U. of California Canceled Its Elsevier Subscription. Now It’s Losing Access. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Elsevier began shutting off access to certain research articles for the sprawling University of California system on Wednesday, nearly five months after negotiations toward a subscription contract ceased.

California left the bargaining table in late February, after its latest five-year contract concluded at the end of 2018. The two parties disagreed over how much the university system should pay for a subscription agreement that would make all articles published by California scholars available free to anyone anywhere, instead of behind a paywall.

Access has remained for the 10 California campuses from February until now. UC will lose access to Elsevier articles published in 2019, after its contract expired, in addition to a portion of other historical content for which the system did not have perpetual access. The system had one day’s warning from Elsevier, a university official said….”

In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals – Los Angeles Times

“The bitter battle between the University of California, a leading source of published research papers, and Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of research papers, just got more bitter.

As of Wednesday, Elsevier cut off access by UC faculty, staff and students to articles published since Jan. 1 in 2,500 Elsevier journals, including respected medical publications such as Cell and the Lancet and a host of engineering and scientific journals. Access to most material published in 2018 and earlier remains in force….”

Publisher Elsevier halts UC’s access to new articles | Berkeley News

Starting today (Wednesday, July 10), Elsevier, the world’s largest provider of scientific, technical and medical information, has shut off the University of California’s direct access to new articles. Its 2,500-journal portfolio includes such highly-regarded publications as The Lancet and Cell.

Fortunately, the UC Berkeley Library has developed a plan to help connect researchers with the materials they need, even while direct access to new articles is suspended. A special web page includes a graphic and a video that explain how to access Elsevier articles….”

They Know We Know They Know: Does Sci-Hub Affect Library Subscriptions? – The Scholarly Kitchen

The question of whether — and, if so, to what degree — Sci-Hub and similar pirate portals will lead (or are already leading) libraries to cancel journal subscriptions has been a fraught one for some time, and the debate doesn’t seem likely to settle down anytime soon.

One recent case in point: on the LIBLICENSE listserv last week, librarian and consultant Danny Kingsley made mention of a recent story in the Times Higher Education in which it was argued that universities in Europe are finding it “easier… to ditch their journal subscription contracts because so many articles are now available for free.” Furthermore, the article observed that academic library consortia, in particular, “have in recent years struck a much more assertive line with publishers over cost and open access,” with the result that, for example, “Germany’s consortium is currently without a contract with Elsevier… in part because librarians believe that academics can access free papers through sites such as ResearchGate.”

Kingsley quoted this article with some asperity, describing it as “frustrating,” given that “there is NO causal arrow between material being online somewhere and library subscriptions.” In response, Scholarly Kitchen Chef and consultant Joe Esposito called Danny’s claim “remarkable,” saying that “ResearchGate and Sci-Hub are in the background of every library negotiation with publishers now.” 

In the course of agreeing with Kingsley, noted scholarly communication researcher Anthony Watkinson observed that he was “not aware of any research on library decision making processes” — which suggests not so much that there is no causal connection between library subscriptions and free online availability, but rather that we don’t yet know what, if any, causal connection there may be. But some anecdotal evidence in support of Kingsley’s position quickly came in on the list: several librarians chimed in, one of them saying that such considerations “have certainly never been in the background on any negotiations with vendors that I have been involved in,” and another saying that the availability of free or pirated content “does not influence my decision-making and isn’t considered when it comes to subscription renewals.” A third librarian suggested that such considerations are more likely to be “in the back of the minds of every Publisher, rather than in the minds of the Librarians.” Lisa Hinchliffe, a librarian at the University of Illinois and a Scholarly Kitchen Chef, pointed out that while librarians may not specifically assess the availability of free or pirated content when making subscription or cancellation decisions, they certainly do take cost per download into account — and to the degree that any library’s patrons download articles from subscribed journals through platforms like Sci-Hub and ResearchGate rather than from the publisher through the library’s website, that library’s cost per download will go up. (The entire discussion thread may be read here.) …”

Imminent change to Elsevier access | UCSF Library

As you may know, the University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January. In those negotiations, UC has sought to meet the faculty-supported goals of containing journal subscription costs and providing for open access publication of UC research. Unfortunately, in late February the negotiations stalled. In the months since Elsevier continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect. We now have reason to believe that Elsevier will shut off direct access to new articles later this week or in early July.

The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January but, so far, the publisher has continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect. Although Elsevier has not yet provided us with official notification, we now have reason to believe that the publisher will shut off that direct access in the first half of July, after the July 4 holiday.

When that happens, we will no longer have direct access to 2019 articles (in all Elsevier journals) and the backfiles of certain journals (download the list). Everything else will still be accessible on ScienceDirect. Once the shut off is confirmed, we will publish a notice on the Library website and the Twitter account….”

Imminent change to Elsevier access | UCSF Library

As you may know, the University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January. In those negotiations, UC has sought to meet the faculty-supported goals of containing journal subscription costs and providing for open access publication of UC research. Unfortunately, in late February the negotiations stalled. In the months since Elsevier continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect. We now have reason to believe that Elsevier will shut off direct access to new articles later this week or in early July.

The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January but, so far, the publisher has continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect. Although Elsevier has not yet provided us with official notification, we now have reason to believe that the publisher will shut off that direct access in the first half of July, after the July 4 holiday.

When that happens, we will no longer have direct access to 2019 articles (in all Elsevier journals) and the backfiles of certain journals (download the list). Everything else will still be accessible on ScienceDirect. Once the shut off is confirmed, we will publish a notice on the Library website and the Twitter account….”

Half-life is half the story | Unlocking Research

This week the STM Frankfurt Conference was told that a shift away from gold Open Access towards green would mean some publishers would not be ‘viable’ according to a story in The Bookseller. The argument was that support for green OA in the US and China would mean some publishers will collapse and the community will ‘regret it’.

It is not surprising that the publishing industry is worried about a move away from gold OA policies. They have proved extraordinarily lucrative in the UK with Wiley and Elsevier each pocketing an extra £2 million thanks to the RCUK block grant funds to support the RCUK policy on Open Access.

But let’s get something straight. There is no evidence that permitting researchers to make a copy of their work available in a repository results in journal subscriptions being cancelled. None.

The September 2013 UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Fifth Report: Open Access stated “There is no available evidence base to indicate that short or even zero embargoes cause cancellation of subscriptions”. In 2012 the Committee for Economic Development Digital Connections Council in The Future of Taxpayer-Funded Research: Who Will Control Access to the Results? concluded that “No persuasive evidence exists that greater public access as provided by the NIH policy has substantially harmed subscription-supported STM publishers over the last four years or threatens the sustainability of their journals”…”

Library Subscriptions and Open Access: Highlights from the University of California Negotiations with Elsevier

Abstract:  On February 28, 2019, the University of California (UC) System announced the cancellation of their $50 million journal subscription deal with Elsevier. The impetus behind the UC decision comes from two issues. Firstly, the increasing costs of journal subscriptions in a landscape where library budgets remain flat. Secondly, the effort to shift the journal publishing model away from subscriptions to a sustainable open access model. The following paper will provide background on issues with the scholarly communication process, academic library budgets and open access initiatives. Additional information will focus on the impact of journal subscription deals with large commercial publishers (including Elsevier) and highlight UNLV efforts to support open access.

 

The open access wars: How to free science from academic paywalls – Vox

“This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.

The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”

Will the Davids prevail?…”

University of Iowa drops hundreds of journal subscriptions

At the University of Iowa Libraries, publisher price increases have become too much to bear.

The libraries announced late last year that they needed to trim $600,000 from their budget, calling on faculty members to help them decide which subscriptions should stay and which should go. The cancellations are just one of a number of difficult budget decisions the university has made following back-to-back state funding cuts.

In a letter to the campus in October, John Culshaw, Jack B. King University Librarian, and Sue Curry, the university’s interim executive vice president and provost, wrote that scholarly publishers’ price increases are “simply not sustainable.” …”