Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier

Infobox Company
company_name = Reed Elsevier PLC/NV
company_type = Public (lse|REL,Euronext|REN,nyse|ENL, nyse|RUK)
foundation = Merger of Elsevier and Reed International PLC in 1993
location = London and Amsterdam
key_people = Jan Hommen (Chairman)
Sir Crispin Davis (CEO)
area_served =
industry = Publishing (science & medical, legal, education and business)
products =
revenue = £4,584 million (2007)
operating_income = £888 million (2007)
net_income = £1,203 million (2007)
num_employees = 32,000 (2007)
parent =
subsid = Elsevier
Reed Business Information
homepage = []
footnotes =

Reed Elsevier is a global publisher and information provider. It came into being in autumn 1992 as the result of a merger between Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and the Dutch science publisher Elsevier NV, [cite news| url= | publisher= New York Times | author=Edward A. Gargan | date= 1994-10-06 | title= Reed-Elsevier Building Big Presence in the U.S. | access-date=2008-02-18] forming the Reed Elsevier group, a dual-listed company consisting of Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. [ [ Reed-Elsevier corporate structure] ] It is listed on several of the world's major stock exchanges. [Euronext|REN (NV), nyse|ENL (ADR for NV), lse|REL (PLC), nyse|RUK (ADR for PLC).]


Reed International

In 1894, Albert E. Reed established a newsprint manufacture at Tovil Mill near Maidstone, Kent. In 1903, Albert E Reed was registered as a public company. In 1970, the company name was changed to Reed International Limited.The company originally grew by merging with other publishers and produced high quality trade journals as IPC Business Press Ltd and women's and other consumer magazines as IPC magazines Ltd. For a time the company published The Daily Mirror. The original family owners the Reeds were Methodists and encouraged good working conditions for their staff in the then dangerous print trade. They became known also for paying their staff well, and avoiding casual labour practices. The company however in modern times took full advantage of changing attitudes in the 1980s and was associated in job cutting exercises throughout its magazine empire, following union de-recognition in the 1990s (union recognition has since been regained in several business units).

Elsevier NV

In 1880, Jacobus George Robbers started a publishing company called NV Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier (Elsevier Publishing Company NV) to publish literary classics and the encyclopedia Winkler Prins. Robbers named the company after the old Dutch printers family Elzevir, which, for example, published the works of Erasmus in 1587. Elsevier NV originally was based in Rotterdam but moved to Amsterdam in the late 1880s.

Up to the 1930s, Elsevier remained a small family-owned publisher, with no more than ten employees. After the war it launched the weekly Elseviers Weekblad, which turned out to be very profitable. A rapid expansion followed. " Elsevier Press Inc." started in 1951 in Houston, Texas, and in 1962 publishing offices were opened in London and New York. Multiple mergers in the 1970s led to name changes, settling at "Elsevier Scientific Publishers" in 1979. Two years before the merger with Reed, Elsevier acquired Pergamon Press in the UK.


Reed Elsevier conducts its business through the following divisions:
* The science and medical publishing division is Elsevier.
* The legal publishing division is LexisNexis.
* The business division is Reed Business Information

Key products

ScienceDirect contains over 25% of the world's science, technology and medicine full text and bibliographic information.

Scopus is the world's largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources. Scopus is updated daily.

Reed Business, Reed Elsevier's global Business division, is a provider of magazines, exhibitions, directories, online media and marketing services across five continents. Its prestige brands serve professionals across a diverse range of industries. These brands include Variety, New Scientist,, Elsevier, Kellysearch, and the World Travel & Tourism Market.

In February 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its intention to sell Harcourt, its educational publishing division. [cite web |url= |title= Reed Elsevier to sell education arm |accessdate=2007-02-21 |format= |work= ] On 4th May 2007 Pearson, the international education and information company, announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier for $950m in cash. [cite web |url= |title= Pearson acquires Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier |accessdate=2007-05-08 |format= |work= ] In July 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its agreement to sell the remaining Harcourt Education business, including international imprint Heinemann, to Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group for $4b in cash and stock. [cite web |url=,1,6494928.story?coll=la-headlines-business |title=Houghton Mifflin to buy Harcourt |accessdate=2007-07-17 |format= |work= ]

Pricing issues

Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially Elsevier and LexisNexis. Members of the scientific community have called for a boycott of Elsevier journals and a move to open access publications such as those of the Public Library of Science or BioMed Central. [John Baez, [ What We Can Do About Science Journals] , January 8, 2006]

=Defence Exhibitions= Members of the medical and scientific communities, which purchase and use many journals published by Reed Elsevier, agitated for the company to cut its links to the arms trade. Two UK academics, Dr. Tom Stafford of Sheffield University and Dr Nick Gill, launched petitions calling on Reed Elsevier to stop organising arms fairs. [ [ Petition] ] [ [ Petition] ] A subsidiary, Spearhead, organised defence shows, including an event where it was reported that cluster bombs and extremely powerful riot control equipment were offered for sale. [cite news |first=Saeed |last=Shah |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Cluster bombs on offer at arms fair despite sales ban |url= |work= |publisher=The Independent |date=2005-09-14 |accessdate=2007-02-21 ] [cite news |first=Richard |last=Norton-Taylor |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Banned stun guns and leg irons advertised at arms fair |url=,,1571378,00.html |work= |publisher=The Guardian |date=2005-09-16 |accessdate=2007-02-21 ]

In February 2007, Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, published an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, arguing that Reed Elsevier's involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest. [cite news |first=Richard |last=Smith |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Lancet publishers condemned over promotion of arms |url= |work= |publisher=Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine |date=2007-02-20 |accessdate=2007-03-18 ] He suggested that if academics began to disengage with Reed Elsevier, the company would be likely to end their arms fairs, as arms fairs only comprise a small proportion of their business.

On June 1, 2007, Reed Elsevier announced that they would be exiting the Defence Exhibition business during the second half of 2007. [cite news |title=Reed Elsevier says to exit defence industry shows |url=|date=2007-06-01]

This means that the company no longer organises arms fairs around the world. The decision followed a high-profile campaign, coordinated by CAAT, which highlighted the incompatibility of Reed's involvement in the arms trade and their position as the number one publisher of medical and science journals and other publications. CAAT welcomed the decision and applauded the board of Reed Elsevier for recognising the concerns of its stakeholders. [ [ CAAT - Arms Fairs ] ]


Additional references

* [,,2010036,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=18 Guardian Unlimited, Bad Science by Ben Goldacre about Open Access and DSEI arms trade]
* [ media profile: Reed Elsevier] historical overview
* [ Double Dutch No Longer] in-depth article about the company from 2002 (

External links

* [ Official web site Reed Elsevier]
* [ Official web site Elsevier]
* [ Official web site LexisNexis]
* [ Official web site Reed Business]
* [ Official web site Martindale]
* [ Official web site]
* [ Official web site]

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