Elsevier

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Elsevier is the world's largest publisher of medical and scientific literature. It is part of the Reed Elsevier group. Based in Amsterdam, the company has substantial operations in the UK, USA and elsewhere.

Origins

The Elsevier family were booksellers and publishers in the Netherlands. Its founder Lodewijk Elzevier (1542–1617) lived in Leiden and established the business in 1580.

As publishers of new work by Descartes, Galileo, and Grotius, they were part of the reason for Bertrand Russell's comment that it "is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Holland in the seventeenth century, as the one country where there was freedom of speculation."

The also printed some of the earliest scientific journals.

Modern company

Founded in Rotterdam in 1880, the modern company takes its name from the historic House of Elsevier. Leading products include journals such as The Lancet, Cell and Tetrahedron Letters, books like Gray's Anatomy and the ScienceDirect online library. Others include the Trends series, and the Current Opinion series.

In recent years the company has posted impressive profits but has come under fire for charging high subscription rates for its publications. Some scientific journals are charged as much as $5000 per year, which is far above the typical rates charged by nonprofit learned societies. As a result, it has been a target of criticism from advocates of a switch to the so-called open access publication model.

External links


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