Information for Faculty regarding Elsevier Take-Down Notices

Submitted by libpottier on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts

Since December 2013, Elsevier has been sending out take-down notices to research communities such as, to individual institutions, such as the University of Calgary, and to individual researchers. The content of these messages is the same, namely, that publicly posted Elsevier journal articles infringe on copyright and must be taken down.

In the case that McMaster faculty or graduate students should receive such a notice, please consider taking the following course of action:

  • Check the publishing agreement that you signed with Elsevier to determine if you have, or have not, violated the terms of the agreement. If you cannot locate the original, signed agreement, reply to Elsevier asking them to send you a copy of the signed copyright/publishing agreement so that you may confirm what rights you have transferred to them. Elsevier may enforce any rights that they hold but it is certainly reasonable to ask them to demonstrate that they do, in fact, hold the rights that they claim.
  • Review the web page addressing the Elsevier take-down notices posted on the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) website. This is a helpful page which explains how you may replace the final, publisher version with the pre- or post-print version of the article. Also included is information to help authors negotiate their licenses with publishers and a link to the SPARC Canadian Author’s Addendum.

If you are interested in other perspectives on Elsevier’s take-down notices, there are many news and opinion pieces available across the web. Two that you might consider are:

Elsevier’s Research Takedown Notices Fan Out To Startups, Harvard, Individual Academics

Elsevier steps up its War On Access

For further information or questions, please contact Olga Perkovic, Research and Advanced Studies Librarian, e-mail: