Regardless however right you are, Elsevier's play with words succesfully confuses
a large number of authors, who do not deposit because of this.
You are quite right. But word-play is word-play, and the only way to defeat it is to use one's brains.
That's what authors, their institiutions and their funders need to do, with mandates that are clear,
effective, monitored and verified.
Elsevier policy allowing immediate, unembargoed self-archiving by authors is identical to
Springer's policy, but the way, apart from all the formal FUD. Springer is perfectly
straightforward about it.
So ignore the FUD, deposit immediately, and make the immediate-deposit OA immediately.
Leave the FUD for those who are fatuous enough to be taken in by it.
Below is a recent posting I did on this very point on another list.
ELSEVIER VS ACADEMIC SLOW-WITTEDNESS
Elsevier has many very unsavoury practices: It overcharges for subscriptions;
it tries [and succeeds] to make confidential contingency deals with universities,
linking subscription prices to university OA policy agreements; it lobbies against
OA mandates; and it hedges its policy on Green OA with so much unspeakable
nonsense that it is hard to sort out the signal from the noise.
Yet the signal is clear for those with eyes to see and wits to filter out FUD:
Elsevier authors all retain the right to make their refereed final drafts free online
immediately upon acceptance for publication.
For anyone with any common sense, that's all that's needed. Ignore all the
accompanying double-talk about mandates and "systematicity." It's all
just incoherent formalistic FUD. Deposit your final draft in your institutional
repository and make it immediately OA and pay no attention to anything else
Elsevier says about it.
The trouble is, many people still do not have the sense to realize that.
So they keep solemnly agonizing over absurd details like "You may only
exercise the right to self-archive that all Elsevier authors retain if you are
not required to exercise it" -- which makes as much sense as: "You may
only exercise the right to self-archive that all Elsevier authors retain if you
do not have a blue-eyed maternal uncle."
Well I'm beginning to think that slow-wittedness deserves to learn its lesson
the hard way. So let those so inclined keep solemnly agonizing over how
to "comply" with Elsevier's hedged gibberish.
(The physicists in Arxiv instantly intuited all of this nearly quarter century
ago, and computer scientists, with anonymous FTP archives, even earlier.
The rest of us have only ourselves to blame for our lost quarter-century
of research access and impact...)
On Wed, 1 May 2013 20:24:46 -0400, Stevan Harnad wrote
> On Wed,
May 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM, BISSET J. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From our understanding of Elsevier policy this is not the case in two
> 1) if the institution requires deposit in their institutional
> 2) if the funder requires open access.
> Elsevier rights agreements state that authors
retains the right to make their final drafts OA immediately upon publication: no
> I will answer your more detailed questions below, but let me
already give you a simple general answer from which all the specific ones can be
> If a contract says you have the right to do X,
then it cannot go on to stipulate that you only have the "right to
exercise" your right to do X if you are not required to exercise it.
That is empty
double-talk, and can and should be completely ignored as empty. A right is
a right; you either have it or you
> Moreover, Elsevier authors do not need Elsevier's
permission to deposit in their IRs any more than they need Elsevier's
permission to go to the WC!
> The only thing at issue is the
right to make the deposit immediately OA (i.e., free online). And Elsevier
(like Springer, and about 60% of all publishers) state that the author retains
the right to make the final draft OA immediately upon publication: no OA
> So all authors with any sense should go ahead and exercise
that formally endorsed right that they retain!
> I have an email from Elsevier today confirming that in either
of the two cases above, immediate deposit is permitted but open access is not
permitted until [after] an embargo period...
> Elsevier is just playing on words here. As I said, the right to
deposit is not at issue. Elsevier does not have any say over where I put
my final draft.
> The only right at issue is the right to
make the deposit immediately OA (i.e., free online).
> Additionally, Durham has reissued its mandate for self-archiving,
including a requirement that only those deposited (not necessarily open access)
can be used for consideration in promotion or probation (the 'how' this
will work us still being looked
- So this has not yet been registered anywhere).
> Bravo on adopting the optimal institutional OA mandate. Soon we can
hope that the Durham mandate will be reinforced by the very same mandate from HEFCE/REF:
only articles whose final drafts were deposited in the author's
institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication will be
eligible for submission to the next REF
> Institutional and HEFCE immediate-deposit mandates can then
mutually reinforce one another, and institutions will be able to devise a simple
mechanism for monitoring and verifying
> Because we now mandate deposit, Elsevier have indicated we cannot make
any publications open access until we sign an agreement with them - which
includes restricting access from immediate upon publication (as it was without a
mandate) to the embargo
> This is very
interesting: Have you asked yourself why Elsevier is asking for a second
agreement? Isn't the author's signed agreement enough, if it is really
sufficient to accord him a right yet prevent him from exercising that
> Well obviously not, because of the double-talk I just
mentioned. In an agreement with the clause
> Clause C1: "You retain the right to do
> followed by the clause
Clause C2: "but you may not "exercise your right" to
do X if you are required to do X"
> you are
sanctioning a contradiction. Logically speaking (and contracts must obey logic
as surely as they must obey the law), this is pretty much the same as simply
> Clause C1: "You may do
> Clause C2: "You
may not do X."
> With a logical
contradiction, you can pretty much take your choice and do whatever you like,
because anything (and the opposite of anything) follows from a
> A good choice would be to read sequentially, follow Clause 1,
and simply ignore Clause 2, which just says the opposite. If challenged, cite
> And this is the real reason that Elsevier is not
comfortable with relying on its signed author rights agreement with its authors
as grounds for restraining them form doing what the retain the right to do if
they are required to do it. So they instead try to get a signature to yet
another agreement, from yet another party -- the university -- a further
agreement tjat would have the (failed) intended effect of the author rights
agreement: The institution must sign that it may not require the author to
exercise his right to provide immediate
> Solution? Simple: The university should not sign!
> If Elsevier really thinks its author agreement has already seen to it
that mandated authors may not provide immediate OA if required by his
university, then there is no call for the university to sign a
> Of course, this is not quite the way Elsevier goes about
trying to get the university to sign: It proposes a contingency, in confidential
pricing negotiations, between the subscription deal it offers the university,
and whether or not they require immediate
> This would be unethical if it weren't so
> Of course the university should not sign away its
right to mandate immediate-deposit because of a subscription-deal
> But the solution is even simpler than that. Not only should
the university not sign any agreement with Elsevier over what it may or may not
require its researchers do, but the university should not worry too much about
embargoes; it should simply implement the "Almost OA" email-eprint-request
> That way not only will the university's immediate-deposit
mandate (with the help of the HEFCE/REF immediate-deposit mandate) ensure that
all final drafts are immediately deposited and that at least 60% of those
immediate-deposits (including all Elsevier deposits!) will be made immediately
OA. But, in addition, even the those immediate-deposits that are from from the
40% of journals -- which (unlike Springer and Elsevier and APS and IOP and all
the other publishers who are on the Side if the angels) try to embargo OA --
will be made "Almost OA", via the
> And with the help of the eprint Button, the ID/OA mandate will
go on to make OA embargoes as ineffectual as Clause 2, once the
immediate-deposit mandate becomes universal.
> And a word about
"systematicity": Systematically duplicating the contents of a journal
would mean duplicating all of its contents. But a single institution just
provides a tiny (and unsystematic) fraction of any journal's
> Globally mandated OA will be another story: But Elsevier
cannot hope to persuade all universities worldwide to desist from mandating OA!
(And it is noteworthy that Elsevier is not even trying to get research funders
to sign "agreements" not mandate OA, or to extend OA embargoes;
Elsevier's strategy there is lobbying, since they don't have the
subscription discount carrot with which it lures naive universities into signing
over their mandating rights in exchange for a better subscription
> However, if Alicia is indicating this new stance is a move away from
that which I was told by Elsevier earlier today, and is still less than clearly
indicated on their web pages (which indicate an author can comply by
self-archiving, but then go on
list embargo periods which do not meet RCUK policy) then that is great
> Alicia is just re-stating the
Clause 1. Take her at her word.
> Best wishes,
On 1 May 2013, at 14:49, "Stevan Harnad" <email@example.com>
agreement with RCUK, including gold & green options, is described here:
> Stevan Harnad
Is/isn't Elsevier-like Springer-still Green on immediate, unembargoed
> Alicia Wise
endorses immediate self-archiving of accepted final drafts free for all on the
web immediately upon
> Stevan Harnad
Thanks Alicia. Then Elsevier remains on Side of the Angels & I will
continue to attest to
Andras Holl / Holl Andras
Konkoly Observatory / MTA CsFK CsI Tel.: +36 1 3919368 Fax:
+36 1 2754668
IT manager / Szamitastechn. rendszervez. Mail: H1525 POBox 67, Budapest, Hungary
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