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will lose access to Elsevier articles published in 2019, after its contract expired, in addition to a portion of other historical content for which the system did not have perpetual access.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….”

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….”

An introductory guide to the UC model transformative agreement – Office of Scholarly Communication

On the basis of these ideas, UC developed a unique “multi-payer” model for transformative agreements designed to engage authors and encourage shared funding between university library and research funds that can be replicated at other U.S. institutions. The model combines library funding — in the form of baseline financial support for all authors and full financial support for authors lacking grant funds — with an author workflow that asks authors with grant funding to pay a portion of the article publication costs. This is the model that UC proposed to Elsevier and that has formed the basis for our discussions with other publishers (including our April 2019 agreement with Cambridge University Press).

It is important to note that the co-funding elements of this model need not be limited to subscription publishers, but are intentionally designed for implementation with native open access publishers as well. The model is intended to create a level playing field for publishers of all types. Specific characteristics of the UC model include:

  • Default open access. Open access is the default publication option for all UC corresponding authors who publish in the target publisher’s journals. Authors have the choice of opting out.
  • Reading fee. The former subscription fee is greatly reduced and becomes a “reading” fee for access and perpetual rights to articles that are still behind a paywall.
    • UC has set its desired reading fee at 10% of the previous license fee, to allow for the bulk of the former subscription fee to be allocated to APC payments. The size of the reading fee recognizes that the proportion of closed to open access articles is decreasing as similar agreements are negotiated elsewhere around the globe.
  • Discounted APCs. The library negotiates reduced article publication charges (APCs) with the publisher, to bring the overall costs of the agreement into an affordable range that can facilitate a rapid transition to open access while protecting both the university and the publisher from undue economic risk.
  • Overall cost. In general, the total of all fees (reading fee + APCs) should be no more than the current licensing cost, possibly also including any existing APCs that have been paid outside the previous license agreement. To achieve this aim, negotiated APC discounts may be 30% or higher.
  • Co-funding model. Publication fees are subject to a co-funding model involving both institutional (library) funds and author (grant) funds, in a unified workflow:
    • Library subvention. The library provides a baseline subvention to cover a significant portion of the publication fee for all authors (e.g., $1,000 per article).
    • Grant-funded authors. Authors with access to grant funding are asked to pay a remaining portion of the article publication fee at the time of acceptance if they are able to do so, to allow for sustainability and scalability over time.
    • Unfunded authors. The library covers the publication fee in full for authors without access to grant funding (e.g., many authors in the humanities and some in the social sciences). Authors indicate the need for this support after their article has been accepted, as part of the publisher’s standard APC payment workflow.
    • Author choice. Authors can opt out of open access and publish their articles behind a paywall at their discretion.
    • Aggregated library payments. All library-funded components (baseline subvention and full funding for authors lacking grants) are paid through direct, periodic bulk payments to the publisher; there is no need for authors to request funding explicitly from the library. However, the full article publication costs, including library subvention amounts, should be disclosed to authors in the publisher interface.
  • Cost controls. Once established, the overall cost of the agreement varies up or down from year to year by a designated amount keyed to publication volume, to allow for gradual adjustments in response to author publishing behavior while allowing both the institution and the publisher to predictably manage costs.
    • UC’s model puts this standard variance at 2% — thus, the overall fees paid to the publisher can vary up or down by 2% per year….”

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.

 

UC Santa Cruz joins the international effort to make research accessible to all

In June, the University of California Santa Cruz joined its sister UC campuses in taking an important step towards the goal of making all scholarly journal literature freely available to the world by endorsing the international open access (OA) initiative, OA2020Led by the Max Planck Digital Library, OA2020 is a global alliance committed to new models of scholarly publishing that ensure outputs are open and re-usable and that the costs behind their dissemination are transparent and economically sustainable.

By adding its name to the list of 136 signatory organizations, UCSC demonstrates its strong commitment to the values the UC Academic Senate has held since the adoption of its Open Access Policy in 2013. Further, it emphasizes our campus’s support of the Senate-wide UCOLASC’s Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication and the UC Systemwide Library And Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC) call to action aimed at transforming how the UC Libraries approach journal negotiations….”

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?…”

Sustaining Values and Scholarship A Statement by the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance

“We, the provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, are committed to sustaining and advancing equitable modes of sharing knowledge. Our 14 institutions embrace individual mission statements that support the common good, equity of access, and the global impact and reach of our research and scholarship. Collectively, our institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $10 billion (2017) in research funding, and our institutions have similarly invested significantly in our capacity to further our missions to advance knowledge. Together, we produce roughly 15% of the research publications in the United States….

In 2006, we shared an open letter in support of taxpayer access to federally-funded research. In 2012, we repeated our advocacy for open access in the face of potentially restrictive legislation to curtail that openness. Since then, our institutions have further invested in systems, repositories, and local policies to support open access to the works of our faculty. And we have encouraged our libraries and faculty to work together to assess the value of purchased or licensed content and the appropriate terms governing its use. With Big Ten libraries’ expenditures on journals exceeding $190 million, we recognize that our institutions are privileged in the level of access we provide our campuses, yet the status quo is not sustainable….”