California dreaming becoming an OA reality

Uni Cal achieves an open access breakthrough

Elsevier’s prices are still too high, and it makes outrageous profits. But we did get an expenditure reduction, and that will save money for the system and for the authors,” U Cal Berkeley Librarian Jeffrey Mackie-Mason  says announcing an agreement with the journal giant.

The agreement took over two years to reach, which included a lengthy formal no-speaks when negotiations stalled.

But as of April 1, U Cal staff can read Elsevier titles and can publish what looks to CMM like gold OA in 2500 of the company’s titles. Article processing charges will be 10 per cent or 15 per cent.

“APCs are now incorporated in and controlled under the financial agreement for UC.  This will restrain overall growth in open access spending which has been rapid and unmanaged,” the university states.

This is a win for U Cal, which claimed Elsevier’s first offer to renew the long-expired network subscription would have cost the system more, (CMM March 4 2019).

And it appears the largest concession in the US in Elsevier’s fighting retreat from a pay to read/pay to publish journal provider to a research data services manager that also publishes. The company has been making concession to European university networks for years but clearly did not want to retreat at U Cal, for fear of what would follow in the US.

Whatever that will be, is about to happen.