Open letter: Elsevier access suspended

TO: The UC Berkeley academic community 
FROM: Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and Professor
RE: Elsevier access suspended

July 10, 2019

The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January, but until now the publisher continued to allow access to 2019 articles via its web platform, ScienceDirect. As of today, July 10, UC’s direct access to new Elsevier articles has been discontinued.

What is affected: Members of the UC community no longer have direct access to:

What is not affected: Articles published before 2019 in most Elsevier journals (covering about 95% of historical usage) should continue to be available via ScienceDirect.

Please note that the process for discontinuing access is complex, so access to specific journals or articles may fluctuate until Elsevier’s rollout of these changes is complete. 

The systemwide faculty Senate has encouraged stakeholders across UC to use alternative access methods or contact their campus library for assistance in obtaining articles, and to 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.”

How to get the articles you need

Information about other ways to access Elsevier articles is available on the Library’s website and summarized below. There are several options — plus, the Library is always here to help.  

What happens next?

We will be carefully evaluating the impact of losing access to new articles on ScienceDirect over the coming months, and will do our best to ensure that you have access to the articles you need. Meanwhile, UC is hoping to re-enter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that they are willing to discuss a contract that integrates the university’s goals of containing costs and facilitating open access to UC research.

If you have any questions or need help accessing an article, please don’t hesitate to contact the Library at scholarly-resources@lists.berkeley.edu at any time. 

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian
Professor, School of Information and Professor of Economics