Elsevier Keeps Revising Its Double-Talk (But Remains Fully Green)

Alessandro Sarretta asked:

“In a blog post you said that ‘Elsevier is fully green Fully green means the refereed, revised, accepted final draft is openly accessible’

“This is correct reading this Elsevier web page that seems an old one._

“But reading the current Article Elsevier posting policy web page, it says:

Pre-print Definition: A preprint is an author?s own write-up of research results and analysis that has not been peer-reviewed, nor had any other value added to it by a publisher (such as formatting, copy editing, technical enhancement etc…).

Elsevier’s Policy: An author may use the preprint for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting.

In general, Elsevier is permissive with respect to authors and electronic preprints. If an electronic preprint of an article is placed on a public server prior to its submission to an Elsevier journal or where a paper was originally authored as a thesis or dissertation, this is not generally viewed by Elsevier as ?prior publication? and therefore Elsevier will not require authors to remove electronic preprints of an article from public servers should the article be accepted for publication in an Elsevier journal.

“So the pre-print shall “not have been peer-reviewed”… Could you share your opinion on that?”

What matters is the postprint (the “Author’s Accepted Manuscript [AAM]”) not the unrefereed preprint.

Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute their AAMs [Accepted Author Manuscripts] for their personal voluntary needs and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution?s repository, e-mailing to colleagues. However, our policies differ regarding the systematic aggregation or distribution of AAMs… Therefore, deposit in, or posting to, subject-oriented or centralized repositories (such as PubMed Central), or institutional repositories with systematic posting mandates is permitted only under specific agreements between Elsevier and the repository, agency or institution, and only consistent with the publisher?s policies concerning such repositories. Voluntary posting of AAMs in the arXiv subject repository is permitted.

Please see my prior analyses of this Elsevier double-talk about authors retaining the right to make their AAMs OA in their institutional repositories “voluntarily,” but not if their institutions mandate it “systematically”: Authors can always safely assert that whatever they do, they do “voluntarily,” including whenever they exercise the right to exercise a retained right, voluntarily.