16 March 2021
The University of California has announced a pioneering open access agreement with Elsevier. The agreement is the largest of its kind in North America to date, bringing together UC, which generates nearly 10 percent of all U.S. research output, and Elsevier, which disseminates about 17 percent of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The deal will double the number of articles made available through UC’s transformative open access agreements.
“This groundbreaking agreement will allow for more open, equitable access to information,” said UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “As more universities and research institutions support open access, scientific knowledge will advance at an unparalleled pace.”
Two years after the University cut ties with the publisher in a push for open access to publicly funded research, UC and Elsevier are able to bridge differences and reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial while helping advance the critical work of researchers worldwide. Open access publishing, which makes research freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, fulfills UC’s mission and has been a University priority since 2013, when the systemwide faculty Academic Senate affirmed its commitment to “disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible.”
“This development is a boon for researchers, students and all other members of the public who will be able to read, use and build upon UC’s research and scholarly work,” said Marta Margeta, associate professor of pathology at UC San Francisco and chair of the UC Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC). “At all times, and especially now during a global health crisis, openly and rapidly sharing our research can and will save lives.”
Under the four-year deal, all research with a UC lead author published in Elsevier’s extensive portfolio of hybrid and open access journals will be open access by default. It is the first such agreement to include open access publishing in the entire Cell Press and Lancet families of journals, which are considered among the world’s most prestigious scientific and medical titles. University researchers will also be able to read articles published in Elsevier journals.
“Our agreement with UC delivers a real win for the world-class researchers across the UC system, supporting them to publish open access in Elsevier journals and access high-quality, trusted research by others,” said Kumsal Bayazit, chief executive officer of Elsevier. “Both sides showed flexibility to reach a truly tailored approach, based on the needs of the research-intensive UC community, so we can test and learn from author choices and enable a sustainable transition to universal open access to UC research.”
(Editor's note: here is a link to the MOU for the deal