Describes the rights related to the publication and distribution of research. It governs how authors (as well as their employers or funders), publishers and the wider general public can use, publish and distribute articles or books.
Elsevier has specific publishing agreements with certain government and inter-governmental organizations for their employee authors. These agreements enable authors to retain substantially the same rights as detailed in the "Author Rights section" but are specifically tailored for employees from the relevant organizations, including:
- World Bank
- World Health Organization
- For US government employees, works created within the scope of their employment are considered to be public domain and Elsevier's publishing agreements do not require a transfer or license of rights for such works.
- In the UK and certain commonwealth countries, a work created by a government employee is copyrightable but the government may own the copyright (Crown copyright). Click here for information about UK government employees publishing open access
Rights granted to Elsevier
For both subscription and open access articles, published in proprietary titles, Elsevier is granted the following rights:
- The exclusive right to publish and distribute an article, and to grant rights to others, including for commercial purposes.
- For open access articles, Elsevier will apply the relevant third party user license where Elsevier publishes the article on its online platforms.
- The right to provide the article in all forms and media so the article can be used on the latest technology even after publication.
- The authority to enforce the rights in the article, on behalf of an author, against third parties, for example in the case of plagiarism or copyright infringement.
Protecting author rights
Copyright aims to protect the specific way the article has been written to describe an experiment and the results. Elsevier is committed to its authors to protect and defend their work and their reputation and takes allegations of infringement, plagiarism, ethic disputes and fraud very seriously.
If an author becomes aware of a possible plagiarism, fraud or infringement we recommend contacting their Elsevier publishing contact who can then liaise with our in-house legal department. Note that certain open access user licenses may permit quite broad re-use that might otherwise be counted as copyright infringement. For details about how to seek permission to use an article see our permission page.
How copyright works with open access licenses
For Elsevier proprietary journals the following steps apply:
- Authors sign a publishing agreement where they will have copyright but grant broad publishing and distribution rights to the publisher, including the right to publish the article on Elsevier's online platforms.
- The author chooses an end user license under which readers can use and share the article.
- The publisher makes the article available online with the author's choice of end user license.