Reed Elsevier

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Reed Elsevier PLC/N.V.
Type Dual-listed public limited company / Naamloze vennootschap
Traded as LSEREL, EuronextREN, NYSEENL, NYSERUK
Industry Media
Predecessors Elsevier
Reed International PLC
Founded 1993 (by merger)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom and Amsterdam, Netherlands
Key people Erik Engstrom (CEO)
Anthony Habgood (Chairman)
Products Publishing, academic and business publishing, trade fairs
Revenue £6.035 billion (2013)[1]
Operating income £1.749 billion (2013)[1]
Net income £1.110 billion (2013)[1]
Employees 28 000 (2013)
Subsidiaries Elsevier
LexisNexis
Reed Exhibitions
Reed Business Information
Website www.reedelsevier.com

Reed Elsevier is an Anglo-Dutch multinational publishing and information company co-headquartered in London, United Kingdom and Amsterdam, Netherlands. It operates in the science, medical, legal, risk, marketing, financial, and business sectors. It is listed on several of the world's major stock exchanges. It is a FTSE 100 and FT Global 500 company.[2] The Reed Elsevier group is a dual-listed company consisting of Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV.[3]

History[edit]

The company came into being in Autumn 1992 as the result of a merger between Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and the Dutch science publisher Elsevier.[4]

Reed International[edit]

In 1894, Albert E. Reed established a newsprint manufacturing operation at Tovil Mill near Maidstone, Kent.[5] In 1903, Albert E Reed was registered as a public company.[5]

In 1965 Reed Group, as it was then known, became a conglomerate, creating its Decorative Products Division with the purchase of Crown Paints, Polycell and Sanderson's wallpaper and DIY decorating interests.[6]

In 1970, Reed Group merged with the International Publishing Corporation and the company name was changed to Reed International Limited.[5] The company continued to grow by merging with other publishers and produced high quality trade journals as IPC Business Press Ltd and women's and other consumer magazines as IPC magazines Ltd.[5] The original family owners, the Reeds, were Methodists and encouraged good working conditions for their staff in the then-dangerous print trade.

In 1985 the company decided to rationalise its operations, focusing on publishing and selling off its other interests. Sanderson was sold to WestPoint Pepperell, Inc. of Georgia that year,[6] while Crown Paint and Polycell were sold to Williams Holdings in 1987.[7] The company's paper and packaging production operations were bundled together to form Reedpack and sold to private equity firm Cinven in 1988.[8] It was later bought by Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget.

Amsterdam headquarters of Reed Elsevier

Elsevier NV[edit]

In 1880, Jacobus George Robbers started a publishing company called NV Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier (Elsevier Publishing Company NV) to publish literary classics and the encyclopedia Winkler Prins.[5] Robbers named the company after the old Dutch printers family Elzevir,[5] which, for example, published the works of Erasmus in 1587. Elsevier NV originally was based in Rotterdam but moved to Amsterdam in the late 1880s.

Up to the 1930s, Elsevier remained a small family-owned publisher, with no more than ten employees. After the war it launched the weekly Elseviers Weekblad, which turned out to be very profitable. A rapid expansion followed. Elsevier Press Inc. started in 1951 in Houston, Texas, USA, and in 1962 publishing offices were opened in London and New York. Multiple mergers in the 1970s led to name changes, settling at Elsevier Scientific Publishers in 1979. In 1991, two years before the merger with Reed, Elsevier acquired Pergamon Press in the UK.[9]

21st century[edit]

In February 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its intention to sell Harcourt, its educational publishing division.[10] On 4 May 2007 Pearson, the international education and information company, announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier for $950m in cash.[11] In July 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its agreement to sell the remaining Harcourt Education business, including international imprint Heinemann, to Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group for $4b in cash and stock.[12]

In February 2008, shareholders of Choicepoint voted in favor of acquisition by Reed Elsevier for $4.1 billion. Choicepoint is an American data aggregation company with personal files on more than 220 million people in the US and Latin America. The acquisition was completed in September 2008.[13]

In July 2009, Reed Elsevier announced its intention to sell most of its North American trade publications, including Publishers Weekly, Broadcasting & Cable, and Multichannel News, although it planned to retain Variety.[14]

In September 2009 Reed Elsevier's Technology Division ('RETS'), who provide internal IT support across all business units, announced that European support services would be outsourced to the Indian firm HCL.[15]

In April 2010, Reed Elsevier announced that it had sold 21 US magazines to other owners in recent months, and that an additional 23 US trade magazines, including Restaurants & Institutions, Hotels, and Trade Show Week would cease publication. The closures were mostly due to the weak economy including an advertising slump.[16][17]

In November 2011 Reed Elsevier purchased U.S. online-data business Accuity Holdings Inc. from investment firm Investcorp for £343 million ($530.1 million) in cash.[18]

Operations[edit]

Reed Elsevier conducts its business through the following divisions:

  • The science and medical publishing division is Elsevier.
  • The risk division is LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
  • The legal publishing division is LexisNexis Legal & Professional. LexisNexis combines Butterworths, Tolley, LexisNexis, Visualfiles, and InterAction and services clients in law, tax & accounting, corporations, public sector, academic institutions and risk and compliance.
  • The exhibitions division is Reed Exhibitions.
  • The business division is Reed Business Information

Key products[edit]

ScienceDirect contains information about science, technology and medicine, Scopus is a database of research literature and quality web sources and Reed Business Information, Reed Elsevier's global Business division, is a provider of data services, business information and marketing solutions.

Controversy[edit]

Boycott[edit]

Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially Elsevier and LexisNexis. It has also supported SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act, although it no longer supports the last. Because of this, members of the scientific community have boycotted Elsevier journals. In January 2012, the boycott gained an online pledge and petition (The Cost of Knowledge) initiated by mathematician and Fields medalist Sir Timothy Gowers.[19] The movement has received support from noted science bloggers, such as biologist Jonathan Eisen, and has been signed by thousands of scientists.[20]

Charging for and mislabelling Open Access material[edit]

Elsevier charges an Article Publishing Charge for open-access publication of scholarly articles, but open-access articles have not always been correctly labelled as open access online, with webpages hosting them claiming "All rights reserved". Due to labelling problems with a third-party tool, Elsevier has mistakenly charged fifty users for permission to use open-access articles, and is investigating whether other users were incorrectly charged.[21] These problems have persisted for over two years after being reported to Elsevier.[22][23][24] As of March 2014, Elsevier says it is working on improving open-access labelling, and it is refunding fees charged for open-access articles.[21] Legal action has been suggested by Peter Murray-Rust.[22][25]

Action against academics posting their own articles online[edit]

A company representing Elsevier has recently told the University of Calgary to remove articles published by the authors on their own web pages; although the hosting of the articles may be legal under fair dealing provisions in Canadian copyright law, the university complied. Harvard University also received takedown notices.[26][27]

Privacy[edit]

Reed Elsevier collects, uses, and sells data on millions of consumers.[28] It has settled a Federal Trade Commission action taken against it, for failure to provide reasonable security for a database containing names, current and prior addresses, dates of birth, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers, amongst other data. This information was obtained from credit reporting agencies and other sources, and made available to purchasers through a password-secured website which permitted easy-to-guess passwords, allowing identity thieves to steal records on over quarter of a million people. This breach occurred through a recently purchased subsidiary, Seisint.[29]

Defence exhibitions[edit]

Members of the medical and scientific communities, which purchase and use many journals published by Reed Elsevier, agitated for the company to cut its links to the arms trade. Two UK academics, Dr. Tom Stafford of Sheffield University and Dr Nick Gill, launched petitions calling on Reed Elsevier to stop organising arms fairs.[30][31] A subsidiary, Spearhead, organised defence shows, including an event where it was reported that cluster bombs and extremely powerful riot control equipment were offered for sale.[32][33]

In February 2007, Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, published an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, arguing that Reed Elsevier's involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest.[34] He suggested that if academics began to disengage with Reed Elsevier, the company would be likely to end their arms fairs, as arms fairs only comprise a small proportion of their business.

On 1 June 2007, Reed Elsevier announced that they would be exiting the Defence Exhibition business during the second half of 2007.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2013". Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ EuronextREN (NV), NYSEENL (ADR for NV), LSEREL (PLC), NYSERUK (ADR for PLC).
  3. ^ Reed-Elsevier corporate structure
  4. ^ Edward A. Gargan (6 October 1994). "Reed-Elsevier Building Big Presence in the U.S.". New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Reed Elsevier: History
  6. ^ a b Sanderson: History
  7. ^ Grace's Guide: Williams Holdings
  8. ^ Cinven: Realised investments
  9. ^ Maxwell's sale of Pergamon Press for $770million on target for April
  10. ^ "Reed Elsevier to sell education arm". Reuters. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Pearson acquires Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier". Pearson. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Houghton Mifflin to buy Harcourt". Retrieved 17 July 2007. [dead link]
  13. ^ LexisNexis parent set to buy Choicepoint Washington Post, 22 February 2008
  14. ^ Brian Stelter, "Even Media About the Media Are For Sale, New York Times, 31 July 2009.
  15. ^ Publishing giant hits delete on internal IT staff
  16. ^ Reed Elsevier press release, 16 April 2010, Reed-elsevier.com
  17. ^ "Restaurants & Institutions magazine shutting down as Reed cuts trade titles", Crain's Chicago Business, 16 April 2010
  18. ^ Acquisition of Accuity Inc. completed
  19. ^ Dobbs, David (30 January 2012). "Testify: The Open Science Movement Catches Fire". Wired. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier". Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  21. ^ a b http://www.elsevier.com/connect/open-access-the-systems-journey
  22. ^ a b http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/elsevier-bumps-on-road-to-open-access/2012238.article
  23. ^ http://svpow.com/2014/03/11/how-is-it-possible-that-elsevier-are-still-charging-for-copies-of-open-access-articles/
  24. ^ https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140319/11185526626/elsevier-still-charging-open-access-copies-two-years-after-it-was-told-problem.shtml
  25. ^ http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2014/03/10/elsevier-will-not-immediately-stop-charging-users-for-cc-by-permissions-and-will-not-relabel-mislabelled-articles-i-suggest-academia-takes-legal-action
  26. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/12/19/how-one-publisher-is-stopping-academics-from-sharing-their-research/
  27. ^ https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131218/00393725601/elsevier-ramps-up-its-war-access-to-knowledge.shtml
  28. ^ http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=0d2b3642-6221-4888-a631-08f2f255b577
  29. ^ http://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/052-3094/reed-elsevier-inc-seisint-inc-matter http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2008/03/agency-announces-settlement-separate-actions-against-retailer-tjx
  30. ^ Petition
  31. ^ Petition
  32. ^ Shah, Saeed (14 September 2005). "Cluster bombs on offer at arms fair despite sales ban". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007. 
  33. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (16 September 2005). "Banned stun guns and leg irons advertised at arms fair". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 21 February 2007. 
  34. ^ Smith, Richard (20 February 2007). "Lancet publishers condemned over promotion of arms". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Retrieved 18 March 2007. 
  35. ^ "Reed Elsevier says to exit defence industry shows". 1 June 2007. 

Additional references[edit]

External links[edit]