Global Coalition Denounces Elsevier’s Sharing Policy

Organizations around the world denounce Elsevier’s new policy that impedes open access and sharing

On April 30, 2015, Elsevier announced a new sharing and hosting policy for Elsevier journal articles. This policy represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies. In addition, the policy has been adopted without any evidence that immediate sharing of articles has a negative impact on publishers subscriptions.

Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite. The policy imposes unacceptably long embargo periods of up to 48 months for some journals. It also requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for each article deposited into a repository, greatly inhibiting the re-use value of these articles. Any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails scientific progress and places unnecessary constraints on delivering the benefits of research back to the public.

Furthermore, the policy applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future” making it even more punitive for both authors and institutions. This may also lead to articles that are currently available being suddenly embargoed and inaccessible to readers.

As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we support the adoption of policies and practices that enable the immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles. This policy is in direct conflict with the global trend towards open access and serves only to dilute the benefits of openly sharing research results.

We strongly urge Elsevier to reconsider this policy and we encourage other organizations and individuals to express their opinions.

ACRL is among the signatories of the above statement. See the complete list and sign on on as an individual or organization.

Member of the Week: Katie Fortney

Katie FortneyKatie Fortney is Copyright Policy & Education Officer at the California Digital Library, serving the University of California libraries and their users in Oakland and Santa Cruz, California. Katie has been an ACRL member since 2009. She is a new presenter for ACRL’s “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement” workshop and is your ACRL member of the week for May 18, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Pragmatic, nerdy, and punctual.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi (I picked up the ARC at ALA Midwinter) and Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire. And I’m listening to The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Useful, dynamic, and fun.

4. What do you value about ACRL? First and foremost, the people. The ACRL members I’ve met include some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people I know – and the most fun. I’m also a big fan of the resources and the advocacy around issues close to my heart, like the Scholarly Communication Toolkit and Code of Best Practices in Fair Use.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work at the California Digital Library, so I kind of am campusless and kind of have ten campuses. Being a copyright specialist for libraries rather than the counsel’s office brings a friendlier, more collegial feeling to an area of the law people often find intimidating – they’ll ask me things they might think were too minor to bother the “real” lawyers with or think they’ll get in trouble for. I get to hear great stories about what people are up to all across the state, and in exchange, I try to set people up with tools and resources that empower them to make well-informed decisions about rights issues.

6. In your own words: For as much as we keep seeing clickbait about the doom or uselessness of libraries in the modern age, the people I talk to on our campuses have a lot of warm fuzzy feelings about libraries, and a lot of trust in our neutrality and our knowledge. I’d like to see us leverage that more. I’m not talking about world domination here, but I think a lot of us underestimate ourselves.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at for more information.

Information Policy: Some Perspectives from the ALA Washington Office

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Alan Inouye from the ALA Washington Office.

Hello ACRLers. I’m Alan Inouye, the director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) in ALA’s Washington Office. I’m delighted that ACRL has agreed to let me post occasionally about developments in information policy and the Washington Office that may be of interest to ACRL members.

I know that one of the most important information policy areas for academic and research libraries is copyright. Not accidentally then, copyright advocacy is perhaps the most intensive shared initiative between ACRL and the Washington Office. Much of our joint work takes place under the rubric of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes ACRL, ALA (Washington Office), and the Association of Research Libraries. Over the years, we have engaged in the highest-profile cases through LCA, such as Google Books, Georgia State, and HathiTrust.

Currently, the triennial review of section 1201 (anti-circumvention) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is taking place, and LCA is submitting comments, working through our copyright counsel Jonathan Band; Kara Malenfant and Mary Ellen Davis for ACRL; and Washington Office staffers Carrie Russell and Adam Eisgrau. The U.S. House Judiciary committee completed its initial review of the copyright law. LCA submitted an additional summary of comments to date, and will continue to advocate on topics expected to be addressed in legislation including orphan works, Section 108, and mass digitization.

You may have heard about the recent announcement that the Re:Create copyright coalition launched, with ALA as a founding member. This coalition will greatly help to push out our messages about the utility of fair use and the importance of balanced copyright law—for everyone, whether entrepreneur, educator, or et al. Most important is the composition of the coalition as it includes influential industry groups such as the Consumers Electronics Association and groups with diverse viewpoints on the ideological spectrum. We’re optimistic that this new coalition will greatly bolster the ability to get the library perspective communicated to more national decision makers and influencers.

Also on the copyright front, Carrie Russell was able to present the L. Ray Patterson award to Georgia K. Harper, recently retired as scholarly communications advisor for the University of Texas, Austin. The award was presented in conjunction with the recent Texas Library Association conference in Austin.

Finally, I would like to say a belated thank you to the ACRL community for the opportunity to speak at the ACRL Leadership Council at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. I talked about the Policy Revolution! Initiative, an effort led by OITP to re-engineer how the library community engages in national public policy, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The premise of the initiative is that since libraries are in the midst of a revolution, how we pursue public policy also needs to be reconsidered fundamentally, and moved towards a more proactive stance.

The first major phase is to develop a national public policy agenda, which the various entities within the library community may use as guidance for their own policy goals. In communicating with national decision makers and influencers, the various advocates within the library community need to be consistent in messaging—else we’ll have a rather difficult time in making headway with them. Many thanks to the academic and research librarians who provided comments. The final version of the agenda will be released by this summer.

I look forward to making future posts—next time, likely on the Policy Revolution! Initiative—and talking with some ACRLers at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.


People to People Program in Vietnam and Cambodia

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Barbara J. Ford, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library.

As delegation leader for our upcoming journey to Vietnam and Cambodia, I would like to pass along to you what I hope to get out of our trip. As you consider being part of this delegation, know that our team will experience a lot and bring back memories for a lifetime.

I have enjoyed international travel and interacting with other cultures since I was a Peace Corps. I have found that travel that relates to my passion about and work with libraries is especially meaningful and memorable.  I first traveled with People to People in 1985 when I went to China as a member of a group of library and information professionals.  It was the trip of a lifetime and led me to greater interest in international libraries and travel and gave me new insights into my work in academic and public libraries in the U.S.

I have had the opportunity to travel to countries around the world as part of the work I did at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois.  From this experience I know that librarians around the world want to learn more about U.S. libraries and welcome international visitors and the opportunity to share ideas.  Libraries in Asia are particularly interesting at this time since they are developing to meet the information needs of their changing communities.

Traveling to both Vietnam and Cambodia will make this trip even more memorable since we will be able to compare and contrast libraries in the two countries.  I have been to Vietnam several times in a professional role and been impressed with the commitment of librarians to the work they are doing.  It is a dynamic country where citizens are increasingly understanding the power of information and libraries.  It will be interesting to return with a group of colleagues where we can share our experiences and learn from Vietnamese colleagues and one another. I very much look forward to visiting and learning about libraries and culture in Cambodia.

People to People provides a wonderful combination of professional interaction and cultural experiences. With strong international contacts, People to People is able to set up a unique program that provides insights into other cultures. In addition to libraries, I look forward to experiencing Angkor Wat which is a UNESCO world heritage center and a site of great interest to people around the world.  You can find additional information about the delegation at or email me at

Call 877-787-2000 to join us! You will not regret it.

Barbara J. Ford
ALA Past President, 1997-1998
Distinguished Professor Emerita
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

Immersion applications due May 15

Application materials for the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program Assessment and Intentional Teaching Tracks are due Friday, May 15, 2015.

The Immersion Program allows you to embrace your educational role by embarking on a path of teacher development and pedagogical inquiry in a community of practice for academic librarians devoted to collaborative learning and individual renewal.  The program will be offered in Nashville, Tennessee. Assessment track dates are November 4-7, 2015; Intentional Teaching track dates are November 4-8, 2015.

Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library Track (November 4-7, 2015) — Discover how to approach assessment from a learning-centered perspective. Participants will emerge with a broader understanding of assessment and how to use assessment as an important tool to guide evidence-based classroom, curriculum and program development. Learning outcomes include:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to understand its relationship to good teaching, library viability, and change
  • Formulate a learning-centered philosophy of assessment in order to inform development of information literacy program elements
  • Explore and utilize multiple modes of assessment in order to build a culture of evidence upon which to base programmatic development and change
  • Critically examine a variety of assessment techniques and methodologies in order to evaluate them for application in your institutional setting
  • Examine the leadership role of the library in a collaborative IL assessment effort in order to build support and trust among the stakeholder groups at your institution

I love Immersion. Every program I’ve gone to has done more to change me in a few days than years of work. Thank you so much!” ~ 2014 Assessment Immersion participant

Intentional Teaching: Reflective Teaching to Improve Student Learning Track (November 4-8, 2015) — Find out how to become more self-aware and self-directed as a teacher.  This track is aimed at the experienced academic librarian (5+ years teaching experience, in a library or other setting) and facilitates the process of critical reflection through peer discussion, readings and personal reflection as a pathway to professional growth and renewal. Learning outcomes include:

  • Engage in ongoing reflective practice in order to sustain professional renewal and growth.
  • Articulate a personal philosophy of teaching and learning in order to intentionally shape the student experience.
  • Align personal philosophy with daily practice in order to consistently actualize your beliefs, intentions and actions
  • Participate in a community of practice in order to access and share ideas, resources, publications, support structures, and networks.
  • Value uncertainty and risk-taking in order to deepen your identity and integrity as a teacher.

Teachers were all fantastic! Participants were all extraordinary people. Fell in love with everyone. Readings were very informative. Can’t wait to go home and read all the books and share them with my colleagues. I’m stoked. Can’t wait to go home and teach!” ~ 2014 Intentional Teaching Immersion participant

Visit the Immersion website for complete details about the program, including curriculum details and application instructions.  Questions concerning the program or application process should be directed to Margot Conahan at (312) 280-2522 or

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