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Elsevier ScienceDirect journals negotiations: Home

Elsevier negotiations Overview

The contract between Elsevier and UK Universities is due for renewal in December 2021.

Negotiations for a new agreement between UK Universities and the publisher Elsevier commenced in March 2021, led by the sector and facilitated by Jisc.  

In these negotiations, universities on behalf of their researchers and students have two main objectives:  

  • to reduce costs to sustainable levels 
  • to provide full and immediate open access to UK research. 

Why Elsevier negotiations matter

Open research, and open access to research publications, is a priority for UK universities and research funders.

UK universities and research funders are committed to full and immediate open access and to transitioning swiftly away from paywalled access, as reflected in their policies and requirements for transformative agreements.

Elsevier is the largest publisher of UK research, but is now the only major publisher that does not have an agreement in place with UK universities that enables academics to both freely read and to freely publish the version of record immediately open access in compliance with funder policies including the Wellcome Trust.

The current Jisc Collections Elsevier ScienceDirect Journal agreement, which commenced in 2017 and will end on 31 December 2021, is the UK’s largest subscription agreement. In 2020, Elsevier received £41.95m in contractual subscription fees from subscribers to read content published in 1,808 subscription journals. Outside of the Jisc agreement, Elsevier also receives payments for articles to be published immediately open access in hybrid journals direct from researchers via institutions, and from research funders via institutions - in 2019 this was c£7.24m.

It is now necessary to negotiate an agreement that brings the costs of both reading and full and immediate open access publishing in line with other agreements and in line with funder policies and sector requirements.

An agreement with Elsevier that makes articles published by corresponding authors at UK universities immediately open access and enables the reading of articles that remain behind paywalls, at a sustainable cost, will accelerate and boost the visibility and impact of UK research and deliver better value for institutions, funders, students and researchers.

Open Access agreements: Jisc and Elsevier negotiations

More information on the Elsevier negotiations and Queen's Read & Publish agreements

To find out more about the negotiations, visit 

Queen's Transformative / Read & Publish agreements

Queen's researchers can now publish open access with no charge in journals that are part of a "transformative" or "read & publish" agreement. "Transformative" or "read & publish" agreements are a way for publishers to transition their subscription journals to full open access. The costs of open access are part of an overall Queen's payment covering both subscriptions and open access publishing. The open access charges are part of the agreement, therefore Queen's authors will not have a fee to pay when their paper is published.