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RE: Elsevier policy on article removal

Elsevier's revised policy is a tremendous step forward.  The section on
Article Retraction is exactly right -- and the addition of the retracted
watermark on the PDF version is a great idea that I hadn't thought of.

Regarding the section on Article Removal, I agree with David Goodman that
a little more transparency would be better.  In cases where the article
has been removed because of the concern of copyright violation I'd go so
far as to want to see a message like, "We have recently been made aware
that the article published here may have been copied in whole or in part
from [citation to the original article].  Consequently, we have removed
the article until such time as it can be determined that no copyright
infringement has occurred."  Something similarly specific for other cases
of "legal reasons" would also be desireable.  My question to the
publishers, then, is do you feel that this level of detail would expose
you to too much risk?  I think the trick here is to find the balancing
point where you can provide as much information about the reasons for
removal as possible, without feeling that you're going out too far on the
legal limb.

The Article Replacement section raises some interesting questions about
identifying the definitive article. Is the citation to the new article the
same as to the older one or is there some distinction made?  It will be
important that the history of the article be very clear about what changes
have been made, and when.  In malpractice cases, it will also be important
for the original article to be easily obtainable if it figures as

But perhaps the most significant thing about the policy is Elsevier's
commitment to be active in the development of international standards.
Stephen Barr quite rightly questioned the focus on Elsevier's policies --
now that Elsevier has put forth this revised version, the challenge to the
rest of the publishing/editorial community is to develop similar policies
and to make them public.

One final question for Elsevier -- is the policy retrospective?  

T. Scott Plutchak
Editor, Journal of the Medical Library Association
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham

-----Original Message-----
From: Menefee, Daviess (ELS) [mailto:D.Menefee@elsevier.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 12:30 PM
To: 'reedelscustomers@lists.cc.utexas.edu'; Liblicense-L (E-mail)
Subject: Elsevier policy on article removal

Dear Readers,

Based on discussions with the library community and listening to comments
on this list and others, Elsevier has decided to revise its policy of
article removal from online products including ScienceDirect.  The revised
policy is attached to this message in a Word format.  Please excuse the
cross posting.

As always, we look forward to your comments and opinions.

Kind regards,
Daviess Menefee
Library Relations