Corporate Commentary

Elsevier welcomes new STM Principles to facilitate academic sharing

Elsevier supports the STM Principles for Article Sharing on Scholarly Collaboration Networks; a positive step for publisher-SCN collaboration

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 Tom Reller is VP of Global Corporate Relations for Elsevier.One of the more exciting innovations in scholarly research in recent years has been the introduction of scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs) – platforms that host content and facilitate article sharing and collaboration among researchers. At Elsevier, we found the power and potential of collaboration to advance research so promising that we acquired Mendeley, one of the largest and most innovative SCNs, in April 2013.

Sharing and collaboration has always been at the foundation of research and discovery, but the Internet has changed how researchers draft and interact with journal articles using the latest technology, platforms and tools. With this proliferation of online sharing has come a good deal of confusion, as publishers have not yet modernized their policies to deal specifically with sharing on platforms like SCNs. Different platforms have different approaches: some support private sharing of articles, others support public sharing, and some support both. Sometimes the platforms encourage authors to share their own articles, and at other times the platforms encourage researchers to share any article they have access to. For this reason, publishers also need to be clear about how the platforms fit within their green open access and licensing approaches. It can be truly challenging for researchers or libraries to correctly navigate in this landscape.

Given the popularity of SCNs, and the amount of time and resources it takes to operate them, publishers should provide clear guidelines to SCNs on how to host journal articles, to collaborate with them to develop technical solutions that promote and facilitate responsible sharing. Through collaboration, publishers and SCNs can effectively execute on our shared missions to help support researchers. We can make it possible for researchers to seamlessly share and collaborate across different platforms, overcome a wide range of copyright and technical challenges, and improve their experiences throughout the whole scholarly research cycle.

The STM Working Group Voluntary Principles are open for consultation until April 10. More information from STM about their announcement can be found here. We would like to encourage researchers, libraries, SCNs and other stakeholders to find out more about the Principles and comment upon them. When finalized, they will mark a substantial step towards providing clear guidance to SCNs, and we will aim to incorporate them into our policy framework. The Principles reflect our belief that publishers and SCNs can – and should – work together to facilitate sharing which benefits researchers, institutions and society as a whole.


Elsevier Connect Contributor

As VP and Head of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier, Tom Reller (@TomReller) leads a global team of media, social and web communicators for the world's largest provider of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information products and services. Together, they work to build on Elsevier's reputation by promoting the company's numerous contributions to the health and science communities, many of which are brought to life in this online community and information resource: Elsevier Connect.

Tom directs strategy, execution and problem-solving for external corporate communications, including media relations, issues management and policy communications, and acts as a central communications counsel and resource for Elsevier senior management. Additionally, he develops and nurtures external corporate/institutional relationships that broaden Elsevier's influence and generate good will, including partnerships developed through the Elsevier Foundation.

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