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Elsevier facts for kids

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Industry Publishing
Founded 1880; 142 years ago (1880)
Parent RELX

Elsevier is a Dutch publishing and analytics company specialized in scientific contents.

Major products

Elsevier provides various services to support researchers. Some of them are similar to Google Scholar by Google.


ScienceDirect is a website which gives subscription-based access to a large database of scientific and medical research. It stores many papers and academic journals as PDF.


Scopus is Elsevier’s abstract and citation database launched in 2004. It gives four types of quality measure for each title; those are h-Index, CiteScore, SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) and SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper).

International relationships

Elsevier is not a non-profit organization. Therefore, some of their products are not cheap. Due to this difficulty, some universities have terminated their contract with Elsevier.


The French Couperin consortium agreed in 2019 to a 4-year contract with Elsevier. This agreement was made despite criticism from the scientific community.


Almost no academic institution in Germany is subscribed to Elsevier.


CRUI (an association of universities in Italy) sealed a 5-year-long deal for 2018–2022. This decision was made despite protests from the scientific community.


In 2016, CONCERT (an association of universities in Taiwan) announced it would not renew its contract with Elsevier.

Legal actions

Lobbying efforts against open access

Elsevier have been known to be involved in lobbying against open access. These have included the likes of:

  • Federal Research Public Access Act
  • Research Works Act
  • Horizon 2020
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)


In 2015, Elsevier filed a lawsuit against the sites Sci-Hub and Library Genesis. They were making copyright-protected articles available for free. Elsevier also claimed illegal access to institutional accounts.

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