Elsevier defends stance on anti-open-access bill

The journal publisher Elsevier has hit back after being pilloried for supporting an anti-open-access bill in the US Congress.

February 9, 2012

A row has been rumbling along for weeks over the publisher's support for the Research Works Act introduced to Congress in December by New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney, which seeks to overturn and ban policies such as the one adopted by the National Institutes of Health requiring taxpayer-funded research papers to be deposited in open-access repositories within a year of publication.

Several other publishers, including Nature Publishing Group, have stated their opposition to the proposals.

Thousands of people have signed a petition denouncing Elsevier's stance, while a number of prominent academics have vowed to stop publishing in and refereeing for Elsevier journals.

Writing last month, Mike Taylor, research associate at the department of earth sciences, University of Bristol, accused Elsevier of pursuing an agenda that is "nothing nobler than to line their pockets at the expense of scientists worldwide and everyone with a preventable or treatable disease".

However, in a statement to Times Higher Education, Elsevier insists that allegations that it is "anti-science" are misplaced.

"We respect the freedom of authors to make their own decisions, and we are happy to engage to discuss their concerns," it says.

"The facts upon which the petition is based, however, are not correct.

"Access to published content is greater and at its lowest cost per use than ever before.

"This is a direct result of the investments publishers have made to digitise and disseminate content.

"We offer purchasing options from pay-per-view, title by title, to a wide range of collections; however there is no contesting that the introduction of optional packages has added enormous access at fractions of the list prices and resulted in reduced cost per use."

The statement adds that Elsevier "is in the business of expanding access to content, not restricting it".


You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor of Military Technology THE SWEDISH DEFENCE UNIVERSITY
Director of Digital Services STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY
Technician for Psychology Programmes ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

PhD lettered on book spine

Billy Bryan and Furaha Asani look at how to get the most out of your doctoral studies

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF