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 where a CC BY-NC-ND end user license is selected, and license non-exclusive rights where a CC BY end user license is selected.
For articles published under the subscription model, the authors typically transfer copyright to Elsevier. In some circumstances, authors may instead grant us (or the learned society for whom we publish) an exclusive license to publish and disseminate their work.
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. Learn how articles can be re-used and shared under these licenses.
This page aims to summarize 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.
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)
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). Please find information about UK government employees publishing open access.
Find out more
Download a sample publishing agreement for articles published open access with a commercial user license(opens in new tab/window) (CC BY) and a non-commercial user license(opens in new tab/window). (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(opens in new tab/window)
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