Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier CEO, shares her vision for building a better future in research

“You [librarians] are helping researchers and institutional leaders preserve and showcase their intellectual outputs. For example, you are establishing and populating Institutional Repositories to capture data-sets, theses, dissertations, conference presentations [note, doesn’t mention articles]. I learned that across more than 500 Digital Commons repositories, we estimate that 94% of the content and 91% of the downloads are for materials other than previously published, peer-reviewed journal articles that libraries have collected and shared openly to deliver on their institution’s mission….

You are promoting and enabling open access in its many forms, including by funding repositories and Article Publication Charges; and by creating your own journals and university presses….

First and foremost, I want to be very clear: Elsevier fully supports open access….

No one can dispute the beauty of the vision of freely-accessible, immediately-available research content, whether peer-reviewed published articles or other scholarly work. I am a UC Berkeley alumna, so these kinds of values were installed in me as a fresh new undergraduate. As Elsevier’s CEO, I am committed to working with you and the rest of the global research community towards a more fully open access future.

In fact, my professional background is in applying technology to content to help professionals make better decisions. For example, working in the part of RELX that serves legal professionals, I’ve seen the powerful benefits of analytical services that are built on top of freely available content, such as case law. This is why I’m excited by the potential to create value for researchers by applying text-mining and artificial intelligence technologies to the entire corpus of peer-reviewed content. I understand and appreciate the role that open access can play in delivering that vision.


The question is not whether open access is desirable or beneficial — the question is how we get there….

I am a pragmatist, and I commit to working pragmatically with libraries and other stakeholders to achieve shared open access goals. Part of this means acknowledging obstacles where they exist and discussing them openly and objectively so that we can find solutions to overcome them….”