Realising the innovative potential of digital research methods : a call from the research community.

Open Letter to Michiel Kolman, Senior VP Global Academic Relations, Elsevier

Publié le 4 juillet 2014, par Thérèse Hameau

Eighteen European research and library organisations, including LIBER, are today calling on Elsevier to withdraw its current policy on text and data mining (TDM).

Our request has been laid out and explained in an open letter to Michiel Kolman, Senior VP Global Academic Relations at the academic publishing company.

We believe that Elsevier’s current TDM policy places unnecessary restrictions on researchers. It limits their ability, and their right, to mine content to which they have legal access.


We have strong reservations about whether the updated Elsevier TDM policy, released on January 31st 2014, will meet the needs of researchers over the long term. The API that Elsevier is offering to access content can be a useful tool for developers, but limiting this service to only text will force researchers to continue to negotiate one-to-one licences for access to the full content (images, figures, etc.). Also, explicitly preventing direct crawling of content disregards the most common method of performing TDM. What is more, we believe that, because it places conditions on how TDM outputs may be made available, the policy will have a negative impact on the dissemination and transparency of research results. We call on Elsevier to abandon this policy and adapt their licence terms and conditions which will set a positive example that other publishers may follow in order to :

  1. Protect the academic freedom of the researcher
  2. Support responsible research and dissemination
  3. Prevent the creation of a monopoly
  4. Make technological prevention measures a last resort
  5. Deliver value for money

Un article « Text and Data Mining » récapitule différents textes et prises de position sur la fouille de textes et de données.

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