Top University Of California Scientists Tell Elsevier They’ll No Longer Work On Elsevier Journals | Techdirt

“Last week we highlighted the ongoing dispute between academic publishing giant Elsevier and the University of California (UC) system. Earlier this year, UC cancelled its contract with Elsevier, after the publishing giant — which gets nearly all of its content and labor for free, but charges insane prices for what is often publicly funded research — refused to lower prices or to work with the UC system on moving to an open access approach. Last week, we covered how Elsevier had emailed a bunch of UC folks with what appeared to be outright lies about the status of negotiations between the two organizations, and UC hit back with some facts to debunk Elsevier.

Perhaps Elsevier is getting antsy because a bunch of UC scientists have sent an open letter to Elsevier, saying they will no longer do editorial work for any Elsevier publications until this dispute gets worked out….”

Elsevier Tries To Lie About University Of California’s Contract Negotiation; UC Shows Its Receipts | Techdirt

“You may recall that, back in March, we were excited to hear the news that the University of California had cancelled its Elsevier subscription, after Elsevier was unwilling to support UC’s goal of universal open access to all of its research (while simultaneously cutting back on the insane costs that Elsevier charged). Apparently the fight between Elsevier and UC has continued, and it’s getting nasty. Recently, UC put out a blog post that accused Elsevier of playing dirty and making a bunch of bullshit claims about UC and the negotiations….”


UCCellPressEditorialBoardSuspensionsAlphabetical – Google Docs

“The undersigned University of California scientist members of Cell Press editorial boards are writing to inform you of our position, in light of the current impasse in negotiations between the University and Elsevier. We value our long-standing relationships with Cell and other Cell Press journals, which have helped make and keep these journals at the forefront of scientific publishing. These journals have in turn been of service as standard bearers of excellence to the life sciences community as a whole.

We therefore wish to express our concern at the current lack of a contract between UC and Elsevier, and the decision to deny our UC colleagues access to research published in Cell Press and other Elsevier journals. 

Pending the signing of a new contract with UC, we wish to inform you that we are suspending our editorial services to Cell Press journals. We very much hope to hear of an appropriate resolution and resume our productive relationships with Cell Press….”

UC Faculty Protest Elsevier by Suspending Work for Cell Press | The Scientist Magazine®

“Faculty members at a number University of California schools have stopped serving on the editorial boards of journals published by Cell Press in protest of its parent company, Elsevier, not having reached a dealwith UC for access to its publications. The 31 signatories of a letter to Elsevier, posted yesterday (August 7) online, write that unless Elsevier and UC can agree upon a new contract, they will not serve on the boards of Cell, Neuron, Immunity, Current Biology, and others…..

UC faculty to Elsevier: Restart negotiations, or else | Berkeley News

“A group of prominent University of California faculty say they will resign from the editorial boards of scientific journals published by Elsevier until the publishing giant agrees to restart negotiations, which stalled in February and left the 10-campus system without subscriptions to some of the world’s top scholarly journals….”

Fact check: What you may have heard about the dispute between UC and Elsevier – Office of Scholarly Communication

“Elsevier claims that it “proposed a series of arrangements that would…achieve the objectives of the Academic Senate.”1

Not so, according to the leadership of the Academic Senate itself. …

The publisher states that it has “opened over 1,900 of its subscription journals to open access submissions.”12

Elsevier has not “opened” its subscription journals. Rather, it is asking authors, after the libraries have already paid Elsevier for subscriptions, to pay a second charge (generally thousands of dollars) if authors want their individual articles to be available open access. Under this model, Elsevier gets paid twice for publishing such articles….

Elsevier asserts that UC’s proposed model is, “in their own words … complex and risky,” using as evidence a mischaracterized quote from the UC Davis university librarian. A representative of the company wrote: “The plan is so intricate that one senior UC librarian called it ‘akin to modernizing the FAA’s air traffic control system – a million planes are in the air at any moment and changing anything can have serious consequences elsewhere.’”20

We have not characterized our offer as “complex and risky.” The quote Elsevier references describes the complexity of transforming the entire scholarly publishing industry, not UC’s proposal to Elsevier….

Elsevier confusingly states that the university’s “proposed plan would require UC researchers to pay to publish their own output.”27

UC’s proposal would actually reduce the burden on UC authors who wish to publish their work open access, by fully subsidizing authors without access to grant funds and asking those with sufficient grant funding to contribute toward only a portion of the open access fees….

The publisher claims that “when surveyed,” researchers had “extremely negative” reactions to the scenarios laid out in the 2016 research study referenced above.28

We are unaware of any survey that addresses the scenarios explored in the 2016 research study….

Elsevier claims that after Germany canceled its contract with the publisher, “83% of those surveyed complained of a ‘significant decline’ in their research productivity and that most wanted the contract renewed.”32

We are unaware of any such survey. When we inquired of German colleagues, they were also unaware of any published survey results correlating to these numbers….”


University of California Battles With Global Publisher Elsevier Over Access To Research –

“The UC does a lot of both. It publishes roughly 10 percent of all research in the United States, and on average downloaded a study every three seconds last year. 

To continue at that pace under a new contract that would allow for open-access, the UC would continue to pay $11 million for access to research articles, plus an additional $15 million in publishing fees for the roughly 5,000 articles it makes available through Elsevier annually. 

Those combined fees would more than double the previous contract price. Negotiations brought that down a bit, but still pushed the price tag up by 80 percent, which was unacceptable to the system’s negotiators.

“[It’s] double dipping,” said Jeff MacKie-Mason, UC Berkeley’s librarian and the co-chairperson of the Elsevier negotiation team. “They charge the libraries reading fees, and then they charge the authors publishing fees on top of that if they want their articles open-access.”

Hersh says the company is supportive of open-access, but characterized the UC’s demands as wanting “two services for the price of one service.”

“I can be absolutely crystal clear here that Elsevier does not double-dip,” Hersh said….”

Access to ScienceDirect, Scopus and SciVal open for the Hungarian research community, as EISZ and Elsevier work towards an Open Access pilot agreement

Hungarian Electronic Information Service National Programme (EISZ) and Elsevier, a global information analytics business specializing in science and health, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Letter of Intent, as they move towards finalizing a new innovative pilot agreement for research access and Open Access publishing in Hungary. As a result, EISZ consortium member institutions and their affiliated researchers across Hungary now have immediate access to ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s leading platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature, as well as SciVal, the research performance tool, and Scopus….”

Guest Post: Evaluating Open Access in a Consortial Context – The Scholarly Kitchen

“OhioLINK has 188 member libraries from 89 higher education institutions plus the State Library of Ohio: 16 public universities, 51 independent university and college libraries, 23 two-year college libraries, 16 regional campus libraries, 8 law school libraries, and 5 medical school libraries. Membership includes three R1 institutions, five ARL libraries, and the Cleveland Clinic. Given the makeup of the institutional membership, sometimes OhioLINK can serve as a microcosm of the U.S. higher educational library market as a whole. (For an OhioLINK-specific analysis of institutional type and library alignment within the context of the University Futures, Library Futures OCLC Research/Ithaka S+R research report, see Constance Malpas’ presentation “University Futures, Library Futures: institutional and library directions in OhioLINK.”)

These are OhioLINK publishing and usage figures for one major STEM publisher in 2018. OhioLINK institutions published approximately 1,000 articles in the 900+ titles for which OhioLINK had a subscription. “Publish” activity from OhioLINK researchers accounted for about 0.4% of the total articles for which members had subscription access. “Read” activity was 1,900,000+ full text downloads. One institution accounted for 34% of all published articles in these titles; another group of three institutions accounted for a further 36% for a total of 70% output from the top four publishing institutions; 22 institutions made up the rest of the publishing activity out of a consortium of 90 institutions. The top four publishing institutions published between 10% and 12% of their articles in any kind of OA form (not by consortial agreement or subsidy, but acting individually either at the institutional or author level.) In total, OhioLINK-affiliated authors paid APCs for approximately 100 OA articles: 80% fully OA journals, 20% OA in hybrid journals….

We would expect any Read and Publish deals from publishers to conform to our particular publishing profile, rather than to a California Digital Library profile or a Projekt Deal profile. For some consortia, such as those composed of mostly private colleges, there is even less publishing activity. There is no standard deal that will fit all consortia; some consortia may not be offered certain OA deals at all, or the OA deals on offer will not be financially viable without significant outside sources of funding. Our collective question is: Given that much of the revenue coming from our members is, and always will be, from “Read” = subscription funding, what are the implications for the future financial burden of “Publish” consortia as more institutions become free riders? How will “Read” institutions/consortia participate in OA funding initiatives?:

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.