Supporting open access

At Elsevier, we offer a mix of publishing models to reflect the different ways authors choose to publish articles. There is growing demand for open access and we are working hard to meet that option for researchers. Here are 10 ways in which we do that.

Uptake of open access across the industry

In 2019 there were an estimated 2.2 million subscription and 0.6 million open access articles published worldwide. Over the same year, open access represented an estimated 20% of the total amount of articles produced.

Open Access number of articles published

Here are 10 ways in which we support open access

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More than 85%

1. Over 90% of our journals offer the option to publish open access and make an article permanently available, immediately, at a price below industry average while delivering above-average quality.

Our list of article publication charges (APCs) is publicly available and downloadable here.

At Elsevier we do not charge subscribers for open access publications and only take into account subscription content when pricing subscription titles.

OA Graph

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2. All of our journals offer a free, green open access option. Every year, we actively make over 45,000 subscription articles available green open access - more than any other publisher. Through green open access, an earlier version of a journal article published under the subscription model is made freely available after an embargo.

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Capacity building

3. We are investing in capacity-building to remain one of the fastest-growing open access publishers. In 2019 we published over 40% more open access articles than the previous year.

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More than 70%

4. In 2019 we launched 100 brand new gold open access journals, bringing the total to over 370 Elsevier-published fully OA titles. These sit alongside more than 1900 hybrid journals that already offer the option to publish open access.

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5. We continue to evolve, explore and create new OA options to fit our authors’ needs. This includes experimenting with open access mirror journals, as well as the possibility to publish alternative article types such as data, methods, software and hardware in journals dedicated to these research elements.

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130 journals

6. We make open archives available for 140 journals, including Cell Press titles after 12 months.

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7. We work closely with funders and institutions around the world, supporting researchers through agreements such as in Qatar, Sweden, Ireland, the US and others to make articles open access. We also invest in improving our systems and processes to make authors aware of these agreements and of their compliant options during their publishing journey.

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8. We make it easy to find open access articles. Through our partnership with ImpactStory, over 8.5 million articles are now tagged as “open access” in Scopus.

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Peer review

9. We encourage researchers to share their work prior to peer-review on any platform of their choice. One of them is SSRN, a free preprint-sharing server for all researchers, where over 460,000 authors have uploaded 781,000+ papers across 50+ disciplines, generating 13.1 million annual downloads.

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Research institutions

10. We support nearly 600 institutions around the globe to build their own open access programs by providing them with a cloud-hosted infrastructure to do so using Digital Commons. More than 4.3 million open access articles are surfaced via Digital Commons and have been shared nearly a billion times.

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Beyond open access, Elsevier provides a range of options to ensure that everyone can access the most important information that they need. We have dedicated resource centres – the latest one for COVID-19 – and access programs for different groups such as journalists, patients and researchers in developing countries, to ensure that they can bring valuable research findings closer to society.