Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Open vs. Closed - Part 2

12-11-18 (Via Email)

Dear Colleagues:
As you may know, the UC Libraries are negotiating a new contract with the scholarly journal publishing giant Elsevier. We are deeply concerned with these negotiations because of the amount of money involved and the control Elsevier exerts over the intellectual efforts of UC’s faculty, researchers, and staff.
UC is collectively paying Elsevier more than $11.5 million for its journals, products, and services. In addition, countless UC faculty members, researchers, and staff members write and review articles published in those journals and serve on their editorial boards. The company’s profit margin is 40%, much of it earned from your intellectual capital and unpaid work. This current situation is unsustainable for the UC system.
While these negotiations are going on, we urge you to consider:
Declining to review articles for Elsevier journals until negotiations are clearly moving in a productive direction.
Looking at other journal publishing options, including prestigious open access journals in your discipline.
Contacting the publisher, if you’re on the editorial board of an Elsevier journal, and letting them know that you share the negotiators’ concerns.
Using UC’s open access policies to make your final pre-publication manuscript publicly accessible.
We will update you if there is any substantive news to report from the negotiations. Elsevier has begun contacting journal editors at some campuses, and its message doesn’t fully represent all sides of the issue or what is being discussed in the negotiations. If you receive the Elsevier message and would like to discuss it, please contact Joseph Bristow ( or 310-825-4173) or Ginny Steel ( or 310-825-1201).
The UC Libraries are working on alternative access methods should they become necessary; while we very much hope that will not be the case, we will nevertheless notify you immediately if negotiations reach that point.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
Scott L. Waugh
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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