UC reaches open access agreement with Elsevier


After more than two years of negotiations, this morning the University of California announced a transformative open access agreement with Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher. This successful outcome is the result of UC’s faculty, librarians, and university leadership coming together to stand firm on our goals of making UC research freely available to all and transforming scholarly communication for the better.

The new four-year agreement will go into effect on April 1, 2021, restoring UC’s direct online access to Elsevier journals while accomplishing the university’s two goals for all publisher agreements:

  1. Enabling universal open access to all UC research; and 
  2. Containing the excessively high costs associated with licensing journals.

These goals directly support UC’s responsibility as a steward of public funds and its mission as a public university to make its research freely available. The agreement with Elsevier will double the number of articles covered by UC’s open access agreements.


What the agreement means for the UC community

  • Reading access: By April 1, 2021, UC will have regained access to all articles published in Elsevier journals the libraries subscribed to before, plus additional journals to which UC previously did not subscribe. Access to those journals in ScienceDirect will start to be restored now and will continue to be added until they are all available on April 1. If you cannot access a particular journal yet, you can access articles in other ways in the interim. 
  • Open access publishing in Elsevier journals: The agreement also provides for open access publishing of UC research in nearly 2,300 Elsevier journals from day one. The Cell Press and Lancet families of journals will be integrated midway through the four-year agreement; UC’s agreement is the first in the world to provide for open access publishing in the entire suite of these prestigious journals.
  • Library support for open access publishing: All articles with a UC corresponding author will be open access by default, with the library automatically paying the first $1,000 of the open access fee (also known as an article publishing charge or APC). Authors will be asked to pay the remainder of the APC if they have research funds available to do so.
  • Discounts on publishing: To lower those costs even further for authors, UC has negotiated a 15 percent discount on the APCs for most Elsevier journals; the discount is  10 percent for the Cell Press and Lancet families of journals.
  • Full funding support for those who need it: To ensure that all authors have the opportunity to publish their work open access, the library will cover the full amount of the APC for those who do not have sufficient research funds for the author share. Authors may also opt out of open access publishing if they wish.

If you have any questions, please contact the library at research@library.ucsc.edu.


Journal images courtesy of Elsevier

Elsevier journal covers compilation