7With the news just released that Reed Elsevier�s acquisition of the
8Harcourt publishing businesses has been approved by the competition
9authorities in the US and UK, we wanted to inform you immediately
10about our plans. For Elsevier Science this means that we will bring
11the Harcourt scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing and
12our existing businesses together as one. We are delighted about this
13and intend to ensure that it means improved products and services and
14increased value for scientists and libraries. I would like to give
15you some insight into how we will do this.
17The combined business will focus entirely on scientific, technical and
18medical publishing. We believe that Harcourt STM and Elsevier Science
19are an excellent match in terms of culture and business. The products
20and people in the Harcourt scientific, technical and medical
21publishing businesses reflect the Elsevier Science commitment to
22quality and value.
24The name of our combined business will be Elsevier Science. We have
25created two divisions: Science & Technology and Health Sciences, both
26operating under the Elsevier Science name. In the Science &
27Technology Division we will add the journals, books and major
28reference works published under the Academic Press imprint to our
29existing portfolio. In addition to existing Elsevier Science products
30and imprints, such as The Lancet and Excerpta Medica, the Health
31Sciences Division will include the well-known imprints of
32W.B. Saunders, Mosby and Churchill Livingstone, as well as MD Consult.
34Our business strategy will continue as before. We want your
35publications to be as widely accessible and widely-read as possible.
36Our mission is to make all of our scientific material available to
37researchers on their desktops, 24 hours a day, wherever they are in
40We will retain the integrity and editorial independence of all
41journals. We will not close down any journals as a direct result of
42the merger. Contracts with editors and authors in general will not
45Our market-leading electronic platform, ScienceDirect�, is evidence of
46our commitment to invest in quality products. We will continue these
47investments in the combined business. The first step is to create
48access through ScienceDirect to all the journal titles from the
49Harcourt portfolio as soon as possible. This will enable the widest
50possible access to your journal. Elsevier Science will also honour
51all existing contracts for the IDEAL platform.
53The commitment we made two years ago to keeping price rises to a
54single digit figure for the complete print package of our journals,
55incorporating the effects of currency fluctuations, growth in volume
56output and inflation, will also apply to the extended portfolio. This
57should result in lower price increases for Harcourt journals than in
58the past and also below the industry average, in line with Elsevier
61Over the coming months we will keep you informed about the progress
62being made in bringing together the competencies and people of
63Harcourt and Elsevier Science.
65Scientific publishing is going through a period of rapid change as a
66result of electronic publishing. At Elsevier Science we are very
67excited about the possibilities it offers to enhance the role that
68scientific literature plays in the research process. I enclose the
69transcript of a presentation I made earlier this year, which should
70give you a flavour of our current thinking on how we can move forward
71to reap the full benefits of electronic publishing.
73I would like to thank you for your work and dedication on your
74journal. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to
75ask your regular contacts at Elsevier Science and Harcourt.