For-profit publisher Elsevier out at Uni California

The exclusion of Elsevier expands, with the University of California not renewing its agreement with the for-profit publisher.

The ten campus UCal network was negotiating a new journal deal and asked for universal and immediate open access  to research articles by its academics. According to UCal, Elsevier responded with larger publishing fees, on top of journal subscription costs, “resulting in much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier,” UCal states.

Elsevier’s Tom Reller responded (via Twitter), “the University of California is mistaken in its characterisation of Elsevier’s stance. … It provides a clear path allowing every researcher to choose to publish for free or open access and provides a scaled path to reduce the costs for each campus library.”

What happens next is now the issue that will engage the UCal community. The university is silent on access to Elsevier journals in the future or what academics who have done well under the existing arrangements will think. Elsevier now publishes 18 per cent of research articles by UCal staff.

Even so, this is a big win for open access, following the adoption in Europe of Plan S, which specifies research papers be available in OA journals or on OA platforms by 2020. And Swedish, Dutch and German university groups have also not renewed Elsevier agreements.

As to Australia, (CMM February 13) the ARC and NHMRC make open access of papers based on research they fund via a university/agency repository a grant condition, just one that can be avoided.


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