Elsevier Negotiations Stalled: Plan Moving Ahead

In March 2022, Interim Library Dean Michael Bowman distributed an announcement regarding negotiations with the scholarly publisher Elsevier, for journal access beginning in January 2023. The Elsevier journal package is by far the biggest expenditure made by the University Library for content. And to quote our colleagues from the University of Washington Libraries: “The Elsevier journal package reinforces the scholarly publishing model based on paywalls and rationing of access, inequitable opportunities for publishing, and excessive pricing and annual price increases that undermines a scholarly ecosystem where the open sharing of knowledge is critical to accelerating change for the public good.”

This negotiation was undertaken with Oregon State University and University of Oregon to leverage journal cost containment and access across all three Oregon Universities. The goals of this negotiation were to achieve the following:

  • Transparent and fair product pricing that appropriately reflects an ongoing shift to open publishing and data sharing. 
  • Respect for rights of authors to retain reasonable rights to share and preserve their own published works, and support for the immediate deposit of accepted manuscripts into appropriate library or disciplinary repositories.

To date, Elsevier’s proposals have not come close to addressing these reasonable concerns, and the pace of negotiation has been delayed by their slow response times and repeated postponement and rescheduling of negotiation meetings. At this time, the three Oregon Libraries agree that further negotiation this year will not be productive. The Libraries are notifying Elsevier on November 18th that they are pausing negotiations. All three Oregon University Libraries intend to re-open negotiations in 2023, and they will continue to gather feedback and input from our campus communities to inform our position. In the meantime, Portland State University Library and its two partners face a lapse in contract. The University of Washington Libraries are also facing a lapsed contract.

What does this mean for you: 

  • In the short term, our current contract with Elsevier will end on December 31, 2022. At that time, and until any new agreement is reached, we will cease receiving access to new 2023 Elsevier-published content.
  • We will retain access to the content of our 150 most-used, subscribed journals, that were published from January 1997 up to and including December 31, 2022.
  • We will have access to a growing share of open access published articles published in Elsevier journals, which for some journal titles includes over 70% of newly published content.
  • The Oregon Health and Sciences University Library will continue to have access to the full Elsevier collection. 
  • Our Libraries are committed to minimizing any inconvenience to researchers and ensuring that researchers are able to access the content they need, through a raft of alternative access measures.
  • You can still publish your work in or review for Elsevier journals; these activities are unaffected.

If you have any questions or feedback please email library@pdx.edu.