In order for Elsevier to publish and disseminate research articles, we need certain publishing rights from authors, which are determined by a publishing agreement between the author and Elsevier.
For articles published open access, the authors license exclusive rights in their article to Elsevier.
For articles published under the subscription model, the authors transfer copyright to Elsevier.
Regardless of whether they choose to publish open access or subscription with Elsevier, authors have many of the same rights under our publishing agreement, which support their need to share, disseminate and maximize the impact of their research.
For open access articles, authors will also have additional rights, depending on the Creative Commons end user license that they select. This Creative Commons license sets out the rights that readers (as well as the authors) have to re-use and share the article: please see here for more information on how articles can be re-used and shared under these licenses.
This page aims to summarise authors’ rights when publishing with Elsevier; these are explained in more detail in the publishing agreement between the author and Elsevier.
Irrespective of how an article is published, Elsevier is committed to protect and defend authors’ works and their reputation. We take allegations of infringement, plagiarism, ethical disputes, and fraud very seriously.
The below table explains the rights that authors have when they publish with Elsevier, for authors who choose to publish either open access or subscription. These apply to the corresponding author and all co-authors.
|Author rights in Elsevier’s proprietary journals||Published open access||Published subscription|
|Retain patent and trademark rights||√||√|
|Retain the rights to use their research data freely without any restriction||√||√|
|Receive proper attribution and credit for their published work||√||√|
|Re-use their own material in new works without permission or payment (with full acknowledgement of the original article):|
1. Extend an article to book length
2. Include an article in a subsequent compilation of their own work
3. Re-use portions, excerpts, and their own figures or tables in other works.
|Use and share their works for scholarly purposes (with full acknowledgement of the original article):|
1. In their own classroom teaching. Electronic and physical distribution of copies is permitted
2. If an author is speaking at a conference, they can present the article and distribute copies to the attendees
3. Distribute the article, including by email, to their students and to research colleagues who they know for their personal use
4. Share and publicize the article via Share Links, which offers 50 days’ free access for anyone, without signup or registration
5. Include in a thesis or dissertation (provided this is not published commercially)
6. Share copies of their article privately as part of an invitation-only work group on commercial sites with which the publisher has a hosting agreement
|Publicly share the preprint on any website or repository at any time.||√||√|
|Publicly share the accepted manuscript on non-commercial sites||√||√ using a CC BY-NC-ND license and usually only after an embargo period (see Sharing Policy for more information)|
|Publicly share the final published article||√ in line with the author’s choice of end user license||×|
Regardless of how the author chooses to publish with Elsevier, their institution has the right to use articles for classroom teaching and internal training. Articles can be used for these purposes throughout the author’s institution, not just by the author:
|Institution rights in Elsevier’s proprietary journals (providing full acknowledgement of the original article is given)||All articles|
|Copies can be distributed electronically as well as in physical form for classroom teaching and internal training purposes||√|
|Material can be included in coursework and courseware programs for use within the institution (but not in Massive Open Online Courses)||√|
|Articles can be included in applications for grant funding||√|
|Theses and dissertations which contain embedded final published articles as part of the formal submission can be posted publicly by the awarding institution with DOI links back to the formal publication on ScienceDirect||√|
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.
Find out more
- Download a sample publishing agreement for articles financed by journal subscriptions in English and French.
- Download a sample publishing agreement for articles published open access with a commercial user license (CC BY) and a non-commercial user license. (CC BY-NC-ND)
- For authors who wish to self-archive see our sharing guidelines.
- See our author pages for further details about how to promote your article.
- See our hosting page for additional information on hosting research published by Elsevier.
- For use of Elsevier material not defined here please see our permissions page or visit the Permissions Support Center.
- If an author has become 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.
- If you are publishing in a society or third party owned journal, they may have different publishing agreements. Please see the journal's Guide for Authors for journal specific copyright information.
We updated this page on March 16 2021 in response to customer feedback to provide a clearer explanation of authors’ and institutions’ rights. There has been no change in the rights; they remain the same and are set out in full in the author agreement.