Sharing journal articles

by Steve Wymbs, Society Business Director, Elsevier

As you may be aware, we are seeing the emergence of new scientific social networks – sometimes called Scholarly Collaboration Networks (SCNs) – such as, ResearchGate and the Elsevier-owned platform, Mendeley. These networks allow users to collaborate, and share, promote and discuss their research. Elsevier welcomes opportunities to intensify and improve sharing in the digital age; however, we also believe that sharing needs to be done in a responsible way which complements – not undermines– established subscription and licensing models. Listed below are some of the activities we are currently engaged in which encourage and facilitate responsible sharing:

  • In 2015, the STM Association (of which Elsevier is a member) conducted open consultations across the scholarly community around the issue of sharing of research. This resulted in the Voluntary principles for article sharing on scholarly collaboration networks, clarifying how content can be shared and how to improve the sharing experience for all.
  • Elsevier and other STM Publishers have been fostering scholarly collaboration and are continuously adapting to the digital environment. Publishers have developed solutions and user-friendly tools to improve collaboration in the digital age, such as CrossRef, the first collaborative reference linking system, built on the DOI system.
  • Elsevier promotes responsible sharing practices and offers the most up-to-date information for authors on Also, the website offers simple tools and guidelines to ensure articles can be shared with peers quickly, easily and responsibly.
  • Most Elsevier-published journals offer Share Links: a customized link that the author can share with anyone, providing 50 days free access to the article.