Consequences for you as a researcher, after the ended Elsevier deal

See Swedish version.

On July 1st, the Swedish Research Libraries’ agreement with Elsevier ends since the parties could not agree. Ongoing negotiations are likely to happen later this year. You can read about the background on Insidan (in Swedish).

In the following text, we focus on you who use or publish in Elsevier journals. We try to answer questions about access to Scopus and SciVal, alternative ways to read articles in Elsevier journals, and to discuss different approaches to publishing with Elsevier.

If you have any questions, you may always contact the library.  

Decorative image of a researcher

Can I use still SciVal or Scopus after July 1st?

The broken agreement concerns access to journals, not access to Elsevier’s other services, such as Scopus or SciVal.

How do I reach the articles I need?

Access to newly published articles from Elsevier’s journals may look different to you in the future. The library works to get the research you need for your work as easy as possible. Below we list various methods that may be helpful to you.

1. Use the library

For some material, everything will be as usual. Articles published from 1995 until June 30, 2018, the library will be able to provide direct access to. In many cases the library also has access to articles published before 1995. You may always contact the library for further help.

2. Search for Open Access articles

The easiest way to find open access articles is to search in Google Scholar.

The majority of the world’s university has web repositories for the researchers’ open access material, such as the Chalmers’ Have you previously had an open access article from Elsevier deposited in, it will now come to use for other researchers. You may also look into more general open archives, such as in BASE (direct link Elseviers OA articles ), CORE , arXiv (preprints in physics, mathematics and data), and bioRxiv (biology preprints).

There are useful social platforms for researchers, such as ResearchGate and, where researchers share their publications within the platforms. In both cases, you need to register to use the services. 

Nb. There are also services such as Scihub, which puts copyright material illegally online. Do not use these services at work. 

3. USE A BROWSER plugin

Another way to access open access-material is to use a plugin in your web browser (Safari or Chrome).

Unpaywall makes finding OA-articles easy for the individual user by installing a plug-in on Chrome or Firefox. Content from Unpaywall is also integrated into other services such as databases and link-resolvers.

Other plugins

  • Open Access Button is a plugin to find open access versions of articles. In the plugin you can also send a request to aythors to make their locked-in articles avaliable in an open access repository. 
  • Google Scholar Button is an addon to make it more easy to find articles from Google Scholar. 
  • Lazy Scholar is an addon which both helps you find open access articles, as well as articles which the library has paid for. 
  • Kopernio  is an addon which both helps you find open access articles, as well as articles which the library has paid for. The service is free, but you need to register in order to use the extension. 

4. Contact THE AUTHOR directly

If the article contains an email address to one of the authors, you can ask for access directly. It is usually allowed to send your article to another person, so-called scholarly sharing . See Sherpa / Romeo for terms that apply to different magazines.


If you still can not get access to the article, you can contact the library and request a document delivery or an inter-library loan, ie Chalmers Library will investigate if there is any service or other libraries that can access the item for you (the library is responsible for the cost). You may also choose to start by asking the library if none of the above options suits you.

CAN I NOT PUBLISH OR DO Editorial WORK IN Elsevier JOURNALS anymore?

As a researcher, you have the right to choose the publishing channel which best suits your needs. In connection to the removal of access to Elsevier journals, it may be good to consider some new aspects in the choice of publishing channel.

  • Does your funder require open access? Most of the Swedish and European research funders demand that you make your results freely available. In the negotiations Elsevier has not been able to meet the Swedish demands for open access.
  • Who is the target audience of your research? As long as the parties try to reach a working agreement, neither you nor your (Swedish) colleagues will have direct access to Elsevier’s newly published articles.

Some researchers choose to take a stand against Elsevier’s business practices, such as in the call The Cost of Knowledge , where 17,000 researchers (including a dozen from Chalmers) actively chose not to publish, work editorially or make a peer review for Elsevier. Other researchers choose to publish in Elsevier’s journals, especially since the publisher stands for a review tradition that benefits feedback on your own research, and there are several journals with high impact in the scientific community.

Within many fields there are options. If you want to look for other journals with similar impact in your subject, you use Journal Citation reports . The Swedish research libraries have made several agreements with other publishers, which includes open access to research output. This includes Springer, Taylor & Francis, the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Gruyter. More information about this is available on the library web .

Do you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact us!


Unpaywall is a new tool for finding free versions of articles 
Singh Chawla, D. (2017) Unpaywall finds free versions of paywalled papers . Nature toolbox 04 April 2017.

In June, Chalmers researcher Richard Johansson spoke about open access in P1 
Vetenskapsradion,  June 12, 2018, Thousands of researchers boycott journal, 


Linköping University Library, Survival Guide,

Open Access Blog, Alternative Access Points for Publicly Available Articles,

Svara Consequences for you as a researcher, after the ended Elsevier deal


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