Fantastic news from the world of scholarly publishing! After over two years of negotiations following a broken business relationship, the University of California (UC) and Elsevier have created a transformative agreement that represents a landmark victory for open access publishing.
The four-year agreement goes into effect on April 1, 2021 and restores UC access to articles published in Elsevier journals. More significantly, the deal allows UC authors to publish their work open access from day one — no embargo’s! — in some 2,300 Elsevier journals. The UC Library supports authors by covering a portion of the discounted open access fee; additional funding is available to cover the entire fee when authors lack the research funding to pay their share.
UC’s commitment to support open access publishing is important to everyone, not just members of the UC community. By “transforming the system of scholarly communication from one that is closed and unaffordable to one that is more open, fair, transparent, and sustainable” UC serves the public good: scholarly research that is open can be accessed by any member of the public, not just those affiliated with academic institutions. Open access to scholarly research is crucial to support the work of independent researchers and citizen scientists in every discipline. Kudos to UC for its leadership toward the goal of universal open access.