The publisher Elsevier has created a storm recently by issuing takedown notices to academics who have posted articles from Elsevier journals onto the academic network Academia.edu. The issue has been a hot topic on Twitter and on the blogs – for example articles here and here where the discussion is continued in the comments. Elsevier have also issued a statement on their take-down notices.
We have highlighted the issues of posting PDFs on sites such as Academia.edu in our guide to “Sharing PDFs” for researchers. The guide describes how you can you check your rights to share a specific version of an article using the Sherpa Romeo database which was designed specifically for this purpose. As it says in this excellent overview of the topic, “when in doubt, talk to your librarian” if you are uncertain about what you can and cannot do – researchers are always welcome to contact us via the appropriate subject team or use our central firstname.lastname@example.org email.