Open Access Publishing
September 30, 2019

Fall quarter has just begun, but there were some important developments this summer regarding access to and publishing in scholarly journals.

Here are the most important things to know:

Elsevier discontinued UC’s access to 2019 articles, but the UCR Library is here to help

Following a breakdown in contract negotiations between the University of California and scholarly journal publisher Elsevier earlier this year, Elsevier discontinued UC’s direct access to 2019 articles (and some older articles) in July. (Need a refresher on how we got here? Here’s an overview.)

●     Looking for a 2019 Elsevier article? UCR Library staff prepared this guide on alternative access to articles, including how to find open access versions by requests to the author, through plug-ins, Open Access repositories, or subject specific collections of article pre-prints. The library also offers expedited document delivery, if an article is not available through any of the above methods or via UC-eLinks. Expedited electronic delivery usually takes between two and 24 hours during the work week.

The systemwide Academic Senate has encouraged stakeholders across UC to take advantage of these options and refrain from any new independent subscriptions to Elsevier journals at this time. “By ‘holding the line,’” the Senate leadership writes, “the UC can help change the system of scholarly communication for the betterment of all.”

●     Looking for an earlier article? It’s probably still available via ScienceDirect. UC has permanent access rights to the majority of articles published before January 1, 2019, in a large percentage of previously subscribed Elsevier journals, with certain exceptions (link will download an Excel list).

●     What’s next? UC is hoping to re-enter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that it is willing to discuss a contract that achieves the faculty-supported goals of containing journal subscription costs while moving towards full open access to UC research — an objective deeply rooted in UC’s mission, as a public university, to make knowledge freely and openly available.

Contact Ask-A-Librarian with questions or to get help.

Funding support for open access publishing with Cambridge University Press

Meanwhile, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever for UC authors to publish open access articles in Cambridge University Press journals, thanks to an agreement UC reached with Cambridge last spring. During the 2019 launch phase, there will be no cost to UC authors to publish most* articles open access with Cambridge. 

Starting in 2020, when the standard process will be in place, Cambridge will give every UC author a 30% discount on open access fees and the UC Libraries will pay $1,000 toward the remaining open access fee. The UC Libraries will ask authors who have grant funding to pay the remainder of the open access fee, if any. Authors who do not have grant funding available for this purpose can request that the UC Libraries pay the remainder of the fee on their behalf. Asking authors to contribute grant funds if they are able to do so helps expand the pool of funds available to support open access publishing, so that all UC authors have that opportunity.

*The UC Libraries’ funding support applies to research articles, review articles, and proceedings papers with a UC corresponding author in most Cambridge journals (some society journals do not yet offer an open access option).

Learn more or contact Assistant University Librarian for Content and Discovery Tiffany Moxham with any questions.