UC’s negotiating team continues to communicate with Elsevier. While progress remains slow, there are a number of recent developments that we hope may give fresh impetus to these discussions:
- COVID-19: As a recent Los Angeles Times column laid out, the need for access to research has never been clearer. In fact, many publishers, including Elsevier, have temporarily made coronavirus-related articles freely available. Pandemic-related budget crunches may also pressure publishers to moderate financial demands.
- Federal policy: The Office of Science and Technology Policy is considering a zero-embargo policy for the author’s final manuscript for all federally funded research — a change strongly supported by UC’s faculty Senate and that, if adopted, would further incentivize publishers to accelerate their shift towards open access.
- Actions by other institutions: UNC-Chapel Hill, Iowa State University and the SUNY (State University of New York) system all recently ended their “big deal” subscription packages with Elsevier. As the head of UNC’s university library wrote: “UC helped to expose the runaway journal costs that are breaking university and library budgets everywhere [and] the need to increase open access to research, rather than locking it behind steep and rising paywalls.” And just last week MIT ended its negotiations with Elsevier after the publisher failed to present a proposal that aligned with MIT’s open access principles.
Based on campus email from Haipeng Li (University Librarian) Maria DePrano (Library and Scholarly Communications Chair), Tom Handford (Academic Senate Chair), and Teenie Matlock (Vice Provost for the Faculty)