Following the 2018 release of the provostial Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee’s Call to Action, the University of California (UC) Academic Senate and Libraries partnered to utilize publisher negotiations to address the issues of journal subscription affordability and open access (OA) transformation.

UC’s publisher negotiations have since been closely followed around the globe. In the United States, UC’s actions and stance, particularly with Elsevier, have prompted a national conversation about how research institutions can restructure their publisher contracts in the service of OA publishing. While UC has not yet secured a transformative agreement with Elsevier, the university has built a strong internal coalition around taking a principled stance for a sustainable OA business model. In April 2019, UC secured its first transformative agreement, with Cambridge University Press, and continues to have productive conversations with a variety of commercial, native-OA and society publishers.

In response to the growing demand for information, UC has launched a negotiation toolkit that aims to serve as a North American framework for creating transformative change in the scholarly publishing industry. In charting its course, UC was greatly enabled by the various global efforts, particularly in Europe, to leverage publisher negotiations to effect a transition towards OA. With this toolkit, UC hopes to similarly enable more institutions in the United States and Canada to reinvest subscription funds into open access by rethinking and restructuring publisher agreements.

UC is also pleased to announce the Open Access Tipping Point workshop, which is an invitational workshop co-sponsored by the UC Academic Senate and Libraries that will build upon the toolkit. Applications are now open; click here to find out more.


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