Current Liblicense Archive - Re: Elsevier withdraws support for Research Works Act

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LIBLICENSE-L  February 2012

LIBLICENSE-L February 2012

Subject:

Re: Elsevier withdraws support for Research Works Act

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LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

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LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:26:47 -0500

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From: "Lowe, Chrysanne (ELS-SDG)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:46:43 +0000

On behalf of Elsevier, I am writing to let the library community know
that in consideration of feedback from our customers, Elsevier has
decided to withdraw its support for the Research Works Act.  The
official statement on Elsevier.com is reposted here as follows:

Elsevier withdraws support for Research Works Act

At Elsevier, we have always focused on serving the global research
community and ensuring the best possible access to research
publications and data. In recent weeks, our support for the Research
Works Act has caused some in the community to question that
commitment.

We have heard expressions of support from publishers and scholarly
societies for the principle behind the legislation. However, we have
also heard from some Elsevier journal authors, editors and reviewers
who were concerned that the Act seemed inconsistent with Elsevier’s
long-standing support for expanding options for free and low-cost
public access to scholarly literature. That was certainly not our
intention in supporting it. This perception runs counter to our
commitment to making published research widely accessible, coming at a
time when we continue to expand our access options for authors and
develop advanced technologies to enable the sharing and distribution
of research results.

We welcome indications that key research funders are more willing to
talk to publishers to explore collaborative approaches. This is a good
sign because we firmly believe that more cooperation and partnership
between funders and publishers is the best way to expand free public
access.

While we continue to oppose government mandates in this area, Elsevier
is withdrawing support for the Research Work Act itself. We hope this
will address some of the concerns expressed and help create a less
heated and more productive climate for our ongoing discussions with
research funders.

Cooperation and collaboration are critical because different kinds of
journals in different fields have different economics and models.
Inflexible mandates that do not take those differences into account
and do not involve the publisher in decision making can undermine the
peer-reviewed journals that serve an essential purpose in the research
community. Therefore, while withdrawing support for the Research Works
Act, we will continue to join with those many other nonprofit and
commercial publishers and scholarly societies that oppose repeated
efforts to extend mandates through legislation.

We are ready and willing to work constructively and cooperatively to
continue to promote free and low-cost public access through a variety
of means, as we have with research funders and other partners around
the world.

Publication date: 27 February 2012
___________________________________________________________________________

We recognize that the recent legislative debate is far from the only
issue at hand. We acknowledge that, as the largest of the commercial
publishers, we take a sizable share of your serials budget.  However,
relative to our competitors, we are also confident that we deliver a
significant share of value in terms of articles, usage, citations, and
improved research productivity. (Note a related study on research
output by the Research Information Network (RIN)
http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/communicating-and-disseminating-research/e-journals-their-use-value-and-impact.)
Since the transition from print to electronic dissemination, Elsevier
has worked with libraries to develop business models that reflect the
varied information needs of individual institutions and the value
delivered.  While some librarians ask for pay-per-view, numerous
librarians argue for the “big deal”.  Towards these multiple ends, we
have evolved to offer a broad menu of purchasing options: from article
level pay-per-view, title-by-title purchases, subjection collections
to the Freedom Collection.

These many choices are described on our website at:
http://www.info.sciverse.com/sciencedirect/buying/primary_license_options

Additionally, we have an increasing and evolving number of open access
choices available to our authors described at:
http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/intro.cws_home/open_access

We have been on a long path of change and we will not rest.  We will
continue to work with you and our authors to steadily evolve pricing
and business models, not towards a single model, but towards
increasingly diverse options; always focused on how we can demonstrate
and increase our value.

We wish to thank the library community in particular, for engaging in
the recent debate with thoughtful and respectful dialog.  We have
welcomed your comments, counsel and constructive criticism both in
public and in private forums. With the library community, we continue
to achieve better outcomes for scholarly communications.

Chrysanne Lowe
Vice President Marketing Communications

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