Elsevier acquires Social Science Research Network


lsevier has acquired the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Founded in 1994, SSRN is a Rochester, NY-based scholarly research preprint repository and

online community. SSRN will be further developed alongside Mendeley, a London- based free reference manager and scholarly collaboration network owned by Elsevier. The publisher says SSRN members will benefit from the Mendeley technology platform, its scholarly collaboration network, a leading reference manager and other personal library management tools. Additionally, SSRN members will benefit from access to Mendeley’s researcher professional profile capabilities, person-to-person network communications and ‘follow’ capabilities. For Elsevier and Mendeley, adding SSRN accelerates its social community strategy, brings opportunities for enhanced author relationships, and provides access to a leading resource for content.

‘Our goal is to further enhance engagement within and around a SSRN member’s academic work, while still providing the same core services that our members value and expect,’ said Gregg Gordon, president and CEO, SSRN.

‘Mendeley has thrived since obtaining the support of the world’s largest science publisher, and now we will be able to offer broader services that more deeply integrate into the workflows of all parties in the social network of science. Most importantly, we will continue our core mission of providing researchers with free submissions and free downloads.’ ‘SSRN has established a solid network in Social Science domains, sharing working papers and showcasing researchers and institutions,’ added Jan Reichelt, co-founder and managing director at Mendeley. ‘Together we can provide greater access to a growing user-generated content base on which we can build new tools and increase engagement between researchers and their papers. We

intend to scale and maximise SSRN in ways that benefit authors, institutions and the entire scientific ecosystem.’ SSRN’s chairman, CEO and other employees will remain with the company, and SSRN will retain its ‘freemium’ model, with content ‘free to submit, and free to download’ for its users.

‘Our goal is to further enhance engagement within and around a SSRN member’s academic work’

Various commentators have already criticised the move through social media, suggesting that Elsevier is moving towards a model that links it with researchers more directly, while reducing the role of libraries. One twitter user even predicted the formation of a ‘University of Elsevier’.

Crossref to enable registration for preprints

Crossref is to enable registration for preprints by August 2016. The organisation’s original registration policy prevented its members from registering content and assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to ‘duplicative works’. The new policy means that preprints will have separate DOIs from any later versions that may be registered, according to an announcement.

Preprint is a term that has several meanings, but in the proposal adopted by Crossref’s board of directors it will be defined for Crossref purposes as ‘original content which is intended for formal publication, including content that has been submitted, but has not yet been

accepted for publication’. Under the new Crossref policy, each preprint will be required to link to any future related versions of the work – and Crossref will provide tools to make it easier for members to do that. This process may involve more than one publisher. For example, the publisher of a preprint and the publisher of any subsequent related works may be different. Geoffrey Bilder, director of strategic initiatives, said: ‘A number of Crossref members are exploring publishing workflows that blur the historically hard distinctions between a draft manuscript, a preprint, a revised proof, an accepted manuscript, the version-of-record, and

32 Research Information JUNE/JULY 2016

Geoffrey Bilder

a clear citation record and let researchers easily identify the best available version of a document or research object.’ The move has been

subsequent corrections and updates, any of which may be used and cited at almost any point in the publishing process.’ Ed Pentz, executive director, added: ‘Adapting to the needs of our members, while remaining neutral toward their business models, is critical to Crossref’s fundamental ability to maintain

welcomed in several quarters. Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communications support at Jisc, said: ‘This is another example of Crossref playing an increasing important and highly constructive role in scholarly communication. There is a growth in sharing early versions of research papers, and the scholarly record risks being incomplete without a reliable way for these versions to be identified. Crossref has helpfully spotted and provided a solution to address this risk.’


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