University of California and Elsevier sign ground-breaking transformative agreement

Four-year agreement supports University of California’s transition to Open Access

Test and learn approach will implement UC’s pioneering shared funding model at unprecedented scale

London, March 16, 2021

Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, and the University of California (UC) have signed a ground-breaking memorandum of understanding to support open access (OA) publishing across the 10-campus UC system.

Elsevier aims to find the right solutions to meet the diverse needs of academic institutions, researchers and funders around the world, while ensuring published research remains trusted and high quality.

The four-year agreement pilots UC’s pioneering shared funding model at an unprecedented scale and will support UC’s libraries, funders and authors to increase open access publishing while also enabling all UC researchers to read Elsevier's extensive portfolio of journals.

This agreement has the potential to support sustainable open access for the future, in particular for a highly research-intensive university such as UC and helps deliver the University’s goal of securing open access to UC research.

As part of the agreement, Elsevier will implement UC’s shared funding model utilizing the company’s leading publishing systems which enable funding from multiple sources such as library budgets, funder grants and researcher funds.

It also presents an opportunity to better understand and learn from author adoption, helping progress open access publishing at UC and beyond.

Ivy Anderson, Associate Executive Director of the California Digital Library, and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team said: “UC strives to support all scholars who wish to publish their findings open access, and this agreement marks a significant step toward that goal. We came a long way together to reach an agreement that will enable all UC research published in Elsevier to be freely available.”

Gino Ussi, Executive Vice President Research Solutions said: “Our agreement with UC delivers a real win for the world-class researchers across the UC system, supporting them to publish open access and read high quality, trusted research by others in Elsevier journals. The collaboration and flexibility from both sides led to a truly tailored approach, based on the needs of the research-intensive UC community, so that we can test and learn from author choices and enable a sustainable transition to open access for UC research.”

This agreement is the latest in a series of open access pilots Elsevier has launched with universities across the US and around the world. Elsevier is testing and learning from these agreements, enabling us to work with our partners to provide researchers and institutions around the world with choices that meet their diverse needs.

In 2020 Elsevier published 81,000 open access articles, up 65 percent from 2019, making the company one of the largest open access publishers in the world. Nearly all of Elsevier's 2,600 journals now enable OA publishing. For more on how Elsevier supports open access, please visit our website.

You can find the full agreement here.


Playing our part in open research
Where the need is greatest and we can make the biggest difference in a sustainable way, Elsevier makes research completely free to access. In addition, all our reading and discovery platforms have extensive free-to-read options. Some examples of this commitment include:

  • Authors who publish with our journals are immediately able to share their peer reviewed, accepted manuscript on non-commercial personal homepages or blogs, within their institution, and with collaborators.
  • We offer free access to relevant research for health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Patients and caregivers are provided with papers related to medicine and healthcare upon request to help them better understand the latest research on their conditions.
  • We ensure everyone can access a collection of the work from each year’s Nobel Prize winners.
  • We have also completely opened the archives for 140 journals, including Cell Press research journals after 12 months.
  • Through Research4Life, institutions in 120 low- and middle-income countries receive affordable access to nearly 100,400 peer reviewed resources. As a founding member, Elsevier provides over a quarter of that content, as well as access to the abstract and citation database Scopus, and trainings for librarians.
  • We automatically apply waivers or discounts to articles in fully gold OA journals for which all authors are based in a low-income country.

About Elsevier
As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making for customers across the global research and health ecosystems.

In everything we publish, we uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity. We bring that same rigor to our information analytics solutions for researchers, health professionals, institutions and funders.

Elsevier employs 8,100 people worldwide. We have supported the work of our research and health partners for more than 140 years. Growing from our roots in publishing, we offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users make breakthroughs and drive societal progress. Digital solutions such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath support strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and health education. Researchers and healthcare professionals rely on our 2,500+ digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell; our 40,000 eBook titles; and our iconic reference works, such as Gray's Anatomy. With the Elsevier Foundation and our external Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, we work in partnership with diverse stakeholders to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world.

Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Media contacts
Alice Hunt, Senior Vice President
Elsevier Communications, UK

Andrew Davis, Vice President
Elsevier Communications, UK