UH Libraries News

Elsevier Negotiations – March Update

TLCUA Update

The Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) negotiations with academic publisher Elsevier that cover UH Libraries journal subscriptions and access to journal content are ongoing. We’ve seen progress on some issues and believe we are getting close to a final offer.

At the heart of the negotiations are three key issues:

  1. Sustainable pricing models while maintaining title access
    Journal pricing has been unsustainable for some time. The Coalition is trying to maintain as much access to currently subscribed titles as possible while significantly reducing overall expenditures.

  2. Copyright retention/reversion for authors
    Authors are often expected to sign over their copyright as part of the agreement with the publisher, which can impede how authors are able to re-use or re-publish their work in the future. The Coalition believes that ownership matters and that this must change; Elsevier has indicated a willingness to engage creatively on this topic.

  3. Post-termination access to subscribed content
    Post-termination access is the ability to access prior years’ content from subscribed journals in the future, regardless of the current status of the subscription. Much like with a print journal, where we can keep copies available to library users even after ending a subscription, we want to be able to retain access to journal articles that we subscribed to electronically after the subscription ends. We believe PTA is important to the preservation of knowledge and the creation of new scholarship.

UC Deal

Last week, two years after walking away from negotiations and their big deal with Elsevier, the University of California system announced a transformative open access agreement with Elsevier. This four-year agreement restores reading access to Elsevier journal titles and provides reduced article processing charges (APC) for open access publishing in Elsevier journals.

While the Coalition members support open access, many TLCUA members cannot afford the type of deal that UC signed with Elsevier. The Coalition is seeking a solution that prioritizes sustainable pricing without sacrificing post-termination access and author rights, while UC prioritized a multi-payer model for open access publishing and enabling universal open access for all UC research.

For more information, consider these readings:

  • UC agreement overview
  • Scholarly Kitchen post for background and overview
  • Inside Higher Ed analysis of long-term impacts

Your support in these negotiations is critical and greatly appreciated. We welcome your feedback and questions at collections@uh.edu.

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on March 25th, 2021 and filed under Announcements, Featured