As each of its multiyear contracts with large scholarly journal publishers comes to an end, the UC is working to hold down the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals and to align our journal contracts with the UC’s stance in support of open access. 

Elsevier negotiations update as of February 28, 2019

Despite many months of negotiations, Elsevier was ultimately unwilling to meet the UC’s key goals: facilitating universal open access to UC research, as stated in the Academic Senate’s principles on scholarly communication, and containing costs for an integrated contract covering both open access article processing charges (APCs) and subscription fees. As a result, the UC will not be signing a new contract with Elsevier at this time.

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

On this page

Questions? Contact us at

To receive updates on the status of the negotiations and the UC’s access to Elsevier journals, please provide your email address.

What is not affected

You can still access the following content in the same way you always have:

  • Most Elsevier articles published in 2018 or earlier: 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 ScienceDirect, just as you have in the past.
  • Open access articles: Many authors choose to pay an open access fee (called an article processing charge, or APC) when they publish, so it’s worth checking to see if the article you’re 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
  • Backfiles of certain journals for which the UC’s prior contract did not include permanent access

See below for other ways to access the articles you need.

If our direct access to newly published content is suspended, here are some other ways to access articles you need. As a reminder, the UC will continue to have access on ScienceDirect to articles with a publication date of 2018 or earlier in Elsevier journals for which our prior subscription included perpetual access rights.

Plugins and search tools

Unpaywall: Install the browser plugin and a green tab with a padlock icon will appear in your browser with a direct link to the full-text article if a free version is available. Unpaywall will prompt you to contact the author if an open access copy is not available.



Google ScholarFind open versions of articles via Google Scholar or, to make searching more convenient, add the Google Scholar Button to your browser; then select the title of a paper, from any webpage, and click the Scholar button to find it.


Open Access Button:
 Use their website or browser plugin to get free, legal research articles and data delivered immediately or automatically requested from the author.


PubMed CentralSearch this free archive of over 5 million full-text biomedical and life science journal articles.



Ask for help

Get it from the library: Request an article via interlibrary loan. Articles are emailed as soon as possible.

  • If you have an urgent request, please submit your request and call us at 530-752-1978 so we can best facilitate your needs. UC Davis Library staff are available and happy to assist you 7 days a week.
  • Questions? See our Quick Guide or video tutorial on how to place an interlibrary loan request.


Use your network: Contact the author and ask for a copy. Most publishers allow responsible sharing of one’s own publications.