UC/Elsevier Negotiations Continue;
Full Access to Articles During January

The University of California and Elsevier are continuing discussions in January in a good-faith effort to conclude negotiations by January 31. As part of both parties’ good-faith efforts, in January UC and Elsevier have agreed that access will be extended to the University of California during this time, to allow one more month to conclude discussions.

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, the 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 3 Things to Know About …
Accessing Elsevier Articles 

  • As part of both parties’ good-faith efforts, in January UC and Elsevier have agreed that access will be extended to the University of California during this time.
  • No matter what happens moving forward, 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 information on how to access items UC does not subscribe to.)
  • If access is disrupted at any point beyond January 31, the UC Libraries will still work with researchers to get them the articles they need through other means, such as interlibrary loan.

Top 3 Things to Know About …
Publishing in Elsevier Journals

  • If the negotiations are successful, the UC’s proposed model will make it easier and more affordable for UC faculty to publish their work as open access in Elsevier journals.
  • No matter what happens, UC authors retain the right to publish in the journal of their choice.
  • By providing article processing charge (APC) support through the UC libraries as well as an opt-out option, the UC is working hard to ensure that authors have maximum flexibility in determining where and how they want to publish.

Current Status

While we cannot share all of the details while we are in active negotiations, this section will be updated regularly with as much information as we are able to provide at the time.

As of December 21, 2018:

  • Our current contract with Elsevier is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
  • The University of California and Elsevier are continuing discussions in January in a good-faith effort to conclude negotiations by January 31. As part of both parties’ good-faith efforts, in January UC and Elsevier have agreed that access will be extended to the University of California during this time, to allow one more month to conclude discussions.

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

Learn More

In UC’s battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher, the future of information is at stake
(Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2018)

UC Takes on Publishing Giant, Fights for Open Access to Publicly-Funded Research
(KQED’s Forum, January 3, 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)

On Publishing and the Sneetches: A Wake-up Call?*
(American Society for Cell Biology, November 7, 2016)

Media Inquiries

UC welcomes media inquiries about the Elsevier negotiations. Please contact:

Jessica Nusbaum
Director of Communications and Marketing
UC Davis Library
jlnusbaum@ucdavis.edu
(530) 752-4145

Share