[open-science] Elsevier are telling "mis-truths" about the extent of paywalled open access

Christoph Broschinski broschinski at uni-bielefeld.de
Thu Feb 23 12:57:09 UTC 2017

Hello everybody,

I don't know if you are familiar with the OpenAPC project (https://github.com/OpenAPC/openapc-de).
In a nutshell: We collect APC data from participating institutions, process it and disseminate it as
Open Data.
Ross' blog post gave me an interesting idea: Since we have a lot of articles in our database which
were published (and paid for) as OA in hybrid Elsevier journals (more than 2600), maybe we could
search them for more cases of wrongly paywalled articles?

I ended up putting together a small script to automatically search sciencedirect.com for additional
cases - and we got some results. Details here:


Christoph Broschinski

On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 9:11 PM, Ross Mounce <ross.mounce at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> Remember last week I found an article that had been paid-for by the
> Wellcome Trust to be hybrid open access, except it was for sale behind an
> Elsevier paywall at the journal *Mitochondrion* for $35.95 + tax? [0]
> Well, Elsevier have responded, first by sowing doubt on the claim, then 3
> days later admitting I was correct. But stranger still, they said:
> “We’ve gone through the system, this [the Mitochondrion article] is the
> only article affected.”
> Which would be great if this were true but it isn't. There are more
> paywalled "open access" articles that are currently on sale at
> ScienceDirect right now, including one at The Lancet, which Wellcome Trust
> paid Elsevier £5,280 to make open access [1]. Which makes me think:
> A) Elsevier’s entire system for handling hybrid open access is broken
> B) Elsevier are evidently incapable of accurate self-assessment
> In 2014 they eventually refunded "about $70,000" to readers who had
> mistakenly been charged to access articles that should have been open
> access. I wonder how much they will pay out this time...?
> Please do share this with colleagues. I am outraged.
> Links:
> [0] http://rossmounce.co.uk/2017/02/14/elsevier-selling-access-
> to-open-access-again/
> [1] http://rossmounce.co.uk/2017/02/20/hybrid-open-access-is-unreliable/
> --
> --
> -/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-
> /-/-
> Ross Mounce, PhD
> Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2016
> Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
> www.rossmounce.co.uk <http://rossmounce.co.uk/>
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> /-/-
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Christoph Broschinski
Department of Library Technology and Knowledge Management (LibTec)
Bielefeld University Library
Bielefeld University, Room L3-126
Tel. +49 521 106 3971

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