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UC announces breakthrough open access deal with publishing giant Elsevier

By Gretchen Kell

Doe Library
Berkeley's University Library was a key player in negotiations with Elsevier. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)
doe library

Doe Library was photographed in February 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

Two years after cutting ties with publishing industry giant Elsevier, producer of more than 2,600 scholarly journals, the University of California system today (Tuesday, March 16) announced that it has reached with Elsevier the largest open access agreement of its kind in North America. As of April 1, all research with a UC lead author published in Elsevier’s hybrid and open access journals will be open access by default, so that everyone in the world can read it for free. This fulfills the UC faculty’s goals for its so-called transformative open access agreements with publishers — universal open access to UC research and reduced projected costs.

UC’s deal with Elsevier: What it took, what it means, why it matters

“It’s a breakthrough agreement, and would not have happened without Elsevier and UC having worked together to find common ground,” said UC Berkeley’s University Librarian, Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, who is co-chair of the UC system’s publisher negotiation team, in a UC news release. “Many people simply can’t afford the high price of journals, even though the findings in those journals may be critical to their work. Disseminating UC knowledge freely will spark new solutions to the world’s most pressing problems — and this deal will help make that happen.”

The UC generates nearly 10% of all U.S. research output, and Elsevier disseminates about 17% of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The deal will double the number of articles made available through UC’s transformative open access agreements.

The agreement with Elsevier is UC’s ninth open access publishing agreement in the past two years.

Read the UC news release about the agreement here.