UO's Licensing Agreement with Elsevier

A Message from Adriene Lim, Dean of Libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair

For several months, we in the University of Oregon (UO) Libraries have been following the University of California (UC) system’s negotiations with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest scientific publishers. Given the size and scope of the UC system, we believe the outcome could have an impact on our own future negotiations with Elsevier, especially regarding our ability to press for more open-access provisions.

By now, many people in the University of Oregon community have read about the UC system’s decision to end its contract negotiations with Elsevier. According to the UC’s press release on February 28, 2019: “Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s reasonable contract terms, which would integrate subscription charges and open access publishing fees, making open access the default for any article by a UC scholar and stabilizing journal costs for the university.”

Although the UO Libraries has ended "big deal" contracts (bulk journal packages) with a few other publishers, we have not considered terminating our Elsevier contract at this point. Our current, five-year contract is a joint agreement with Oregon State University and Portland State University, and runs through December 31, 2020. We also note that UO’s use of Elsevier content remains relatively high, with approximately 350,000 article downloads during the past academic year, so our response in the coming year needs to take these research needs into account.  

Library partners at UO, OSU, and PSU have begun to discuss joint goals in preparation for our 2020 contract negotiations with Elsevier. We in the UO Libraries also have been working with faculty members on the UO Senate-based University Library Committee (ULC) to determine whether there is interest in supporting more advocacy and action on open access at the UO. We want to assure the UO academic community that we would not make drastic changes to our journal subscriptions without consulting with faculty members and graduate students, per our usual practice, and we will continue reaching out to stakeholders to discuss the issues over the coming year.

If you have any questions or suggestions in the meantime, please contact Library Administration at libadmin@uoregon.edu or your assigned subject specialist librarian.  We would be glad to hear your perspectives or answer any questions. Thank you.

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