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Important Update on UC Negotiations with Elsevier

TO:        UC Davis Academic Community
FROM:  MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship
Ralph J. Hexter, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Kristin Lagattuta, Professor of Psychology and Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate
Dennis J. Ventry, Jr., Professor of Law and Vice Chair, Academic Senate University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication
RE:       Important Update on UC Negotiations with Elsevier

 

We are writing to update you on the University of California’s negotiations to renew its systemwide license with scholarly journal publisher Elsevier, which (as first described in our open letter sent November 28, 2018) have been underway for many months.

While the parties made significant 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 goals: Facilitating universal open access to UC research, as stated in the UC faculty’s principles on scholarly communication, while containing costs for an integrated contract covering both open access article processing charges (APCs) and subscription fees.

The Academic Senate today reaffirmed its support for UC’s position with regard to the Elsevier negotiations.

In the end, cost proved to be an insurmountable challenge. Elsevier’s proposal would have encouraged UC Davis faculty to pay unlimited article fees to publish in Elsevier journals, with no corresponding reduction in subscription fees paid by UC libraries. 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 the timing is uncertain, we expect Elsevier to begin limiting the UC’s access to new articles through its online platform, ScienceDirect. Elsevier’s decision to limit UC access will result in changes to how UC scholars access certain Elsevier journal articles. More information is provided below about what access will be affected and where you can get help.

We acknowledge that this development represents a major change to how many researchers conduct their work. But the University is committed to creating a scholarly publishing system that facilitates open access to UC’s research. At the same time, the move toward open access cannot come with unreasonable costs. We will continue to work towards a solution with Elsevier and other academic publishers to achieve this vision, and ask for your support.

 

MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship

Ralph J. Hexter, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Kristin Lagattuta, Professor of Psychology and Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate

Dennis J. Ventry, Jr., Professor of Law and Vice Chair, Academic Senate University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication


UC Davis Library Resources for Accessing Elsevier Articles  

What content will — and won’t — be affected

If you use Elsevier articles in your research, here are the most important things to know:

  • The vast majority of Elsevier articles published in 2018 or earlier will still be accessible via ScienceDirect. Because the 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 article processing charge, or APC) when they publish, so it is always worth checking to see if the article you are seeking is available with open access from the journal’s website or elsewhere online (click here for tips on how to search for open access versions).
  • Elsevier e-books and other products licensed by the UC (e.g., Compendex, Reaxys, INSPEC) or by UC Davis (e.g., Scopus, Embase, ClinicalKey for Nursing/Clinical Skills) are covered under separate contracts and remain available as before.
  • What is affected: At some point, Elsevier may begin to turn off the UC’s direct access to articles with a 2019 publish date and the backfiles of certain journals. However, open access versions of many of these articles are available; visit the library’s website for advice on where to look.

Enhanced interlibrary loan service

You can also submit a request and the UC Davis Library will help you get a copy of the final, published version of an article. The library is increasing its interlibrary loan service hours so that we can be here to support you seven days a week.

If you are in doubt about why you cannot reach a particular article, please contact the library.

Interested in updates?

While we do not know exactly when Elsevier will begin to limit UC’s access to its 2019 journal articles, or even if it will all happen at once, we will provide updates on our website as we know more. To receive updates via email, please provide your email address.

If you have any questions or need help accessing an article, please don’t hesitate to email the library at any time.