This post is a follow up to my earlier post about the terms that Elsevier agreed to in their academic publishing contracts. That post, in turn, was a follow up to a post on the terms that Kluwer agreed to in their academic publishing contracts.

As I noted in both of those articles, I am occasionally in the fortunate position of 1) being asked to contribute an article to a scholarly publication, and 2) having no professional need to do so. I strongly support open access journals and would not normally write for a closed journal (especially not for free!). However, the combination of the two points above put me in a position where I can negotiate open terms with the normally closed publishers. I go forward with these agreements so that I can see what the publishers will accept and then publicize those positions. It is my hope that other people with a stronger professional need to work with these publishers will use my agreements as templates in their own negotiation.

If I have already published the agreements, what is the purpose of this post? In order to explain why and how I published the Elsevier article itself here.

The short answer: I own the copyright so I can do what I want.

In the negotiated Section B of the agreement, I retain rights to my contribution. That contribution was incorporated, along with contributions from two other authors, into a joint work of the chapter itself. As a contributor to a joint work I have the right to license that work as I wish, as long as I share any licensing revenue with my co-authors and do not grant anyone an exclusive license without the agreement of those co-authors (you can learn more about joint author rights here). In this case, I will be releasing the article under a Creative Commons License so no one will be paying me and no one gets exclusive rights.

You can find the article itself here. I should note a few more things about the article:

  1. The biggest reason that I wrote this article was to see what kind of terms I could get from Elsevier. That means that I did not fight passionately about the content of the article (especially concepts from other authors). That, in turn, means I do not stand behind all of the concepts and characterizations in the article. This exercise was about having the publisher agree to open terms for an article, not the article itself.

  2. The second big reason I agreed to write this article was because I knew two other people who actually knew things about 3D printing and medical regulation and I was trying to convince them to write something about it. I know very little about these topics. Unfortunately, for various uninteresting reasons, both of them had to drop out after the initial outlining phase. There are a few results of this dynamic. First, any genuine insights come from their collective outlining, not from me. Second, any errors come from my inability to follow their outline. Third, if you are looking for experts on 3D printing and medical regulatory issues I have two ladies you should talk to. Hit me up and I will happily put you in touch.

  3. Although I maintained control of the copyright of the article, I did not have access to a digital copy of the final version. Elsevier sent me a PDF of the article, but accessing the PDF would have required me to agree to a bunch of clickwrap terms that would have severely limited my ability to share the article online. Instead of using their PDF, I scanned the copy from the physical book Elsevier sent me, OCR’d the text, exported it to plain text, and cleaned up the typos and other artifacts introduced by that process. I’ll fix any remaining artifacts as people flag them for me.

  4. I left the charts out of my copy because I did not create them.

  5. I was as transparent as humanly possibly with both the editor of the book and Elsevier about my motivations for agreeing to write this. As a result none of this should come as any surprise to them.

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