No Big Deal?

News from around the world


NERL Develops "Backflip" Open Access Pilot with Elsevier

Center for Research Libraries

NERL, a consortium representing some of America’s leading research institutions, and Elsevier have established a new three-year agreement that provides 13 of the NERL member institutions with ScienceDirect access and pilots retroactive open access (OA) for participating institutions’ authors.

Posted on February 7, 2022

About the Elsevier ScienceDirect journals agreement negotiations [in the UK]


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.

In 2021, sector expenditure will total over £50m, comprised of subscription spend and 2019 hybrid open access publishing spend. For this spend, approximately 25% of UK authored articles published with Elsevier will be published open access.

Universities, researchers, and funders need the investment they make in creating and funding research published by Elsevier to deliver better value.

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.

Posted on May 17, 2021

UK deal allows evaluation of journal agreements

Research Information

The agreement will help individual SCONUL members in the UK to use Unsub, a data analysis and dashboard tool that enables libraries and consortia to independently assess the value of the journal subscriptions they hold with publishers. 

The agreement will also allow universities to assess and share various scenarios of selecting journal titles. Modelling different scenarios gives university libraries greater insight into the value of their subscription packages, with the opportunity to share their outcomes with the Jisc consortium to enable greater oversight in support of national negotiation activities. 

Posted on May 17, 2021

Purdue University Finalizes Contract with Elsevier

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

After a months’ long negotiation process that included extensive input from faculty, staff, and students, Purdue University and its regional campuses have now finalized a one-year contract with academic publisher Elsevier. At a cost of $1.86 million, the new deal reduces Purdue’s total spend with Elsevier by close to $1.5 million. Purdue deemed the new title-by-title contract necessary after years of increased subscription fees.

Posted on May 7, 2021

Four Concerns About the new UC-Elsevier Deal

The Taper

While libraries in the US expressed solidarity with the UC’s fight with Elsevier over pricing and open access when they walked away from negotiations in 2019, some US libraries, librarians, and even some OA publishers seem to be skeptical of the UC’s approach to ‘transforming’ scholarly publishing through its new deal with Elsevier. Why? I can only speak for myself, but here, in a nutshell, are some key things that make me hesitate to cheer this new deal:

Posted on March 19, 2021

News and links about big journal bundles and strategic budget choices facing libraries.

This page collects UVA Library News items and links about “Big Deals,” the journal bundles that account for the largest portion of UVA Library collections spending.

For years libraries have wrestled with the Big Deal value proposition: access to all of the journal articles controlled by a corporate vendor (Elsevier, SpringerNature, Wiley, and Sage are some of the biggest) in exchange for one large, steadily-growing lump payment. That value proposition has broken down in recent years. Read more about Sustainable Scholarship at UVA.

Take Action

While it is difficult for individuals to change large, complex, systems, there are choices that can help move scholarly publishing in a better direction. Find out some steps you can take to promote change.