As a followup to this morning’s post about obtaining permission to reproduce images from ACS journals, I thought I’d spend a small amount of time seeing how the situation was with Elsevier. Happily I had a 2009 J Mol Bio article there that I could claim authorship on, to simulate once again my “easiest case scenario”
Firstly on the article web page it is, much like the ACS situation, simply a matter of clicking on the “Get rights and content” link under the authors names and attributions section, and it too takes you to the Copyright Clearance Centre web form. However unlike the ACS situation yesterday in order to proceed beyond this point you must register with the web site which requires filling in many online forms, accepting T&Cs etc. Once you are a registered member the process is much the same as for the ACS publication I discussed yesterdy. The list of options to choose from to describe who you are for example varies whether you’re asking to publish on the web, or any of the other options, so this aspect of the webform changes from journal to journal and user type to user type. Not exactly confidence inspiring.
So once again, I just went for the simple option of posting a single figure from the paper on this blog. So this is where it prompted me to register which I’ll spare you the screen shots of but this time they actually asked me for the URL of the blog, which was new too. But happily it ultimately gave me permission to use the figure at no charge, and a handy invoice forAUD$0.00 appeared in my email inbox.
So here in all it’s glory is Figure 2 from that paper, attributed properly naturally:
But if I ask to reuse the graphic in a presentation or poster, suddenly the “I am an academic” option is no longer available, and I have to chose medical education as the nearest fit. Eventually it gives me a free license to use the graphic in print as well. So far so good. Lets move on a bit into the unknown and see what happens when we try and ask for permission to use someone else’s graphic. I’m going to stick with the flavivirus theme, using this paper from Gottfried Otting. In this instance I’ve gone straight to the poster usage request which immediately limits the choices under “I am a/an…” (I am a pharmaceutical?)
I chose medical educational as it seemed the closest fit. You also have to provide a guesstimate of how many people will see it “The circulation”. Well BOOM!. Looks like medical educational is more aligned with servicing the medical industry than higher ed. AUD1338!!
So what if we declare ourselves a non-commercial company (non-profit)? This is clearly not how an ademic would describe themselves but we have no other option. $58 seems a bit steep for one figure but it’s better than over a grand.
And finally and quite oddly, declaring yourself as a for-profit company reduces the price to $557
But if I change my intended use back to “Post on a website”, then the user category “academic/educational institution” reappears as an option and the price is reduced to $24.
So that’s all over the place really, much like this blog post. So it seems that if you wrote the paper, you can reuse for free, but if you’re using someone else’s figures, the prices start at $24 (web) and $58 (poster), but I wish they would stick to a standard set of user descriptions and not have it flit around depending on the intended use.
PS. Just in case this has something to do with skewed pricing based on perceived market forces, I looked up the prices for the very first article currently on the Tetrahedron Letters home page. Yes, the price to use a single image on the web as an academic user is still $24 in the pure chemistry sphere. (And yes, 2 figures doubles the price).