From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Academic Journals (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Academic Journals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Academic Journals on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing an infobox.
See WikiProject Academic Journals' writing guide for tips on how to improve this article.
WikiProject Companies (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Companies, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of companies on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Media  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Media, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Media on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


I removed a long PR "history" of Elsevier that had been added by somebody at on January 4th. It is a direct copy of text in

I think we can assume, however that since the edit was made from inside the companies network, the text has been licensed for wikipedia. So if anybody feels like removing the aweful PR language and making it NPOV, I have included the removed stuff below:

Hobx 22:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

We cannot assume that the text has been licensed for Wikipedia. I removed it per WP:COPYVIO. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:17, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

The flagship Endeavor/Endeavour[edit]

"Science & Technology ... Flagship products & services: ... Endeavour" ie Endeavour (journal). This was originally copied from an Elsevier publication, probably the website [1] (which may be a breach of copyright for all I know), but note the spelling on the website — Endeavor with no u. I am not sure what this refers to — possibly Endeavor Information Systems which was an Elsevier subsidiary until a few weeks ago. Someone has changed the spelling in the article to Endeavour and linked it to the journal. I don't believe this is what the source (the Elsevier web page) refers to and I'm doubtful that the journal Endeavour ranks up there with Cell and the Lancet as flagship products. I'm happy to see a reputable citation that it is a flagship — otherwise I think it needs to be deleted again. Nurg 05:08, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The journal may not be a "flagship product", whatever that means, but it is notable in the History of science area and deserves an article at some point. The web site is Endeavour. That section may indeed be a direct copy of the Elsevier article, but it is difficult to rewrite a sentance like it. I'm inclined to leave it for now, or list the Elsevier journals somewhere and include it there. --Bduke 05:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not saying the journal can't have an article. The jnl name is linked from Wikipedia:List_of_missing_journals as well as the Endeavour dab page. But with no citation for it being a flagship product, the existing mention in this article will have to go. Nurg 08:17, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


That logo is absolutely huge. Isn't "low resolution" supposed to be part of the guidelines? As long as Elsevier doesn't complain... vLaDsINgEr 11:24, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Elsevier.gif[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Elsevier.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:48, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

rewriting needed for tone[edit]

The current article is in obvious need of major rewriting to remove the promotional tone--and to bring some of the controversies up to date. I'll be doing it. DGG (talk) 08:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge 2collab[edit]

2collab was started by an editor who has no other editorial history. This is such a new product that I don't know if it meets WP:N yet. Perhaps it is worth talking about 2collab in the context of Elsevier until independent notability has been established? --Karnesky (talk) 19:20, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that would pollute the Elsevier article. If it isn't notable, why include it at all? GotPSP (talk) 23:30, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
It might be reasonable to say that a particular division is responsible for it, but not have an article devoted to it (as is currently the case for Engineering Village, for example). --Karnesky (talk) 01:16, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
a major new product of that will have coverage, and should be kept as a separate article. Its a perfectly acceptable article about a reference management system, trying to break the Thompson monopoly on commercial systems of that sort. DGG (talk) 02:28, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
2collab should at least be mentioned somewhere in this article. Simply merging it as its own subsection would be easy enough, but this article seems long enough as it is. --George100 (talk) 16:39, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a software product, and probably notable y itself. I don't see how it fits in here. DGG (talk) 00:16, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Problem paragraph[edit]

Have removed the following paragraph from the Criticism section:

Chaos, Solitons and Fractals[edit]

It has been noted recently that the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals published by Elsevier has an editor (M. S. El Naschie) who seems to be misusing the journal to publish pseudoscience, apparently without peer review. The journal has published 322 papers with El Naschie as author since 1993. This alarming rate of publication still continues, with 5 of his papers scheduled to appear in the December 2008 issue, with an additional 3 papers by other authors about El Naschie's theories. Leading american mathematician John Baez covered the situation in a blog post titled "The Case of M. S. El Naschie"."n-Category Cafe". 

Apart from any other consideration, the reference is from a blog - a Wikipedia no-no. Am not questioning the information, just its verifiability, etc. --Technopat (talk) 16:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean verifiability. The blog discussion clearly shows that there is a controversy, whether you agree with it or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Blogs are not reliable sources. They do not 'clearly show" anything. I agree with Technopat. This material can be added back if there is a reliable source. --Bduke (Discussion) 20:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree, a random blog is not a reliable source, but this one is authored by a quite famous mathematician and it clearly satisfies "Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Story has been picked up by Nature News, see —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Fake journals[edit]

Can we get some good discussion of the fake journals? It seems they have "at least six" fake journals for the drug companies now. [2]

Are they only being used to fool doctors into proscribing the drugs? Or are they also being used to get the drugs through approval processes in secondary markets?

I've blogged some links at This started with the lawsuit and what it appears to be is a marketing instrument to get doctors (who have no time) to prescribe the company's medicines because this important sounding journal says so. --WiseWoman (talk) 20:41, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I gather we are about to enter a dispute about the section on the fake journals. Elsevier wants to call them "Sponsored article compilation publications" -- why on earth would Wikipedia feel compelled to use this godawful term? It's clear what their interest is, and I see no reason why Wikipedia should share it. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:51, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I have zero desire to enter into a dispute over this, just found the heading a bit imprecise, 'fake journals' could mean a number of things.
It is clear from the body of the section what they did, if anything using their terminology serves as a bit of humor. Enjoy - Unomi (talk) 22:03, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

section heading[edit]

I don't really have a problem with calling a spade a spade, but 'fake journals' strikes me as a tad unencyclopedic, the terminology used by elsevier is really no less damning and a bit more informational. 'Fake journals' conveys very little information. Unomi (talk) 21:56, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I like your section heading "Promotional material presented as journals" better than my suggestion "misprepresented journals". Both are much better than "Fake journals". (talk) 23:59, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I think "Promotional material presented as journals" works well also. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:15, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The heading was changed to "Promotion of Scientific Dishonesty", which I don't think is accurate and is certainly not neutral. I changed the section heading back to "Promotional material presented as journals" which is the best suggestion I've seen so far. ChemNerd (talk) 14:33, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
So far I have seen no RS that states that that elsevier has conducted science of any kind. If some of the articles reprinted in the 'journals' were themselves tainted by scientific misconduct it is, as far as I know, not discovered. As I understand it the debacle concerns letting Merck et al have editorial control over journals which were given a veneer of credibility by virtue of being published by Elsevier. I could be mistaken but that doesn't constitute 'scientific fraud', Elsevier is 'just' a publishing house and owe the blind faith of their readers to the audiences credulity. That is at least my blunt opinion. Unomi (talk) 06:37, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
But they weren't actually journals. They looked like journals -- a component of the fraud being perpetrated. It's not as if Elsevier didn't know they were fake; they weren't being duped. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:44, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
"fake journals" seems fair. Their were pretending to be journals, and were not. They were promotional material written in-house by a manufacturer. Elsevier (and other companies also) have a number of journals which have sometimes printed fraudulent articles and bad science, but this wasn't false science, but false journals regardless of the quality of the contents. DGG (talk) 02:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that once you know the story 'fake journals' cannot but strike one as an appropriate term for what they did, and increasingly I am also getting sympathetic towards calling it fraudulent and even 'scientific misconduct'. The reason I initially changed the heading was simply that it didn't convey much information and could be misinterpreted in a number of ways. That said, the Media seem to have run with 'fake journals' although I personally find 'Advertorial' more appropriate. I think though we need to specify what a scientific Journal should be, and note how elsevier diverged from the standards to which those publications are considered held.
By the way there is a bit more information which should find its way into the article, I haven't found the time myself.
advisory board members that didn't know of the journal and tried to get their names off the publication[3] and an advisory board member that didn't read the articles or care[4] Unomi (talk) 03:26, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I think there is now a greater degree of agreement that "fake journals" is appropriate and will make the change. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 11:58, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that 'fake journals' seems to reflect usage in sources. While my personal opinion is that 'fake journals' is open to interpretation and is not wholly descriptive, I respect that prevalence 'fake journals' in sources takes precedence. Unomi (talk) 12:08, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Support of SOPA and call for boycott by scientists[edit]

There is notable concern for their support of SOPA and there's are call for a boycott. This should be added to the article, no? Cowicide (talk) 20:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Merge ScienceDirect[edit]

I propose to merge ScienceDirect here. This is the name that Elsevier gives to its online platform for access to its academic journals. It has hardly any notability independent from Elsevier and the current stub is barely informative. I don't think that there is any potential for enlarging that stub either. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 11:58, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support -- no independent notability for ScienceDirect. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:03, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support ScienceDirect is not notable. I find no sources about it online. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:24, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I've merged the ScienceDirect stub here. The language is a bit promotional, so feel free to copyedit. Gobonobo T C 20:30, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. IMO ScienceDirect is notable. --Leyo 08:45, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
    Do you have any independent reliable sources showing that? As far as I can see, all that needs to be merged here is a single line "Online access to Elsevier publications is provided through the ScienceDirect platform. I don't see any independent notability. --Randykitty (talk) 11:29, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
    Experience by scientists is sufficient to tell that ScienceDirect is of similar importance as Web of Science or other articles in Category:Commercial digital libraries. It is certainly more of interest to readers than some individual exotic journals or barely notable scientists. --Leyo 21:34, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
    While every scientist will know WoS, most will be hard pressed to say what the specific name of the Elsevier platform is. It's just the platform they use to provide electronic access to their journals, just as Springerlink and he platform Wiley-Blackwell has (see: I use it almost daily to access one or the other of their journals, but at the moment cannot recall its name). Equating it with WoS is plain ludicrous. But given that you think it is highly notable, I guess you'll be able to provide us with some good independent sources covering it in depth? As for the rest of your argument, that smacks of WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS... --Randykitty (talk) 21:55, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
    I refuse to accept platitudes as arguments. Not everyone is probably as forgetful in terms of names as you pretend to be.
    A few articles about ScienceDirect: no DOI, DOI:10.1080/02763869.2011.541346, DOI:10.1016/S0740-8188(02)00126-3, DOI:10.1108/00220411011038476, DOI:10.1016/j.ipm.2006.10.007, …
    --Leyo 10:11, 2 August 2013 (UTC)


Hello Guillaume,

your edits of Elsevier are very reasonable, I am sorry for reverting so fast. Just one question: why have you also removed the QFK CK website also from the external links section? It is hardly unnotable, in fact, the Guardian article proves its notability! Am I wrong?

Thanks, Sasha (talk) 23:09, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Yeah, we were going a bit fast last night :-) I'm not sure I see which website you mean with "QFK", though. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 09:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
The paragraph we discuss is about the site Cost of Knowledge (how did I transform it into QFK?), created following the call by Timothy Gowers to boycott Elsevier. The petition was signed by ~4500 scientists, and was reported Guardian and several other newspapers.
I think we agree that the article in the Guardian establishes notability. But then the site is not unnotable (it is indeed not a secondary source, but it has a right to be mentioned somewhere, either in the text or in the external links section).
Am I wrong? Sasha (talk) 14:58, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
PS In fact, the Guardian article starts with a snapshot of the site.
  • Actually, I don't think that this makes the web site notable. Neither is it a reliable source, I think. As it is, I find that our treatment of the boycott is already a bit unbalanced: we cite the critical pronouncements from the Guardian, but not Elsevier's defense. Adding a direct link to a site collecting signatures for a boycott... I'm not sure that we should do that. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 18:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning. However, one might as well argue that Elsevier's site is also not a reliable source (nor a secondary ref). As to the balance, I agree with you, I will try to fix that. Sasha (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Please have a look now. a) is it better? b) do you think adding a ref to the site would be inappropriate? Sasha (talk) 18:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC) (e.g. adding the text below in the External links section)

===Cost of Knowledge boycott===
* [ Site calling for boycott of Elsevier]
* [ Response of Elsevier]

  • I don't think you can compare the two sites, the CoKB site was "made by a mathematics student", quite something else from a large multinational company... In any case, i think that your proposal to provide balance is very good, go ahead! --Guillaume2303 (talk) 18:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, the petition has already been signed by several Fields laureates et cet. I do not think it's important who constructed the site (and neither who designed the Elsevier website). There is lots of independent media coverage devoted specifically to this site, see here.
Would you like to move this discussion to the talk page (to make it more accessible)?
Sasha (talk) 19:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
  • For the case in Elsevier's defence, you could look at the Economist's comment that Elsevier is charging average prices and is simply operating more efficiently than other publishers. Also, I like how this article mentions the larger tension between academics and publishers. Jingapore (talk) 15:03, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that reference. I have added it (together with some text) to the article. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 15:56, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I branched The Cost of Knowledge into its own article. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:21, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that branching this of into its own article is a classical example of a POV fork. It belongs here and should be presented in this article. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 13:14, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I would be happy to talk this through with you. Would you meet me on the talk page for that article? Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:11, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Someone just added the info that Elsevier has withdrawn their support for the RWA. This info is now presented in three articles (this one, the one on the CoK boycott, and another new page called academic journal publishing reform. I gingerly suggest that covering all this no less than three times, is perhaps a tad overdone. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 16:12, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

The discussion on whether or not to merge The Cost of Knowledge back here is at that article's talk page. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 17:07, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Replacing the Guardian and using a blog instead[edit]

Here's the place for people to discuss that edit if they wish to see it adopted. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Here is the change proposed. I would not oppose both citations being used. That blog is endorsed by many of the organizers of the campaign being cited and that particular entry has a significant number of comments by players in the campaign, and with such critical review I would not call it a WP:SPS. I would oppose the Guardian source being removed; the blog reference may or may not be added. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:00, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
That's fine -- I can see the reason to use both sources. One of the people who performed that edit has acknowledged on my talk page that it was an error. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:51, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Total neutral rewrite required[edit]

I checked into this lemma because I needed some background on Elsevier history, the article is however 416 words about the company in stub style and 1636 words about recent controversies related to the company. Including one - the relation to the arms business that seems to have been settled as the company responded to the criticism and sold the offending activity. In the talk page I read that in part its due to Elsevier PR being removed - which is all well and good but it has been replaced by equally POV opinion regarding the company's pricing policy. The boycot bit is rehashed in several different sections. I am sure this is all very important but it is more newsy than encyclopedic. Seeing there are some very committed posters here that revert very quickly anything that might detract from what is there today, I wanted to propose a reasonable level headed discussion on how this article can be improved. As a first sketch for structure how about this:

History - founding till 1940 - Elsevier in this period was a tiny company with just 10 employees. Its mainly interesting because some of its academic journals spawned others in remote places like Japan;

- Post 1945 - having published a news magazine that was banned by Germans, that magazine was a commercial success (still is) after the war. With that money Elsevier expanded massively into scientific publishing and very cleverly caught one wave missed by others: English became the lingua franca of the scientific community replacing their German publications. This brought them onto the world stage as a player;

- Pierre Vinken and Elsevier: Here is the nub of all later controversies and it is incomprehensible the current section says nothing about this man. He sold his journal Excerpta Medica to Elsevier and rose to become CEO. It is under him that prices were raised as Vinken counted on the 'publish or perish' and zero price elasticity in the science sector. The company became a huge cash machine and increasingly aggressive launching the first ever hostile take-over bid in the Netherlands a normally consensus oriented country (on peer company Kluwer);

- Merger with Reed - this was not a happy merger and is often seen as the last grandiose step of Vinken who overreached. Generally speaking it can be said Elsevier probably won the merger eventually but it was not pretty;

- Elsevier's role as OL publisher - love them or hate them they have a role there going from trying to foreclose electronic publications, to using them to spoil competition for their print business, to developing their own real electronic products;

- Controversies should be spelt out here they are a consequence of Vinken and later the merger with reed.

Structure and revenues - management - overview of current structure - leading journals - revenues

Let me reiterate I am not here to censor any discussion on the pricing policy, but simply insist it must be seen in context. The high prices were a consistent commercial policy by Elsevier and much celebrated until it hit the breaking point of the notoriously price inelastic scientific community. Compare Elsevier's stock market performance in the 1980ies to the 1990ies or 2000s and you will see what I mean. Even the sponsored magazines (fake journals) question rises from actions by Pierre Vinken as it is due to the merger with Reed.

Julius Voluntary transparency declaration: Over 10 years ago I worked in the Dutch publishing industry. I have no ties to Elsevier or any publisher for many years now. TrustyJules (talk) 06:54, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Sounds good. I agree that the controversies get too much weight at this point (some of them even have their own article and the boycott is re-hashed here, its own article, and the "academic spring" article (a term used just a few times and now disappeared). I do hope, however, that you have reliable independent sources for all this stuff. But Elsevier is a company with a long and varied history and there should be material for a better and more informative article than the current version. --Randykitty (talk) 07:27, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
I also support everything being proposed. If you are new to Wikipedia then please note that when you are telling a story, start by summarizing information you find in published sources and do not add information without providing a citation. No one wants bad articles, but finding sources is difficult. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:39, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
I would also support an effort of this sort. I see that Randy gave you a good selection of reading material (links) on your talk page. It's probably best to get acquainted with that (especially WP:V and WP:RS). I would also suggest working on one section at first, so that you can get some feedback on the changes you make. That way you won't end up making a big effort on the whole article only to find that the changes aren't consistent with Wikipedia policies and so have to be reverted. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 14:08, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the support - the issue of sources will of course be critical for various reasons.

1) Its not easy to search for references as Elsevier is a publisher itself and so it turns up all over the place without it being about itself. Insofar as books are available they tend to be about the weekly magazine (an odd one out in its publishing range) not about the decidedly unsexy academic publishing

2) Its early history as a small company did not leave much in the way of traces;

3) Pierre Vinken is a controversial figure (not only at Elsevier), his biography is called: Against idealism - a lot of what he did is in public record of business newspapers of the 1980ies more than academic research and not easily linkable/quotable because unavailable to be checked. The dislike academics had for him is not a stranger to that either;

4) A lot of sources are in Dutch

Anyway, I take the suggestion to start small and non controversial, so I will have a first look at the company's early history. That at least is unlikely to rouse any concerns!

TrustyJules (talk) 07:53, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

OK I have made a start by obtaining several source books about the company. Luckily publishers like to talk about themselves and it seems the important directors of the Elsevier company all had quite detailed (auto)biographies made. I have already found that the history given in the current article is false and the reference of Frances Groen are incorrect based on material sources. Here is a first stab at a section of history up to WWII. Please see this bit as target practice for the purpose of the further parts I will elaborate.


The Elsevier we know today was founded by Jacobus George Robbers (b.1838, Rotterdam, Netherlands) who moved from being a bookseller to publisher in 1872. His focus was the import of English language books and the publication of translations of these works. His entrepreneurial energy makes for a successful business and by 1880 he establishes a Plc based in Rotterdam backed by four other gentlemen who will take a seat in the supervisory board. According to the original prospectus, the founder envisages a publishing house that will ‘publish books, acquire and market book collections both original and in translation.’[1] The prospectus goes on to claim that ‘With a clear insight, good management and an energetic publishing operation, the undersigned are of the opinion that there is every chance for a more than ordinary success.’[2] For name and logo, Robbers chooses Elsevier as well as the original logo created by Isaac Elzevier, grandson of the founder Lodewijk Elzevier of the 16th century publishing house. As the Elzevier family died out and their company went under in the 18th century, both name and logo are unprotected and Robbers is free to use them. The latin motto is ‘Non solus’, not alone.


  1. ^ Elsevier launch prospectus, quoted P. 21 Meer dan een Weekblad, de geschiedenis van Elsevier (More than a weekly, the history of Elsevier) Gerry van der List 2005 (ISBN: 90 351 2874 5)
  2. ^ Elsevier launch prospectus, quoted P. 21 Meer dan een Weekblad, de geschiedenis van Elsevier (More than a weekly, the history of Elsevier) Gerry van der List 2005 (ISBN: 90 351 2874 5)

Early years[edit]

Jacob Robbers would draw his sons Cornelis, Herman, Jacobus (Koos) and grandson John into the family business which is small but thriving. Two important publications form the main stay of the publishing house Elsevier’s Geïllustreerd Maandschrift (Elsevier’s Illustrated Monthly) and the Winkler Prins Encyclopedia as of its second edition in 1884. The former magazine is the founder’s pride and joy, modeled on Harper’s Monthly[1] and similar publication it aims to bring the reader illustrated literature, articles about the arts and popular science. In its first years many famous Dutch writers will publish in the magazine such as Louis Couperus, Herman Heijermans and Marcellus Emants. The Winkler Prins encyclopedia was the work of the Anabaptist preacher Anthony Winkler Prins and had a status in the Netherlands similar to the Encyclopedia Brittanica in English language countries.

In 1887 the company moves to Amsterdam where it remains to this day. In 1918 the company will merge with Jac. G. Robbers, Feikema and Caarelsen & Co changing its name to NV Boekhandel en Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier (PLC Book traders and Publishers Elsevier). The founder will pass away in 1925 at the same time as son Koos, the elder Cor already having died in 1916. The modest company draws younger son Herman into the executive board away from his beloved editorship of the monthly magazine. By 1928 the company reaches its nadir and Herman will present a gloomy outlook about the company’s future to the supervisory board on the 13th of July. Eventually this pessimism was unnecessary as the company hired Johannes Pieter (Teddy) Klautz in that year as secretary to the board. Klautz would turn out to be a particularly energetic entrepreneur whose importance for Elsevier cannot be overestimated[2]. A mere two years after being hired the 26 year old will accede to the Elsevier board. It is under Klautz that Elsevier will first foray into the English language scientific and academic publications in the 1930ies and it is also Klautz whose efforts on two specific publications will allow Elsevier to come through WWII successfully. The flamboyant Klautz formed a strong tandem with the more conservative accountant type John Robbers, thereby combining sound financial management with creativity and enthusiasm as well as social agility. All essential elements for a successful publishing house.


  1. ^ P. 17 Meer dan een Weekblad, de geschiedenis van Elsevier (More than a weekly, the history of Elsevier) Gerry van der List 2005 (ISBN: 90 351 2874 5)
  2. ^ De Geschiedenis der NV Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier (The History of the PLC Elsevier Publishers) F.B. Bakels unpublished manuscript in the Elsevier archives

Can Elsevier help update this page?[edit]

I would like to help improve the quality and accuracy of this page by helping editors update basic content including financial information, product offerings and organizational structure. For example, we’re now part of the RELX Group (Reed Elsevier changed its name), we publish 360,000 articles per year (not 250,000) in 2000 active Journals (not 2,200) within a database of over 12 million articles (not 7 million) and total yearly downloads are currently 750 million (not 240 million). Our most recent reported annual profit margin is approximately 37% (not 36%) ( error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). . We also no longer have two operating divisions and there other details about the company I would be happy to provide.

Look forward to engaging with the editors.

Thank you, Tom Reller (Head of Corporate Relations for Elsevier) — Preceding unsigned comment added by ElsevierCorporate (talkcontribs) 20:29, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Please proceed with corrections for factual well-sourced information. For more contentious aspects, folks might revert, then please discuss here in the talk page. Thanks. fgnievinski (talk) 02:12, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Made the initial updates as requested. Can I delete this sentence as well, "Its free researcher collaboration tool, 2collab, launched in 2007, was discontinued in 2011"? 2collab does not merit mention in this intro, its just one of hundreds of products we've launched through the years, many of which we either closed or merged. Tom at Elsevier (talk) 18:38, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Seems fine by me. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 18:57, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
While mentioning it in the lead section might be overemphasizing it, there is no reason to delete each and every mention of it. The article about 2collab still exists, and Wikipedia articles about companies record historical facts too instead of just promoting current products. I have moved it to the (still extremely short) "History" section instead.
In general, I recommended to Tom at Elsevier to follow best practices and avoid editing Elsevier-related articles directly. (The above wasn't the only problematic edit - the removal of a citation of the New York Times article titled "Mathematicians Organize Boycott of a Publisher", replacing it with one of the company's own documets, has already been reverted by another editor, who pointed out the value of independent coverage.)
I absolutely agree that Elsevier can help with keeping this page updated, but that's better done by suggesting improvements here on the talk page.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:17, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps Elsevier-affiliated editor could help with providing currency conversions (Euros/dollars would be helpful to many - also UK pounds?) and so enabling removal of {{cleanup|reason=inconsistent currencies; conversions not provided|date=May 2013}}? -- Paulscrawl (talk) 18:32, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Note these currency conversions are time specific - exchange rates change - so an automated tool, if one existed for currencies (?), wouldn't work unless one knew date of reported number (not mere date of publication): perhaps @Tom at Elsevier: could list here citable references of Elsevier already reported in Euros/dollars/pounds? (Might read and respond to helpful messages on your Tom at Elsevier Talk page, too, and follow guidelines there to fill in your Tom at Elsevier User page intro with a simple identification and COI declaration) -- Paulscrawl (talk) 19:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your guidance. I’ve updated my profile, and will use the Talk page to suggest edits for this entry.

An audited financial report is – by definition – a verifiable statement from a third-party reliable source. It is the best source for a public company’s financial results, the source which any newspaper will in any event use, and a source which I believe meets Wikipedia’s criteria. Furthermore, in this instance, the context is providing a source for a specific set of financial numbers. I would suggest therefore that here, audited results (detailing the company’s finances) are a far better than the suggested article about boycotts (describing the company’s alleged policies). The financial report, audited by Deloitte, can be found here -

The paragraph on Mendeley (“In 2013, Elsevier acquired Mendeley…”) does not have a neutral point of view. It also cites an explicitly biased article (the opening paragraph compares Elsevier to the “Galactic Empire”). I would suggest the paragraph is refined to be neutral and simply read: In 2013, Elsevier acquired Mendeley, a UK company making software for managing and sharing research papers”. If further detail is required, I suggest the following source, from Fast Company, is used - it is balanced, with both the pros and cons that have come from the merger, and far more informative: .

I added this ref and two sentences. I wanted to get into it something about the funding allowing Mendeley to expand, which was somewhat hinted at in that article, but I couldn't come up with a way to word it from this source. I was hoping that there would be news reports that I could use for searches, but the Mendeley web page is one of those horrid new web pages that have huge pictures and virtually no way to find content! Yuk! Anyway, if there is a good source for that info, let me know and I'll put in a single sentence to that effect. LaMona (talk) 17:55, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

For currency conversions, RELX Group doesn’t report in dollars, but it does provide the exchange translation rates for the date of reporting. These are on page 29 of the following document: As stated, RELX uses 1.33 dollars to Euro. That equates to $3.378 billion in 2014 revenue. Tom at Elsevier (talk) 22:51, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with the Mendeley paragraph. We could certainly use other sources as well, but the New Yorker isn't something we should avoid. As for the other components of your request: using audited reports is okay, though we should be mindful of WP:PRIMARY. In this instance simply conveying the information from the audited report is fine. What figure should be included here, and where should it go? I see the profit rate in the lead has been updated to 37%; is there another proposed change stemming from the financial report? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 06:10, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


Just saw this on Ars Technica, and this, which was linked to by the previous article. I am thinking that this is notable... Where should this information go in the article? SarrCat ∑;3 22:07, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Sarr Cat Elsevier has thousands of business partnerships and dozens of them have been critiqued, for example in the context of The Cost of Knowledge campaign. I am not sure that this article is the best place to include the Wikipedia relationship because right now, the issue is minor in the media, and definitely it is minor in the context of Elsevier as a major international company doing world changing things routinely.
The information might go in this article - I do not wish to dissuade you entirely because I am not sure. Other options are Academic journal publishing reform, Wikipedia#Access_to_content, or some other article related to open access. In my opinion, this information is most significant in the context of Wikipedia, then in the context of open access, and finally in the context of Elsevier. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:46, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Elsevier. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 02:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

New article creation[edit]

I would like to create new article for Elsevier Global Conferences as it is conducting 50+ conferences with more than 10,000 yearly attendees [[5]]. Let me link this new article to parent article.Dentking07 (talk) 16:55, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Let me proceed with new article creation Dentking07 (talk) 12:13, 23 October 2015 (UTC) Not able to get right sources, can i proceed with primary sources. Dentking07 (talk) 15:45, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

It is very difficult to create the new articles as experienced editors are merging, so I kept Elsevier Global Conferences section in main page. It may not be informative to scientific /academic community. Dentking07 (talk) 14:20, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Suggested updates[edit]

Hi - I'm a company employee, and have spent the past year helping out with suggested edits for the RELX Group Wikipedia page. I'm hoping I can now also help to make some improvements to the Elsevier page as well?

Would it please be possible to update the financial figures so that they reflect those in the latest 2015 Annual Report, published last month: - instead of the old 2014 version?

Introduction section:

1. Elsevier annually publishes approximately 400,000 articles in 2,500 journals

2. Its archives contain over 13 million documents and 30,000 e-books.

3. Total yearly downloads amount to 900 million.

4. In 2015, Elsevier reported a profit margin of approximately 37% on revenues of £2.070 billion.

Info panel:

1. Revenue £2.070 billion (2015)

Company figures:

1. In the primary research market during 2015, over 1.3m research papers were submitted to Elsevier.

2. Over 17,000 editors....resulting in the publication of more than 400,000 articles in over 2,500 journals.

3. North America-37%/Europe-30%/RoW-33% revenue should now be North America-41%/Europe-27%/RoW-32%

4. Approximately 76% of revenue by format came from Electronic, 23% came from Print and 1% came from face-to-face.

5. Elsevier employs more than 7,200 people.

6. The company publishes 2,500 journals and 30,000 e-books.

7. In 2015, Elsevier accounted for 35.5% of the revenues of RELX Group (£2.070 billion of £5,971 billion). In operating profits, it represented 42% (£760 million of £1,822 million). Adjusted operating profits (with constant currency) rose by 2% from 2014 to 2015.

Many thanks Ryoba (talk) 14:11, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

I received no comments or objection here, so I've made these updates now. Hopefully that's ok? Ryoba (talk) 15:02, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Suggested update 11 May 2016[edit]

Can we please change the line: "Based in Amsterdam, the company has operations in the UK, US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Germany, and elsewhere." to "Based in Amsterdam, the company serves customers in over 170 countries." - this is mentioned in the latest Annual Report. The current list of countries seems a bit random.

I'd also suggest updating the first sentence:

"Elsevier B.V. (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛlzəviːr]) is an academic publishing company that publishes medical and scientific literature."


"Elsevier (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛlzəviːr]) began in 1880 as a publisher of scientific and medical information in print journals and books. Today, the company has evolved into one of the world’s leading providers of scientific, technical, and medical information, and a technology company serving over 30 million scientists, health professionals, and students worldwide.” (source:

Also, can the line "books such as Gray's Anatomy," be removed? - this is a well known title, but not really a 'Leading product' in the same way as the others listed.

Many thanks Ryoba (talk) 09:17, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Suggested updates 15 July 2016[edit]

Hi, for consistency with the parent company page, would it be possible to add the content below?

1. Add a new section for corporate affairs (maybe below Operating Divisions?)

Corporate affairs[edit]

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Elsevier Foundation supports libraries in developing countries, women scientists and nursing facilities.[1]

In 2016 Elsevier's not-for-profit Elsevier Foundation committed $1m a year, for 3 years, to programmes encouraging diversity in science, technology and medicine and promoting science research in developing countries.[2]

I received no further comments or objections, so I've made this change now. Ryoba (talk) 09:30, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

2. Also this update somewhere if possible?:

In 1995, Forbes Magazine (wrongly) predicted Elsevier would be "the first victim of the internet" as it was disrupted and disintermediated by the world wide web.[3][4]

Many thanks Ryoba (talk) 14:21, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Suggested edits 11 October 2016[edit]

Is it possible to update this sentence in the Company Statistics section, from "In 2003 Elsevier accounted for 25% of the world market in science, technology, and medical publishing" to "In 2013 Elsevier accounted for 16% of the world market in science, technology, and medical publishing" citing this Financial Times article?:

Thanks Ryoba (talk) 09:43, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "11 women scientists announced as winners of Elsevier Foundation OWSD awards". Eurekalert. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Elsevier Foundation commits $1m to diversity in science". The Bookseller. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Academic Publishing Meets Open Access". Bloomberg. Retrieved 13 July 2016.