I am considering trying to publish in an established Elsevier journal. I like the idea of having free available science.

As there is no fundings in my project for golden open Access, I researched a bit on the Elsevier page. The journal Remote Sensing of Environment has an Embargo period of 24 months. Yet Elseviers sharing section states different optoins for self distribtution.

I can share the preprint anywhere and any time. The preprint is the version which I submitted in the first round. No questions here.

The interesting part for me is the second: If I get accepted, I can share my accepted manuscript Immediately on a non-commercial personal homepage. This manuscript contains all the improvements I included during the review. But not the publishers layout. I am just not sure what counts as a personal homepage. Does my ResearchGate profile also count as such? I work within an open source project. Does the software homepage count as such? It is non commercial due to the open source nature, but not private. Can this manuscript be uploaded on my EU project homepage? The third point is demanded by my project.

Coming also to another point. I am able to write in Latex and I found one time the Elsevier template on a Latex template page. I am pretty sure that with that template, I can produce from the Look And Feel a quite professional PDF. Yet the same page states, that the "accepted manuscript should not be added to or enhanced in any way to appear more like, or to substitute for, the published journal article." So I cannot produce something nice formatted, well designed? I would do so anyway, as I always preformat every journal submission. Of course there is also other nice templates which I could use. But then it is a substitute for the published article right?

  • I see quite a few Elsevier papers in ResearchGate available in their published format even those that are not open access. – Ébe Isaac Aug 11 '16 at 16:36
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    I think you can use the elsarticle.cls template in LaTeX. The final finish, IMO, would include the elsevier and the journal logos which you do not need. – WYSIWYG Aug 11 '16 at 19:51
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    ResearchGate is not a personal homepage, many people upload post-prints there but that doesn't mean it's compliant with Elsevier's policy. – Cape Code Aug 14 '16 at 12:26
  • In this case, does arXiv seem wise? – Coder Aug 19 '16 at 4:49

Here's the guidance on the SHERPA/RoMEO website which is the best guide out there for issues like this.

It seems to me that the substance of this question is whether things such as Researchgate profiles count as a "non-commercial personal homepage". My instinct is no, but ultimately this will only be known for sure if a court rules on it. Whether that ever happens will depend on whether Elsevier (or others) decide to try to enforce this rule against individuals.

The practical reality right now is that people are sharing papers this way, and to the best of my knowledge they are not being sued. Whether you wish to do the same is of course your choice.

And yes, it's a bit of a mess.

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