Sharing and hosting policy FAQs
These FAQs are based on feedback from researchers and the wider academic community. If you have further questions or feedback, please contact us via the Permissions Helpdesk Support Center(opens in new tab/window).
Elsevier supports the STM Article Sharing Principles(opens in new tab/window), alongside other publishers, and we are keen to provide additional clarity for researchers, libraries and also to other hosting platforms about how to share and reuse research published by Elsevier. We have put in place a sharing policy and a hosting policy to make it easier to understand what researchers can and cannot do in different situations. We are committed to addressing some of the shared challenges the industry faces, for example, by developing technology solutions to facilitate sharing across different platforms.
Yes, we are listed as a "green" publisher.
Green open access is the result of making a version of a subscription article available to everyone, following a time delay called an embargo period. Our sharing policy gives authors guidelines about how they can do this and also how to share their articles in other ways. For example, they may want to share their latest paper with colleagues, students or other members of an online working group.
Every author who publishes with us retains important rights, including the right to share their paper for personal use, for example, through e-mail to known research colleagues for internal use at their institution. The sharing policy is aligned with these author rights and provides additional explanations around ways authors can share their research, for example, on their institutional repository.
Private sharing is about the audience, for example, sharing with a colleague or with an invitation-only online group. Mendeley, for example, is one platform that provides support for both private group sharing and public sharing. Visit the Mendeley Support Center(opens in new tab/window) for more details.
Preprint: Author's own write-up of research results and analysis that has not been peer reviewed, nor had any other value added to it by a publisher (such as formatting, copy-editing, technical enhancements, etc.).
Accepted manuscript: The version of an article that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and editor-author communications. They do not include other publisher value-added contributions such as copy-editing, formatting, machine-readable linking, technical enhancements and, if relevant, pagination.
Published journal article: This is the definitive final record of published research that appears in the journal and embodies all value-adding publisher activities including peer review co-ordination, copy-editing, formatting, pagination (if relevant) and online enrichment.
For information on sharing other article versions, please see below under ‘Can I share Articles in Press?'
No, preprints can be used anytime and anywhere by authors. We encourage authors seeking to publish in Cell Press, The Lancet and some society-owned titles to check the author section on the journal homepage for additional information.
In line with our sharing policy, authors can share their preprints anytime and anywhere, and we encourage them to do so. We are also working to automate this process for authors on our own pre-print server, SSRN(opens in new tab/window), through programs such as First Look(opens in new tab/window). Preprint servers typically provide guidance to authors encouraging them to post non-peer reviewed items, rather than accepted manuscripts.
You can find the embargo period information for all Elsevier journals on the journal homepage or, alternatively, use our list of embargo periods(opens in new tab/window). The embargo period begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form (i.e., online publication date).
Elsevier has a number of funding body agreements in place to help authors publishing in our journals to comply with their funder or institutional open access policies. Please find more details on specific open access agreements.
Yes. We have removed the need for an institution to have an agreement with us before any systematic posting can take place in its institutional repository. Authors may share accepted manuscripts immediately on their personal websites and blogs, and they can immediately self-archive in their institutional repository, too. We also allow for repositories to use these accepted manuscripts immediately for internal use and to support private sharing. After the embargo period(opens in new tab/window) passes, manuscripts can be shared publicly, as well.
Our journal specific embargo periods are evidence-based and typically range from 12-24 months. There are, however, exceptions which can be both longer and shorter than 12-24 months. Ideally, embargo periods should be set on a title-by-title basis by publishers. We recognize, however, that other stakeholders — in particular, funders — would prefer adjusted embargo lengths. We have worked in partnership with funding bodies for many years on open access, and are committed to continued collaboration.
Articles in Press should be treated the same as published journal articles, as per our sharing and hosting policies. Articles in Press are made available on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window) as we finalize the publication process. Articles in Press are not accepted manuscripts and, instead, more closely resemble the final published article.
There are three stages(opens in new tab/window) of Articles in Press:
Journal pre-proofs: Versions of an article that have undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability. These versions will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before being published in final form.
Uncorrected proofs: Articles that have been copy edited and formatted. They still need to be proof-read and corrected by the author(s).
Corrected proofs: Articles that contain the author(s)' corrections. Final citation details, for example, volume and/or issue number, publication year and page numbers, still need to be added and the text might change before final publication.
When the final published article is made available online, it replaces the Article in Press version, which no longer appears.
Prior to July 2019, the 'journal pre-proof' was referred to as ‘accepted manuscript’. Since then, the labeling of this version of the article was changed as it was confusing. These versions were not intended to be used for author self-archiving as they are not accepted manuscripts.
We understand the concern that we are perceived to be closing down a route to institutional archiving that previously existed. This was never our intention, as the journal pre-proof was never intended to support institutional archiving — it was a simply a way to surface findings before the final version was posted. We regret that our mislabeling has created this confusion.
We recognize the challenge librarians face in being able to gather accepted manuscripts from their authors. As we continue to develop our own systems to store accepted manuscripts, something that we haven’t done previously, we will continue to reflect on the value-added services we may be able to provide to our customers in this regard.
A Creative Commons non-commercial license(opens in new tab/window) is applied to publicly posted accepted manuscripts to ensure that readers understand how they can reuse the version of article they are accessing. We have provided some easy guidance on how to attach a license.
A Creative Commons(opens in new tab/window) (CC) license is an end-user license that provides a simple, standardized way for researchers to give their permission for their work to be shared and used. A license tells readers what they can and can’t do with an article and ensures authors get credit for their work.
Authors publishing gold open access have a choice between two Creative Commons (CC) licenses: CC-BY (“Attribution”) and CC-BY-NC-ND (“Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives”). Find out more about the CC licenses(opens in new tab/window). Our licensing page also provides more details.
Authors who choose to publish gold open access with Elsevier are offered their choice of two CC licenses. We don’t offer this choice on self-archived subscription manuscripts and instead use a non-commercial CC-BY-NC-ND license.
Green open access must work in harmony with the pay-to-read (subscription) business model and subscriptions are important for the sustainability of many journals, so the use of a non-commercial CC license is in place as an important safeguard. Surveys show(opens in new tab/window) that authors often choose NC ND of their own volition.
This Creative Commons license allows anyone to reuse your accepted manuscript for non-commercial purposes. In general the license permits users to read, print and download it, and redistribute or display it, such as in a repository. Readers can download your article for text and data mining purposes, translate it and reuse unaltered portions or extracts (including tables) in other works. Users must give appropriate credit(opens in new tab/window), provide a link to the CC BY-NC-ND(opens in new tab/window) license and indicate if any changes were made, but may not do so in a way that suggests you or the publisher have endorsed the user or their use of your work.
As reuse under this license is only permitted for non-commercial purposes (including non-commercial teaching). Uses such as posting on commercial websites or selling the manuscript are not allowed. Further, since this is a no derivatives (ND) license, adaptations of the original work (e.g., translations) cannot be shared with others. If you are unsure, contact the Permissions Helpdesk(opens in new tab/window).
To submit a manuscript in arXiv, the author can either grant arXiv the non-exclusive right to distribute the article or use a CC-BY or CC-BY-NC-SA license (https://arxiv.org/help/license(opens in new tab/window)). Since with CC-BY-NC-ND user license, authors can grant arXiv the right to distribute the paper, accepted articles from Elsevier’s journals can be posted on arXiv within their policy.
It is important to make sure that readers and users can find and cite the final version of your article from ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window). The way to do this is to include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) link in your posted article. A DOI is a standardized method for identifying an electronic object, and you can easily find your DOI under the title of your article.
To convert a DOI to a Web address, add the following URL to the DOI: https://dx.doi.org/ followed by your DOI number. We recommend you include this information to your title page or header/footer.
No, Elsevier does not view publication as an academic thesis as prior publication. Please note that Cell Press, The Lancet and some society-owned titles have different policies on prior publication.
For further information on Elsevier’s prior publication policy please see: Policies and Ethics for Journal Authors (Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication).
Elsevier supports sharing of articles in private work groups such as the following applications:
You are always able to share the preprint version or a link to your article anywhere you wish. If you have published your article gold open access under a commercial license (CC BY), you can also post your final article. Sharing research is important, and we encourage authors to share their findings through a wide range of routes throughout the research publishing process, including posting to an institutional repository. Please find our sharing guidelines.
Yes. Corporate researchers may share articles they have written in line with the sharing policy. Corporate researchers should check the terms of their organization’s license agreements for guidance on how to share other articles access via ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window) (and other Elsevier platforms).
We believe we should be working with other platforms that host content to build best practices and industry standards, so that researchers can share in simple and seamless ways. We support the STM Article Sharing Principles(opens in new tab/window) and have introduced a hosting policy, with the aim to give clear guidelines for platforms that wish to aggregate content self-archived by researchers and make it available.
In the context of our hosting policy, commercial use or posting of articles can be defined as follows:
For commercial gain. For example, to receive advertising revenue from the use of the full-text of the article, by providing hosting services to other repositories or to other organizations (including where an otherwise non-commercial site or repository provides a service to other organizations or agencies), or by charging fees for document delivery or access.
To substitute for the services provided directly by the journal. For example: article aggregation, systematic distribution via e-mail lists or share buttons, posting, indexing or linking for promotional/marketing activities by commercial companies for use by customers and/or intended target audience of such companies (e.g., pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals/physician-prescribers).
Use by the author's institution for classroom teaching at the institution and for internal training purposes (including distribution of copies, paper or electronic, and use in course-packs and courseware programs, but not in Massive Open Online Courses)
Inclusion of the Article in applications for grant funding
For authors employed by companies, the use by that company for internal training purposes
Our new hosting guidelines make it clear that IRs can host their researchers’:
Gold open access articles
Accepted manuscripts immediately for internal use and for private sharing
Accepted manuscripts publicly, after the journal-specific embargo(opens in new tab/window) and with a CC-BY-NC-ND license
Metadata and links
Subscription articles for private sharing as per their ScienceDirect agreement
We also have a number of hosting services available for institutional repositories(opens in new tab/window).
No. This is one of the ways in which our new policy is more flexible for all repositories than our prior policy.
We have been working with a number of Institutional Repository Managers to better understand their needs and to provide services which will make it easier for them to implement detailed aspects of the hosting policy. We are piloting automated ways for repositories to easily host and link to content.
No, this is entirely incorrect. The two approaches are entirely complementary. Some of our IR partners have chosen not to host accepted manuscripts, but this is their choice.
Millions of researchers already have access to ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window). We have an API which has this information and we are willing to share this with hosting platforms so that they can display the best available version to their users. The process is simple, the platform would need to include the Crossref DOI or the Elsevier article identifier, called PII in the API request. For non-commercial platforms, please contact us via the Support Hub(opens in new tab/window).
We do regularly scan and monitor posted content and we may formally request platforms to take down incorrectly shared content. Through constant communication with platform owners and by making our policy explicit on these pages, we hope that the need to send these notices will be reduced. We have developed a wide range of tools and technology to make sharing on platforms, such as institutional repositories, easier. We also support the STM Article Sharing Principles(opens in new tab/window) to enable private scholarly sharing on commercial platforms.
No. Our aim is to work with platforms rather than put any burden on authors, and we have never sent notices directly to authors. We may from time to time contact individual researchers to let them know that we have instructed the hosting platform to remove an incorrectly posted article and to inform them about alternative services.