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Elsevier negotiations: Town Hall meetings

Find out about the ongoing Elsevier negotiations and discuss what they mean for us at Leeds.

Our Elsevier contract will end on 31 December 2021. National negotiations between the publisher Elsevier and UK Universities aim to secure a read and publish deal with Elsevier.

After several rounds of negotiations Elsevier has made an offer for a read and publish deal to the sector. Whilst the offer reduces overall cost, there is a significant increase in the costs of its premium Lancet and Cell Press titles. Universities will be asked to provide feedback on this offer to the negotiating team.

Book onto one of our online Town Hall meetings to find out about the Elsevier negotiations and discuss what the potential outcomes mean for us here at Leeds (University of Leeds login required).

Town Hall meetings will be held at these times:

  • Thursday 14 October, 10–11:30am
  • Friday 22 October, 2–3:30pm
  • Monday 1 November, 11–12:30pm
  • Tuesday 9 November, 2–3:30pm

Why a Read and Publish deal?

At present, UK universities are paying a subscription fee to read Elsevier content, whilst also paying article processing charges (APCs) to make research outputs openly available. A read-and-publish deal means that the publisher is paid so that we can both read their articles and publish articles in their journals under one contract.

The costs of maintaining these traditional read-only subscription arrangements alongside paying to publish are unsustainable. In 2021, UK universities will spend over £50million with Elsevier on subscriptions and APCs, with more than 20,000 UK articles published with Elsevier each year. In 2020 the University of Leeds paid £1million in subscription fees for Elsevier journals and an additional £300,000 to publish papers in those same titles.

Increasingly funders, including the UKRI and Wellcome, are mandating that the outputs associated with the research that they fund be made immediately openly available. A national read-and-publish deal with Elsevier would make these articles openly available, mean that authors don’t have to pay APCs in an ad hoc manner when choosing to publish open access, and would give read access to all Elsevier journals for those working and studying at UK universities.

What is the sector asking for?

The sector has two key aims: firstly the deal must be affordable for all HE institutions; secondly all research published with Elsevier from UK HE institutions must be immediately open access to ensure the widest reach and to maximise impact.

Overall, the sector is asking for a reduction in total cost (for access to read and to publish articles) of around 15%.

What happens if a Read and Publish deal is not agreed?

At the Town Hall meetings we will discuss alternative routes to access Elsevier content. We will also keep you informed through future Library news articles.

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