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Elsevier Open Access Pilot: FAQ: Home

About the Pilot Project

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries has joined other members of the NERL consortium in an innovative open access agreement with Elsevier, the largest academic publisher in the world. As part of this three-year pilot, authors who have published in Elsevier journals and who were affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania at the time of publication will retroactively have their articles made open access. 

Looking for more information as a corresponding author affected by this pilot? Have questions about the articles and publications included as part of this agreement? Learn more in our FAQ below.


What articles are included in the agreement? 

Venn diagram shows three intersecting circles: 5 years of articles in each year of the pilot; Corresponding authors from 13 participating NERL institutions; and Elsevier Published Journals. At the intersection: Elsevier Open Access Pilot.Elsevier will open to the public 5 years of published eligible journal articles in Elsevier-owned journals that have corresponding authors from participating NERL institutions each year of the agreement. In the first year of the agreement, Elsevier will open one year of content moving forward in time and four back, starting with 1998.

“Eligible Articles” are published journal articles of corresponding authors affiliated with institutions choosing to participate in the pilot. Please note that eligibility is based on the corresponding author’s affiliation at the time of publication. 

“Published Journal Article” refers to the definitive final record of published research that appears in a journal.  

What titles are included in the agreement? 

The pilot includes all journals hosted on ScienceDirect. 

Which specific years of content will be opened during each year of the agreement (2022, 2023 and 2024)?  

Eligible articles will be opened each year following a timetable of 1 year forward and 4 years back: 

  • Year 1 (2022): 1998 and 1994-1997 (inclusive) by April 1, 2022 
  • Year 2 (2023): 1999 and 1990-1993 (inclusive) by January 1, 2023 
  • Year 3 (2024): 2000 and 1986-1989 (inclusive) by January 1, 2024 

I’m a corresponding author on an article affected by this agreement. Can I choose to opt out? 

Yes, authors can choose not to open their articles. Those requests should be directed to Lana Wear (, Senior Customer Success & Growth Leader at Elsevier.

What kind of uses are allowed of the opened articles? 

Most simply put: non-commercial reuse.  

More specifically: any user will be able to access, download, copy, translate, text and data mine opened articles for non-commercial research purposes in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons “BY-NC-ND" license (“Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives”). 

Which NERL institutions are participating in this pilot agreement? 

Thirteen NERL institutions are participating: Boston University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Syracuse University, University of Miami, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Yale University. 

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