Here's Elsevier's latest revision of the wording of its author rights
agreement stating what rights Elsevier authors retain for their "Accepted
Author Manuscript

*Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute
their AAMs [Accepted Author Manuscripts] for their personal voluntary needs
and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution’s
repository, e-mailing to colleagues. However, our policies differ regarding
the systematic aggregation or distribution of AAMs... Therefore, deposit
in, or posting to, subject-oriented or centralized repositories (such as
PubMed Central), or institutional repositories with systematic posting
mandates is permitted only under specific agreements between Elsevier and
the repository, agency or institution, and only consistent with the
publisher’s policies concerning such repositories. Voluntary posting of
AAMs in the arXiv subject repository is permitted.*

Please see my prior analyses of this Elsevier
double-talk<> about
authors retaining the right to make their AAMs OA in their institutional
repositories "voluntarily," but not if their institutions mandate it
"systematically." Here's a summary:

*1.* The *author-side* distinction between an author's self-archiving
voluntarily and mandatorily is pseudo-legal nonsense: *Authors can
truthfully safely assert that whatever they do, they do "voluntarily." *

*2.* The *institution-side* distinction between voluntary and "systematic"
self-archiving by authors has nothing to do with rights agreements between
the *author* and Elsevier: It is an attempt by Elsevier to create a
contingency between (a) its "Big Deal" journal pricing negotiations with an
*institution* and (b) that institution's self-archiving policies. *Institutions
should of course decline to discuss their self-archiving policies in any
way in their pricing negotiations with any publisher.*

*3.* "Systematicity" (if it means anything at all) means systematically
collecting, reconstructing and republishing the contents of a journal --
presumably on the part of a rival, free-riding publisher, hurting the
original publisher's revenues; this would constitute a copyright violation
on the part of the rival systematic, free-riding publisher, not the author:
An institution does nothing of the sort (any more than an individual
self-archiving author does). *The institutional repository contains only
the institution's own tiny random fragment of any individual journal's
annual contents.*

All of the above is in any case completely mooted if an institution adopts
the ID/OA 
because that mandate only requires that the deposit be made immediately,
not that it be made OA immediately. (If the author wishes to comply with a
publisher OA embargo policy --*which Elsevier does not have* -- the
repository's "Almost-OA" eprint-request
Button<> can
tide over researcher needs during any OA embargo with one click from the
requestor and one click from the author.)

*Stevan Harnad*
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