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A message from Dean of Libraries, Anne-Marie Deitering:
Welcome back and I hope your preparations for the start of fall term are going well. I am writing today to update you on our Elsevier contract. This is a long email, so here is what I will be covering:
As we shared last year, the library works through hundreds of contracts annually. To do this work, we are guided by the Principles Guiding Negotiations with Journal Vendors that we created collaboratively with OSU faculty, and which were endorsed by the Faculty Senate in 2022. Last year, after seven months of unproductive negotiations, we made the decision to allow OSU’s contract with Elsevier to lapse starting January 1, 2023. UW, UO and PSU made similar decisions at about the same time.
At the end of the summer, we reached out to Elsevier to find out if they would be willing to reopen negotiations towards a new contract based on a transparent pricing model. They are still unwilling to consider any models outside of multi-year, multi-title package deals or the Read and Publish agreements they have negotiated with universities like our colleagues to the south in the UC system. Read and Publish models are very expensive, and becoming more expensive every year. They further entrench the pay-to-publish business model that currently drives open access publishing in the US and Europe. We believe that this business model is inequitable, opaque and unsustainable. And we are not alone in this. Last year, some of the best-resourced universities in the US came out strong against this model, and in Europe, where pay-to-publish agreements are in widespread use, an influential coalition of funding agencies recently ended its financial support for these agreements. We have made it clear to Elsevier that we need them to work with us on a pricing model that is transparent, and based on the real value they add. We are willing to be creative, and to work with Elsevier towards this goal in the future.
Analysis of Elsevier usage data in 2023
OSU Libraries acquired new tools to make it easier for OSU researchers to acquire articles on demand. These tools have two benefits:
Now, we need to identify essential titles – titles where immediate, subscription access makes the most sense for OSU -- to take to Elsevier later this year. Over the summer we analyzed the usage data generated on our various platforms and delivery systems in the first half of 2023. We used that data to create an initial draft list of high-use titles. To finalize this list, we need participation from you. There are some important limitations to the data we have available, and we rely on you to provide nuance:
We need you to tell us what we are not able to see in these data.
To help shape our essential titles list:
A side note about access – requesting articles is much easier and faster using new workflows
We are spending about $20,000 per month to purchase articles on demand right now. We think we should be purchasing more. We will not know how much subscriptions to our essential title list will cost until we receive that information from Elsevier. At the print-only price, the draft list alone would cost $200,000, which does not include the 15 titles for which there is no print price. Elsevier’s digital pricing model is not transparent, but we can assume based on past experience that the price for digital subscriptions will be much higher. On-demand services allow us to provide quick access to more people than subscriptions do. We want to be sure we are getting the most out of what we spend on subscriptions, and out of what we spend on on-demand services.
We have heard from some researchers that they are not using interlibrary loan or Article Delivery Service (purchase on demand) because the workflows are too onerous. In almost every case, the workflows they were using are outdated. It is these cases – where people want to be using the library to access but don’t know how that we would like to address.
If you are entering every Interlibrary Loan request manually, or if you do not know how to find the Article Delivery links to purchase on demand -- please Ask a Librarian or use this page to find out how to do these things using these new tools. In almost all cases, asking the library to purchase an article for you should take no more than a few clicks and a minutes-long wait. If it is taking more time or effort than that, let us know.
Where can I find current updates on journal negotiations?
You have a few options here. We will also be sending out another update by email in December of 2023 (or sooner if there is significant news to report.
Thank you for bearing with me through this long email. If you have input for us, please provide it, and if you would like someone from the libraries to come and talk to your department, program, lab or other unit, please let us know.
We are interested in getting your feedback to use in our decision-making process. Please complete the survey to tell us how not having immediate, unmediated access to the content will impact your teaching, learning and/or research. As a reminder, OSU Libraries is committed to providing alternative access to content we do not subscribe.
Oregon State University Libraries worked with interested parties across campus to establish principles supporting open and sustainable scholarly communication.This work is strongly in alignment with our Collection Values Framework that prioritizes equity of access, protecting user privacy, stewardship, and transparency of our work in managing collections. We work individually or through our consortial partners to establish licenses that align with our preferred licensing terms.We strive to complete the licensing approval process as quickly as possible to ensure timely access to content needed by our researchers, teachers and learners. When licenses contain our Open and Sustainable Scholarly Communication (OSSC) preferred terms (see table below), our contracts office can typically review and sign within 2-4 weeks. We understand that our preferred licensing terms may be new or different for some publishers and we will engage in the work to make incremental changes.
The typical review and approval process:
|OSSC Principles||Preferred Licensing Terms|
|Preservation and Accessibility||
|Sharing and Fair Use||
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