Elsevier and Universal Access

Elsevier made a commitment in 2008 towards a new and exciting approach for our publishing business: to work actively to realize our vision of Universal Access - In this article you can find out about Elsevier’s vision and initiatives towards Universal Access

In 2008, Elsevier made a commitment towards a new and exciting approach for our publishing business: to work actively to realize our vision of Universal Access.

The vision is simple, yet powerful, and this is to build a world where everyone has access to high-quality scientific content. We are tenacious in moving to realize this goal, and are willing to use all publication models to achieve it.

As we see it, Universal Access encompasses many different approaches including open access publishing. We see open access publishing as one of a number of initiatives under the broader umbrella of initiatives we are using to drive forward our vision for Universal Access.

What we offer

universal_access_288x173Access for researchers in the developing world: providing free or low-cost access to the content we publish in the poorest countries. Elsevier was a founding participant in  the Research4Life program. More than 2000 Elsevier journals and 6,000 Elsevier e-books are available through Research4Life.

Public Access: We support the need for the public to access science. Patient INFORM is a program in which publishers and health organizations provide patients and their caregivers access to some of the most up-to-date research about specific diseases. Through DeepDyve, Elsevier offers the  public an option to rent articles for a small transaction fee.

Open access journals: Elsevier publishes a number of Open Access journals. Articles published in these journals are freely available to anyone with an internet connection, and are hosted on our ScienceDirect platform.  There are no subscription charges for these journals. To support the costs associated with publishing, article processing fees apply. These cover costs including: managing the peer review process, supporting our publishing and hosting platforms, typesetting, marketing and other publishing costs. These  are paid by the author (or their funding body or institution) after acceptance.

Open Archives: Journals make archival content available open access to non-subscribers. The archives are opened after a period based on characteristics of the journal including subject area, usage patterns and frequency of publication. At present, 43 Elsevier journals offer   open archives     . For example, all Cell Press articles are freely available after 12 months on the Cell Press website.

Open access article options: In the majority of our established subscription titles, we offer authors an option to sponsor access for non-subscribers. In addition, Elsevier has established agreements with funding bodies including the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council to allow authors funded by these bodies to be reimbursed for their open access publishing costs.

Manuscript posting: Authors that publish with Elsevier can voluntarily post their preprints or accepted author manuscripts to personal websites and repositories.

Access for people with disabilities: We have been working since before 2007 to ensure people with disabilities are also able to access our content. In 2010 Elsevier won the first Publisher Lookup Accessibility award.

This is just a fraction of what our universal access program provides. We will continue to develop new solutions which continue to maximize access to research content.

Visit www.elsevier.com/openaccess for more details.

The first version of this article appeared in Editors' Update - Issue 35

Author biography

David TempestDavid Tempest is Deputy Director of Universal Access. His role focuses on the development of a wide range of strategies and implementation of access  initiatives and he is a key contact between Elsevier and funding organizations, universities and research institutions. He has worked at Elsevier for more than 15 years, including periods in both editorial and marketing positions, and spent the majority of his career managing the scientometric research  and market analysis department within the company. David speaks frequently at various global events about the development of new universal access initiatives and technologies, as well as publishing matters in general. He has a BSc in pharmacology from the University of Sunderland and an MBA with  distinction from Oxford Brookes University.

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