Jeff MacKie-Mason and Ivy Anderson, who co-chair the team overseeing UC’s publisher negotiations strategy, issued the below statement today (Nov. 21) following Carnegie Mellon University’s announcement that CMU has reached a transformative agreement with Elsevier that integrates open access publishing of CMU research with the university’s subscription to Elsevier journal content. 

We congratulate our colleagues at Carnegie Mellon on their bold commitment to open access and their success in reaching this landmark agreement with Elsevier. We are hopeful that the Carnegie Mellon news is a positive sign that Elsevier is ready to start signing transformative open access agreements with other U.S. research universities.

While the details of Carnegie Mellon’s agreement with Elsevier have not been released, the broad brushstrokes are consonant with UC’s goals: an integrated agreement that includes open access publishing for 100 percent of the university’s research in all Elsevier journals. We look forward to the opportunity to re-engage in conversations with Elsevier to achieve a cost-effective agreement on similar terms.

Each transformative open access agreement that is signed, in Europe and now here in the U.S., whether with Elsevier or another major publisher, increases our confidence that slowly but surely the scholarly publishing industry is changing. Change takes time, but we are moving, step by step, toward a world where publishers and research institutions are partners in making knowledge freely and openly available to everyone.

Jeff MacKie-Mason is the university librarian and chief digital scholarship officer at UC Berkeley, where he is also a professor in the School of Information and a professor of economics. Ivy Anderson is the associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library. MacKie-Mason and Anderson co-chair UC’s Publisher Negotiation Task Force, representing the faculty senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), the Council of University Librarians (CoUL), and the California Digital Library (CDL).


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