Thursday, February 28, 2019
We are writing to share the outcome of the University of California’s negotiations to renew its systemwide license with scholarly journal publisher Elsevier, which have been underway for many months.
While we did make progress, particularly in the past few weeks, toward defining a model for open access publishing of UC research, Elsevier was ultimately unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research, as stated in the Academic Senate’s principles on scholarly communication, while integrating open access publishing fees and subscription fees into a single cost-controlled contract.
The Academic Senate today also expressed its support for UC’s position with regard to the Elsevier negotiations.
In the end, cost, in particular, proved to be an insurmountable challenge. For example, Elsevier’s most recent proposal did not include any cap on the total amount UC faculty could end up paying in article publishing fees. Their model also would not have allowed us to fully subsidize article fees for authors who lack the funds themselves. To meet UC’s goal of open access publication for all UC authors, Elsevier would have charged authors over $10 million per year in addition to the libraries’ current multi-million dollar subscription. The university is not willing to accept a deal that increases Elsevier’s profits at the expense of our faculty. As a result, UC has announced that it will not be signing a new contract with Elsevier at this time.
While we do not know exactly when
What content will — and won’t — be affected
If you use Elsevier articles in your research, here are the most important things to know: Most Elsevier articles published in 2018 or earlier will still be accessible via ScienceDirect. Because UC’s prior contracts included permanent access to previously published content, you will still be able to get immediate access to the full text of most articles via Elsevier’s ScienceDirect backfiles, just as you have in the past. Open access articles in Elsevier journals are also unaffected. Many authors choose to pay an open access fee (called an
If you are in doubt about why you can’t reach a particular article, please contact the Library.
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Chris Shaffer, MS, AHIP
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Information Management
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost