Department Blog

Scholarly Communication

Have You Received an Elsevier Takedown Notice?

Elsevier recently sent DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices to some UC campuses, several other universities, and claiming that the availability of certain Elsevier journal articles posted on websites infringes Elsevier copyrights.  The postings at issue are believed to have been the final published versions of articles for which Elsevier believes it holds the copyright.  (Some authors retain copyright to their articles, in which case Elsevier’s request would be invalid).  Many publishers permit authors to self-archive journal articles on websites; however, they generally stipulate that the version posted be the author’s final manuscript, after peer review but before the publisher formats it in the journal layout.  In addition, publishers may require an embargo or time-delay prior to self-archiving. 

If you have received a takedown request from Elsevier or another publisher, please contact for assistance regarding what to do.

The UC Office of Scholarly Communication website summarizes the issues and options should you receive a takedown request from Elsevier:

Selected articles describing the Elsevier takedown requests:

(2014, January 11).  No peeking:  A publishing giant goes after the authors of its journals’ papers.  The Economist.  Accessed January 9, 2014, from

Peterson, Andrea. (2013, December 19). How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research. The Washington Post. Accessed January 8, 2014, from

Howard, Jennifer. (2013, December 6).  Posting your latest article? You might have to take it down. Chronicle of Higher Education.  Accessed January 8, 2014, from

Elsevier Response:

Reller, Tom. (2013, December 6). A comment on takedown notices (with update).  ElsevierConnect [blog]. Accessed January 8, 2014, from

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