MIT Terminates Elsevier Contract Over Open Access Dispute

“In an unprecedented move last year, the University of California system terminated journal negotiations with Elsevier over open access issues and higher costs. Last month MIT did the same, saying the publisher’s proposal did not align with the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. The UC system includes more than 280,000 students and over 227,000 faculty staff. MIT has roughly 24,000 students, faculty and staff in its system.

Developed in 2019, MIT’s Framework creates a mechanism to ensure research is freely and immediately available, while recognizing that the value in published papers lies with the authors and institutions that support them. Since it’s debut, more than 100 institutions have endorsed the MIT Framework in recognition of its potential to advance open scholarship….”

L’open science en transition : des pirates à la dérive ?

From Google’s English:  “For years, institutions and scientists have launched great maneuvers to switch to open access. If open science progresses, we remain far from the objectives and the budgets devoted to scientific publications explode. 

In mid-June, the University of California signed an open access agreement with one of the five multinational publishing companies, Springer-Nature. It follows in particular those signed in May by the Dutch and Swiss universities with the other behemoth in the sector, Elsevier. The MIT announced a few days earlier  to end negotiations with Elsevier  for a new subscription contract to its scientific journals, putting forward ”  the principles of open access  ” to justify itself.

Since 2010, the balance of power between the open science movement and the major scientific publishers could appear completely reversed. That year, MIT felt compelled to actively collaborate (while pretending to take a neutral stance) in the investigation against its young student Aaron Swartz….”

Dutch Deal – Community-Owned Infrastructure

“Elsevier has negotiated a new deal with VSNU, a consortia of Dutch Universities. This new type of deal combines content with data analytics in a novel way. Signing the deal represents an insidious precedent for the academic community, and we’re following the impacts….”

Dutch open science deal primarily benefits Elsevier – ScienceGuide

“In summary, the deal boils down to Elsevier offering Dutch (corresponding) authors open access publishing options in nearly all of its scientific journals. However, a number of journals from the Cell and Lancet families have been excluded from the deal, for now. Additionally, both sides agreed to work towards the creation of infrastructure for research data and information, and to enter into ‘open science’ projects. All of this comes at a price of € 16.4 million per year.

Going by headlines in the national newspapers, one would get the impression that the Dutch are making a giant step forward on the path to open access and open science. But is this really the case? ScienceGuide asked experts and (co)negotiators and scrutinized the fine print of the contract. As it turns out, parties have agreed on very specific definitions of open access and open science, with vague articles in the agreement to underpin them. Agreements that are at odds with earlier statements on open science and on rewards and recognition….

However, due to the ‘unique’ nature of the contract, no true comparison can be made with other agreements. Not only because various Elsevier tools and platforms are also included in the contract, but especially because of the arrangements around what has become known as ‘Professional Services’. The market value of the ‘open science’ component is, after all, unknown….”

The Dutch Consortia/Elsevier Contract: The Real Risks – Community-Owned Infrastructure

“In December, SPARC assessed an institutional agreement that a Dutch national academic consortia and Elsevier were in the process of negotiating. At the time, we were responding to leaks in the press, which were largely confirmed by the subsequent release of the terms of a framework agreement between the Dutch consortia and the publisher. Last week, the parties announced the official terms of the agreement.

As a quick recap, we originally noted five concerns:

Danger of linking publishing and data contracts into a “Bigger Deal”
A deal structure inhibiting competition in data analytics services
The implications of the resulting reduced competition on customer leverage
The creation of a monopoly (or quasi-monopoly) on data analytics resulting in the loss of diversity in academic assessment
The risks that the deal’s structure, if replicated, would pose to the overall health of the scholarly publishing ecosystem

While some new details have emerged since SPARC released our initial analysis, none of them materially change our conclusions….”

Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research | WIRED

“FIVE YEARS AGO, when Jeffrey MacKie-Mason first joined the University of California team that negotiates with academic publishers, he asked a colleague what would happen if he failed to strike a deal. What if, instead, he simply canceled their subscription? “I was told I would be fired the next day,” the UC Berkeley librarian says. Last year, he tested out the theory. The university system had been trying to negotiate a deal to make all of its research open-access—outside of a paywall—with Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher. But they were too far apart on what that would cost. So MacKie-Mason’s team walked away.

To his surprise, the army of UC researchers who depended on that subscription were willing to go along with it. They’d lose the ability to read new articles in thousands of Elsevier journals, sure, but there were ways to get by without a subscription. They could email researchers directly for copies. The university would pay for individual articles. And yes, unofficially, some would just probably download from Sci-Hub, the illicit repository where virtually every scientific article can be found. To MacKie-Mason, it was clarifying: The conventional wisdom that had weakened his negotiating hand was thoroughly dispelled.

Since then, progress towards open access has crept along. More deals of the kind UC wants have been struck, especially in Europe. But in the United States, progress has been especially halting. Then, last week, MIT officials announced that they too had stepped away from the table with Elsevier, saying they couldn’t agree to a deal. And now, University of California officials have announced their intention to make a deal with Springer Nature, the world’s second-largest publisher, to begin publishing the university system’s research as open-access by default. The deal starts in 2021 for a large number of the company’s journals—and puts UC on the path, at least, to do so for all its journals within two years, including its most prestigious ones, like Nature….”

MIT sticks to OA principles and ends Elsevier talks | Research Information

“MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – has ended negotiations with the publisher Elsevier for a new journals contract.

According to MIT, Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. The framework ‘is grounded in the conviction that openly sharing research and educational materials is key to the Institute’s mission of advancing knowledge and bringing that knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges’.

Further, the institute says the framework ‘affirms the overarching principle that control of scholarship and its dissemination should reside with scholars and their institutions, and aims to ensure that scholarly research outputs are openly and equitably available to the broadest possible audience, while also providing valued services to the MIT community’. …”

2020 top trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education | Research Planning and Review Committee | College & Research Libraries News

“Open access: Transitions and transformations

The past few years have brought major developments in the OA landscape—from major big deal cancellations to new agreements between libraries and publishers. Following the University of California system’s Elsevier cancellation in early 2019,16 the University of North Carolina announced in late 2019 that their license renewal negotiations with Elsevier will continue into 2020.17 Resources for institutions considering this route include SPARC’s “Big Deal Knowledge Base and Big Deal Cancellation Tracking,”18 University of California’s “Negotiating with Scholarly Journal Publishers Toolkit,”19 “Guidelines for Evaluating Transformative Open Access Agreements,”20 and “Guide to Transitioning Journals to Open Access Publishing.”21

Many new transformative agreements were announced between publishers and libraries or library consortia over the past year.22 A transformative agreement can be defined as a contract seeking “to shift the contracted payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher away from subscription-based reading and towards open access publishing.”23 There are various flavors, including offsetting agreements, read-and-publish agreements, and publish-and-read agreements. Since 2018, many read-and-publish agreements have been signed between publishers and institutions.

After hundreds of responses from publishers, academic libraries, and researchers, cOALition S made some changes to its Plan S, which “aims for full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications from research funded by public and private grants.”24 Noteworthy differences: plan implementation is delayed to 2021, no cap on the cost of OA publication, tweaked rules around hybrid titles and transformative agreements, ignore the prestige of journals when making funding decisions, and more restrictive open licenses will be allowed when approved by the funder.25

Further transitions are happening at the society publishing level. The group Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) formed at the October 2018 Choosing Pathways to OA Working forum. They “aim to provide relevant resources/experience working in collaboration with society publishing partners to help them develop an open access publishing model that is appropriate, effective and sustainable.”26 …”

MIT ends negotiations with Elsevier over research access dispute

“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has ended negotiations over a new contract with the major journal publisher Elsevier, making it the latest high-profile academic institution to walk away from Elsevier amid an escalating fight that could shape the way that academic research gets read and paid for….”

MIT and Elsevier | Scholarly Publishing – MIT Libraries

“MIT has long been a leader in sharing its research and scholarship openly with the world. In the face of unprecedented global challenges, equitable and open access to knowledge is more critical than ever.

For several months, the MIT Libraries had been in discussions with Elsevier, one of the largest publishers of scholarly journals in the world, about a new journals contract. Guided by the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, MIT Libraries sought a contract that would reflect the Institute’s values and needs and preserve our ability to share MIT research openly with the world.

Despite our best efforts, including agreeing to a six-month extension of our current contract to provide Elsevier time to develop an offer for us based on principles we shared with them in August 2019, Elsevier was unable to present a proposal that aligned with the framework. After months of good faith negotiations, it became clear that Elsevier was not able to meet our needs, so we ended negotiations at the conclusion of our six-month extension.

See the FAQ below for more information….”