Policy: Removing Access to Content in the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library

Excerpted from the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, Section 8.1.11.

A. Under an extraordinary situation, it may be desirable to remove access to the content in IEEE Xplore for a specific article, standard, or press book. Removal of access shall only be considered in rare instances, and examples include, but are not limited to, a fraudulent article, a duplicate copy of the same article, a draft version conference article, a direct threat of legal action, and an article published without copyright transfers. Requests for removal may be submitted to the Staff Executive – Publications. Such requests shall identify the publication and provide a detailed justification for removing access.

B. The IEEE Executive Director has designated that the Staff Executive – Publications shall assign the investigation and validation of requests, and removal of metadata access to staff within the IEEE Publications department. Staff shall establish criteria and guidelines for this process. Validation of requests shall include review and approval by the authoritative individual or body behind the publication record (such as the Editor-in-Chief, conference organizer, organizational unit, etc.). These criteria and guidelines, and changes thereto, shall be approved by PSPB before application. The final decision for removal, however, shall remain with the Vice President – Publication Services and Products.

C. If the request is validated and approved by the Vice President – Publication Services and Products, staff shall take the following actions:

  1. The original metadata record shall be retained, but staff shall annotate the record with a note regarding the status of access to the full-text document.
  2. The full-text document (e.g., PDF) associated to the metadata shall be handled with one of the following two actions, depending on the results of the investigation and evaluation.
    a. Remove original full-text document, and replace with a new notice that states the reason for removal; or
    b. Retain original full-text PDF, but annotate with comments regarding the disposition of the claim.

D. The Vice President – Publication Services and Products, shall be the officer authorized to determine a resolution. The resolution shall be final and not subject to appeal.

E. Staff of the IEEE Publications department shall document each instance for record keeping, as well as provide an information report at the last PSPB meeting of the calendar year about actions taken during the immediate past 12 months.