Elsevier's revenue model currently dissuades researchers from sharing by charging authors who wish to make their work open access $3,000 per article (the actual amount varies depending on the journal - it's £400 per page in The Lancet and $5,000 for Cell Press titles).However, it's been common practice among researchers to disregard this technicality and publish their papers on their own websites as well - free of charge. And Elsevier's legal team must be extra restless right now, because they served up a bunch of take-down notices, nicely summed up over at Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week:
Academia.edu explained its actions with the following notification, laying the responsibility squarely and fairly at the feet of Elsevier:Preventing people from making their own work available would be insane, and the publisher that did it would be committing a PR gaffe of huge proportions. Enter Elsevier, stage left. Bioinformatician Guy Leonard is just one of several people to have mentioned on Twitter this morning that Academia.edu took down their papers in response to a notice from Elsevier.
Unfortunately, we had to remove your paper, Resolving the question of trypanosome monophyly: a comparative genomics approach using whole genome data sets with low taxon sampling, due to a take-down notice from Elsevier.
Academia.edu is committed to enabling the transition to a world where there is open access to academic literature. Elsevier takes a different view, and is currently upping the ante in its opposition to academics sharing their own papers online.
Over the last year, more than 13,000 professors have signed a petition voicing displeasure at Elsevier’s business practices at www.thecostofknowledge.com. If you have any comments or thoughts, we would be glad to hear them.The Academia.edu Team
So, there. The battle lines were contractually drawn a long time ago, and big publishing is simply entrenching itself further.
Big thanks to Mike Taylor and SV-POW for bringing this to our attention