work in tandem with the mathematics community to ensure that our mathematics program is meeting the needs of this important community, globally and locally.

We have a long history in serving the research communities by publishing trusted, leading-edge information and by disseminating and preserving literature to meet the information needs of the world's present and future scientists. The needs of our customers are changing but the 7,000 people who work at Elsevier are fully committed to advancing science by addressing the different needs of different groups and the research community as a whole around the world. We trust the above summary of initiatives shows our intention to address the issues of interest and concern in the mathematics community. Again, we very much welcome your views at: mathematics@elsevier.com

Sincerely,

David Clark & Laura Hassink
Senior Vice Presidents, Physical Sciences

P.S. We will attend the following mathematics conferences in the next few months; we welcome the opportunity to meet with you, please contact your Elsevier publisher directly should you wish to discuss matters in more detail. 

02 May 2012

A LETTER TO THE MATHEMATICS COMMUNITY

We are writing to let you know of a series of changes that we are making to how the Elsevier mathematics program will be run. Some of these are new initiatives, and some reflect changes that we have been working on over a longer period.

We have been listening actively to the community and we see a number of issues that we need to address, not least being open to what the community has to say:

Pricing
Mathematics journals published by Elsevier tend to be larger than those of other publishers. On a price-per-article, or price-per-page level, our prices are typically, but not always, lower than those of other mathematics publishers.

Our target is for all of our core mathematics titles to be priced at or below US$11 per article (equivalent to 50-60 cents per normal typeset page) by next year, placing us below most University presses, some societies and other commercial competitors. Where journals are more expensive than this, we will lower our prices, as we already have in recent years for journals such as the Journal of Algebra and Topology and its Applications, among others.

We realize that this is just part of the concerns about pricing –and we will seek to address concerns about the nature and composition of the large discounted agreements, through which most Universities now access journals – but addressing the base line pricing is a necessary first step.

Access and Open Archives
To make clear that we are committed to wider access, we have made the archives of 14 core mathematics journals open, from four years after publication, back to 1995, the year when we started publishing digitally. All current and future papers featured in these journals will become free to read, for subscribers and non subscribers alike. This initiative is part of a number of open access publishing options we have available which give researchers the freedom to choose to open their research beyond the academic community. For more information about Elsevier's open access options, visit www.elsevier.com/openaccess.

We are a founding partner in Research4Life, a public/private partnership providing journal content to researchers in the developing world. More than 2000 Elsevier journals and 6,000 Elsevier e-books are available through Research4Life. For more information visit www.elsevier.com/research4life.

Our position on RWA
Elsevier has announced today that we are withdrawing our support for the Research Works Act
. In recent weeks, our support for the Act has caused some in the community to question our commitment to serving the global research community and ensuring the best possible access to research publications and data. We have heard concerns from some Elsevier journal authors, editors and reviewers that the Act would be seen as a step backwards for expanding options for free and low cost public access to scholarly literature. That was certainly not the intention of the legislation or our intention in supporting it.

Moving forward
Now that we have explained the steps we have taken so far we want to stress this is just the beginning. 

We will create a scientific council for mathematics, to ensure that we are working in tandem with the mathematics community to address feedback and to give greater control and transparency to the community and we will engage actively with leaders in a number of countries to ensure that our mathematics program is meeting the needs of the community, globally and locally.

There are many other issues where we wish to engage with the community, including our efforts to improve digital rendering of mathematics, the use and misuse of citation measures for the discipline and our efforts to ensure high standard across all of our journals. 

We welcome your views on these and all our efforts at: mathematics@elsevier.com

Sincerely,

David Clark & Laura Hassink
Senior Vice Presidents, Physical Science

27 February 2012