U California vs Elsevier negotiations

I am very interested in the UC vs Elsevier negotiations:

UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research Link

Many Alberta libraries have ‘Science Direct’ as the Elsevier package and struggle with the expense. Fortunately, there is real time tracking of cancellations in the academic library world but often financial disclosures are not allowed under confidentiality agreements in the contracts: https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-cancellation-tracking/

However, according to the list, Elsevier is the biggest target for cancellations and it is a worldwide process. ‘Universities in Germany canceled Elsevier two years ago. The university alliance in Sweden canceled last spring, and the university alliance in Hungary canceled in December. Several other national alliances in Europe are trying to negotiate too.’ University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, co-chair of the UC team. https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/02/28/why-uc-split-with-publishing-giant-elsevier/

Additionally, the Canadian library examples in this recent Scientist article (2018) also describe significant efforts to renegotiate. For example, after renegotiating their deal in 2015, the University of Montreal has saved approximately $1 million CAD ($770,000 USD) per year:


From my perch in Athabasca, I will also continue watch these cases because what happens in California often sets a trend in the US and Canada. In this example the size of the UC Library systems is really significant, and the emphasis on OA as a platform is a novel approach that might work as so many U California faculty are on the editorial boards for the Elsevier journals.

Robert Hudson, Associate University Librarian, Learning and Research Services

Athabasca University Library


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