Thursday, July 4, 2019


[Email received yesterday]
To: UCLA Faculty and Staff
Dear Colleagues:
Although Elsevier has not yet provided the University of California with official notification, we now have reason to believe that the publisher will shut off direct access to 2019 articles via ScienceDirect in the first half of July, after the July 4 holiday.
When that happens, we will no longer have direct access to 2019 articles in all Elsevier journals or to the backfiles of certain journals [download Excel list]. Once the shutoff date is confirmed, we will email you and post a notice on the UCLA Library website.
Please note the following:
  • Users will continue to have access through ScienceDirect to most journal articles published prior to December 31, 2018. This covers about 86 percent of the titles covered by UC’s expired contract; a complete list is available online [download Excel list].
  • This will not affect access to e-books and patient care resources published by Elsevier, such as reference and clinical titles, or to non-journal research tools. Those are on separate contracts.
You will be able to access recent journal articles through the following methods:
  • Open repositories
  • Interlibrary loan or UC e-Links
  • Browser extensions
  • Contacting the author
Find details on all of these methods on the UCLA Library website. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your UCLA subject librarian.
Background and Next Steps
UC has been out of contract with Elsevier since January, and UC announced on February 28 that it had ended negotiations for a new contract with this publisher. Elsevier’s last offer failed to address UC’s central goal of a new contract that controlled costs while offering open access to research articles by UC faculty and staff. Specifically, the Elsevier offer added more than $10 million per year in article publishing fees to make articles open access immediately upon publication, on top of a multimillion-dollar annual subscription simply to read the articles that remain behind paywalls.
We are determined to make published research by UCLA authors as accessible as possible, but not at such a steep price. We cannot justify spending more taxpayer dollars on a single academic publisher. That would significantly reduce funds available to spend on all other library resources, which thousands of UCLA students, faculty and staff rely upon for teaching, learning and research every day. UC hopes to reenter formal negotiations with Elsevier when the publisher indicates that it is willing to offer a contract that achieves our goals of cost control and open access.
We understand that this may have a substantial and serious impact on you and your students. Please rest assured that we are working with other institutions and organizations that share our concerns to develop robust international scholarly publishing alternatives that meet the needs of authors, support a diverse community of publishers earning sustainable profits, expand access and remain affordable to institutions.
This ambitious effort requires the active involvement and support of you and your colleagues at academic and research institutions around the world. We look forward to working with you to achieve these goals.
Michael S. Levine
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Joseph E. Bristow
Chair, Academic Senate
Distinguished Professor, English
Ginny Steel
Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian

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