**Updated: As of February 1, the University of California does not have an agreement with Elsevier. The UC and Elsevier have agreed to continue good-faith discussions for the time being. For now, access is expected to continue. Should we learn of any changes to access at UC, we will notify our community. Alternative access methods to find Elsevier articles are available.**
The University of California (UC) is currently in negotiations to renew its systemwide licenses with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest commercial academic journal publishers. These negotiations directly support UC’s mission by facilitating the broadest possible access to UC research results and providing leadership in transforming scholarly publishing into a system that is open, fair and transparent.
As the UC renegotiates its contract with Elsevier, we also have an opportunity to align our journal licensing agreements with the university’s goal of advancing open access. As stated in the UC’s Presidential Open Access Policy:
The University of California is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible [and] recognizes the benefits that accrue to its authors as individual scholars and to the scholarly enterprise from such wide dissemination, including greater recognition, more thorough review, consideration, and critique, and a general increase in scientific, scholarly, and critical knowledge.
The Academic Senate’s Open Access Policy affirms this commitment: “As part of a public university system, the faculty is dedicated to making its scholarship available to the people of California and the world.”
The goal of these negotiations is to increase the transparency and impact of UC research through open access. Because the UC accounts for nearly 10% of all U.S. publishing output — the most of any public educational institution in the country — the UC is in a position to lead the way towards a more open and sustainable scholarly publishing system.
Negotiation progress and next steps
The UC contract with Elsevier expires on December 31, 2018. In anticipation of this date, UC and Elsevier have been negotiating and UC libraries have been preparing for the possibility that the contract will expire before a new agreement is signed.
If the UC and Elsevier are unable to reach an agreement before the current contract ends on December 31, 2018, Elsevier may turn off access to articles published on or after January 1, 2019, as well as to some journals for which the UC does not have perpetual access rights. UC libraries will provide alternate access to these articles.
This negotiation does not impact where UC faculty can publish. UC faculty may continue to publish in and review for any journal of their choice regardless of the outcomes of these negotiations. If successful, UC authors will have the option to make their articles in Elsevier journals open access, with funding support from the university to help pay the article processing charge, or they can opt-out and publish their work as subscription access only.
The UC will continue to have access on ScienceDirect to articles published before 2019 in all Elsevier journals for which the Library has a pre-existing subscription with perpetual access rights. This historical content represents 95% of the Elsevier journal use at UC.
For new articles and for the subset of journals for which we lack perpetual rights, the UC libraries will provide alternative means of access at no cost to UC readers as they do for any other content that we don’t currently license.
As negotiations progress and we better understand which scenario will come to pass, we will provide an update regarding next steps. For more information regarding our negotiation goals and the specific negotiation with Elsevier, visit the Office of Scholarly Communication’s Top 3 Things to Know and FAQs page.
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