The University of California’s recent negotiations with Elsevier achieved a better deal for researchers than was initially given to them when they walked away in 2018.
After a two-year standoff, during which academics at the multi-campus system had no direct access to paywalled Elsevier content, the publisher largely bowed to California’s demand to cut overall costs while allowing California authors to publish open access.
This landmark deal, announced in March, was achieved at least in part because California academics were actively engaged with the negotiations and equipped to make their priorities known to the negotiators. They were also willing to ensure the shutting down of access to Elsevier journals in order to get what they wanted.
Improving understanding of publishing negotiations will similarly be crucial in the UK and the Republic of Ireland as Jisc sets out to secure on their behalf a similarly transformative deal with Elsevier that will meet the requirements of the Plan S open access initiative.