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Elsevier, the modern publishing business, was founded in 1880. It has evolved from a small Dutch publishing house devoted to classical scholarship into an international multimedia publishing business with over 20,000 products for educational and professional science and healthcare communities worldwide. Elsevier takes its name from the original House of Elzevir, a Dutch family publishing house founded in 1580.
Elsevier's history reflects a series of collaborations in the effort to advance science and health. These publishing collaborations with a group of scientific visionaries – ranging from Jules Verne to Stephen W. Hawking – created the foundation of scientific and medical publishing.
The efforts of the men and women dedicated to disseminating and using scientific and medical knowledge have been equally critical – the editors, printers, librarians, nurses, doctors, engineers, information specialists and business people at the center of scientific and health publishing.
Relationships with other great science publishers such as North Holland, Pergamon, Mosby, W.B. Saunders, Churchill Livingstone and Academic Press have also been Integral to our success. These are just a few of the companies that are now part of the Elsevier family, bringing with them rich histories of their own. As the company moves forward, our founding motto remains apt: Non Solus – Not Alone.
How Elsevier Became a Science Publisher
Back in 1930, the Elsevier publishing house struggled with unsold books and large bank debt, but one director's decision to focus on technology, medicine, and history turned the company's fortunes around.
Non Solus: The Story Behind the Elsevier Tree
There is some debate over the meaning of the original Elzevir printer’s mark that is still used as Elsevier’s logo today and features an old man standing beneath a vine-entwined elm tree. It is inscribed with the Latin term Non Solus (not alone). The mark, first introduced by Isaac Elzevir (son of Lowys) in 1620, was featured on all Elzevir works from that time forth.
That the Elzevir family took pride in their mark is undisputed; what they intended it to mean is less clear. Although most scholars agree that the elm represents the tree of knowledge, they cannot agree on the meaning of the intertwined vine. The Parisian librarian Adry posited in 1806 that the elm tree entwined with the grapevine symbolized the bond between brothers Isaac and Abraham Elzevir and that the old man, a hermit, symbolized the seclusion of study. However, contemporary art historian Lucy Schlüter suggests more persuasively that the old man represents a wise scholar, a philosopher – evoking Erasmus’ image of Socrates sitting under a tree in a rural setting delivering fruitful and inspiring lectures.
In this context the intertwined tree and vine represent a fruitful relationship – and the story therefore carries a moral. As Erasmus said, referring to the classic metaphor of tree and vine: "Like the vine which, though the most distinguished of all trees, yet needs the support of canes or stake or other trees which bear no fruit, the powerful and the learned need the help of lesser men."
Viewed this way, the logo represents, in classical symbolism, the symbiotic relationship between publisher and scholar. The addition of the Non Solus inscription reinforces the message that publishers, like the elm tree, are needed to provide sturdy support for scholars, just as surely as scholars, the vine, are needed to produce fruit. Publishers and scholars cannot do it alone. They need each other. This remains as apt a representation of the relationship between Elsevier and its authors today – neither dependent, nor independent, but interdependent.
As a global provider of information solutions in science, technology and medicine, we are proud of our unique contributions to sustainability development – from our publishing portfolios and analytics capabilities to building research capacity in developing countries and advancing diversity in science.
We make these contributions in partnership with our global research and health communities.
The Elsevier Foundation
In 2016, the Elsevier Foundation launched a series of new partnerships to support innovations in health information, research in developing countries, diversity in science and technology for development. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities.
Elsevier is a founding member of Research4Life, a public-private partnership that provides free and low-cost scientific research to scientists and doctors in more than 100 developing countries with the aim of aims to bridging the digital research divide. It is central to Elsevier's goal of achieving universal access to scientific, technical and medical research information.
Book Aid International promotes literacy in developing countries by creating reading and learning opportunities. Founded in 1954 and based in the UK, 17 nations have benefited from Book Aid International programs, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa. The RELX Group works in an innovative partnership with Book Aid International, donating over $200,000 and 750,000 books over the last ten years.
Sense About Science
In 2006, Elsevier partnered with Sense About Science (SAS), an independent charitable trust, championing evidence, scientific reasoning, the needs of early career researchers, and a public discussion of scientific issues. For the past nine years this unique program has worked to promote an understanding of peer review among journalists, policymakers and the public.
We help researchers, clinicians and engineers tackle the biggest challenges facing humankind. Combining content, data and analytics we turn information into answers. With a wide range of technology jobs, commercial and business jobs, and graduate jobs there is a part for everyone to play.
We need talented people to help us inspire ground-breaking research.
At RELX Group we are passionate about making a positive impact on society and customers through our unique contributions as a business including access to information, advance of science and health, protection of society, promotion of the rule of law and access to justice, and fostering communities.
We want Elsevier to be a great place to work where our employees feel valued regardless of their gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or identity, age, or disability status.
Diversity and inclusion are important to our future. We need the engagement of people from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and ideas to achieve real innovation for our customers around the world.
Elsevier employs over 7,500 people located in 46 countries and serving customers in over 180 countries around the world. As a global organization, we value people of all cultures, nationalities, races, religions, and ethnicities, regardless of characteristics such as gender, gender identity and/or expression, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
Elsevier is one of the first information service and technology companies in the world to obtain EDGE Assess certification, the global standard for gender equality in the workplace.
We are committed to promoting a diverse workforce and we strive to create a work environment that respects individuals and their contributions and fosters innovation. The diversity of people and ideas creates strength for our business and customers. We are passionate about attracting, retaining and developing the most talented and skilled individuals, regardless of background. We encourage our people to work across functions, geographies, and cultures as one company.
Elsevier earned the first level of EDGE certification, EDGE Assess, making it one of the first information service and technology companies in the world to be certified globally. Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) is the leading global standard for gender equality in the workplace. Certification requires a rigorous external assessment. It recognizes that Elsevier has made a public commitment to gender equality and has identified a concrete action plan to further its progress.
Qualified applicants are considered for and treated during employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship status, disability status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
It is an exciting time to work at Elsevier. Join us to change the course of knowledge exchange, discovery and decision. Our expertise and innovation shapes everything we do, from the amazing technology that drives our leading edge platforms to the cutting-edge content that fuels them.
Be a part of a team that helps its customers create the future. We build the technology that unlocks the value of content in health, science and technology - working amongst the best minds in the business makes all the difference.
As a provider of innovative solutions in a dynamic industry that’s constantly evolving, a day in the life of an Elsevier employee is anything but boring!
I have been working at Elsevier full-time (More than 3 years)
Many experienced staff
Pay and benefits are better here than past employers
Ability to work from home as needed keeps me here
Experienced long term employees to work with so plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.
Haven’t found one yet so none for now.
Advice to Management
Staff engagement is everything. Strive to always get all employees engaged.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Elsevier in May 2016.
The interview went very smoothly. I was basically asked to explain some of my experience that I had on my resume. I was also asked to explain a little about myself and my interests.