Note: this is a copy of the “UC and Elsevier” page on this site as it appeared March 6, 2019, maintained as an archive. An October 2019 version is also available.
For current information about UC and Elsevier, see the actively maintained page.
UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research
As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals. The Academic Senate issued a statement endorsing UC’s position. Learn more.
The University of California is re-negotiating its systemwide licenses with some of the world’s largest scholarly journal publishers, including Elsevier, to provide additional open access options for UC authors.
In these negotiations, UC is seeking a single, integrated contract with each publisher that covers both the university’s subscriptions and open access publishing of UC research in their journals — what are often known as “publish and read” agreements.
- Top Things to Know About Accessing Elsevier Articles
- Alternative Access to Articles Guide
- What UC Faculty are Saying
- Learn More
- Media Inquiries
Top 3 Things to Know About
Accessing Elsevier Articles
- UC scholars will still be able to use ScienceDirect to access most articles published prior to January 1, 2019 because UC has permanent access rights to them. (Please see the Alternative Access to Articles page for a list of titles to which UC does not have permanent access rights and for information on how to access items UC does not subscribe to.)
- If access is disrupted at any point, the UC Libraries will work with researchers to get them the articles they need through other means, such as interlibrary loan.
- Our quick guide to alternative access provides an overview of the options available to UC researchers.
What UC Faculty are Saying
“We all agree that open access is a good thing. It increases the visibility of our research, and it’s something the taxpayers deserve.”
— Karen Bales, psychology professor at UC Davis and chair of the campus Academic Senate research committee, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times
“We are interested in using text-mining to learn from the scientific literature. OA articles can be more readily obtained, analyzed, and curated. Those which are part of traditional subscriptions cannot be readily studied in this way.”
— Steven Brenner, a professor of plant & microbial biology at UC Berkeley, as quoted in The Daily Californian
“Every time a sensible person gets a simple explanation of the current system, the reaction is disbelief — that smart people have been doing this stupid thing for so long, and it’s been so, so expensive.”
— Don Moore, professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, as quoted by the UC Berkeley Library
“At first they weren’t exploitatively priced. But the publishers noticed the demand was inelastic and they could get away with selling these things for much higher prices.”
— Ted Bergstrom, a professor of economics at UC Santa Barbara, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times
“Obviously we would prefer no disruption, but we have a network of colleagues and systems in place from which we can request articles. It’ll be an inconvenience, sure. But I think we understand the importance of what they’re trying to achieve.”
— Stephen Floor, assistant professor, department of cell and tissue biology, UC San Francisco, as quoted in Inside Higher Ed
Editorial: UC open access fight exposes publishing rip-off
(The Mercury News, March 6, 2019)
The Real Cost of Knowledge
(The Atlantic, March 4, 2019)
UC terminates its subscriptions to 2,500 journals in a battle over copyrights and access
(Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2019)
UC Battles With Publishing Giant Over Free Public Access to Research
(KQED, January 9, 2019)
Opinion: UC is leading fight for open access to research
(The Mercury News, December 30, 2018)
Heavyweight Showdown Over Research Access
(Inside Higher Ed, December 12, 2018)
In UC’s battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher, the future of information is at stake
(Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2018)
On Publishing and the Sneetches: A Wake-up Call?*
(American Society for Cell Biology, November 7, 2016)
UC welcomes media inquiries about the Elsevier negotiations. Please contact:
Director of Communications and Marketing
UC Davis Library