Publishing company Elsevier has issued takedown notices not only to the Academia.edu social media site, but also to universities to remove certain journal articles from their sites, the Washington Post's The Switch blog reports.
Elsevier, the blog notes, typically requires researchers to sign over copyright of the paper to them before they publish it, and therefore the company has the justification ask for copies of the papers to be removed from other sites.
Richard Price, the CEO of Academia.edu, tells The Switch blog's Andrea Peterson that his firm usually received a takedown notice or two a week, but recently has received some 2,800 requests from Elsevier. Around the same time, universities like the University of Calgary, the University of California, Irvine, and Harvard University received notices to remove article appearing on departmental, faculty, and class websites, Peterson notes.
"We had not received takedown notices for scholarly articles before this, as far as we know," Peter Suber, the Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Harvard Open Access Project, tells Peterson.