Elsevier ScienceDirect negotiations

About the negotiations

The sector has now reached a three-year agreement with Elsevier providing both unlimited open access publishing and access to paywalled journal articles for a significant reduction on current institutional spend.

The sector's negotiations with Elsevier began in March 2020. The negotiations have been led by the sector and facilitated by Jisc.

In these negotiations, universities on behalf of their researchers and students had two core objectives: to reduce costs to levels they can sustain and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research.

The agreement provides unlimited and immediate open access to Elsevier ScienceDirect’s publications, as well as significant savings on total sector spend. This means that, alongside the sector’s other open access agreements, 80% of UK research can be made open access at no cost to authors

Together with the sector, Jisc has already successfully negotiated open access (OA) agreements with over 40 publishers from large commercial publishers such as Springer Nature and Wiley to smaller, society publishers. These agreements mean that researchers can publish open access at no cost to them at a sustainable cost to their institution whilst supporting funder and government policy.

Over 50% of all UK research output is covered by a Jisc-negotiated transitional agreement.  

Read more about the negotiations and why they matter.

Our role in open access and transitional agreements

We support the transition to open access through negotiating agreements that meet research funder policies and requiring the adoption of standards and service levels in those agreements.

News and blogs

UK universities accept Elsevier open-access proposal

Jisc confirms that sector has accepted the latest proposal from publisher, which meets core requirements.

Read on researchprofessionalnews.com

UK universities near Elsevier deal after publisher drops price

Rigorous ‘no deal’ planning paved way for significant concessions, says library head.

Read on timeshighereducation.com


Standing up for fairer publishing practices needn't hinder your career

The ‘cost of knowledge petition’ takes a stand against the damaging practices of the world’s largest for-profit publisher, Elsevier.


Jisc’s response to Elsevier ScienceDirect negotiations statement

"We support the sector’s strong, unified rejection of the latest proposal from Elsevier and have requested a revised proposal."


Publishing research openly is not just a ‘nice to have’

Anne Mills, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, shares how the response to COVID-19 has demonstrated the huge value of open science, and how a united front is needed to accelerate the transition toward this new way of working.


Open access publishing should be the default

Chris Banks, library director at Imperial College London reflects on the importance of a rapid shift toward full and immediate open access to research.

Key milestones

23 March 2022
Agreement with Elsevier announced.

2 February 2022 
Recommendation to proceed to contract based on consultation results endorsed by CNSG.

31 January 2022  
Consultation on seventh proposal closed.

16 December 2021
Consultation on seventh proposal launched.

29 October 2021
Seventh proposal received.

28 October 2021
Sixth proposal rejected; revisions sought.

18 October 2021
Fifth negotiation meeting.

7 October 2021
Consultation launched with UK Universities on the sixth proposal.

6 September 2021
Sixth proposal received.

3 September 2021
Fifth proposal received. Proposal rejected; revisions sought.

26 August 2021
Fourth proposal received. Proposal rejected; revisions sought.

28 July 2021
Third proposal received. Proposal rejected; revisions sought.

12 July 2021
Fourth negotiation meeting with Elsevier - proposal rejected.

5 July 2021
Second proposal received.

7 June 2021
Third negotiation meeting with Elsevier and presentation of offer framework.

4 June 2021
First proposal rejected.

5 May 2021
First proposal received from Elsevier.

May 2021
Consultation with UK universities on cost and content for a transitional open access agreement.
Second negotiation meeting with Elsevier.

2 March 2021
First negotiation meeting with Elsevier.

December 2020
Communications strategy and briefing pack shared with UK universities.

30 November 2020
Negotiation strategy, governance and communications plan endorsed by UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group.

7 October 2020
Priorities for the next agreement endorsed by UK universities and UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group.

September 2020
Consultation with UK universities on negotiation strategy, governance and priorities for the next Elsevier ScienceDirect agreement.

The Jisc content expert group and UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group also met regularly.

Get in touch

We welcome enquiries about the Elsevier negotiations.

Media enquiries

Email: media@jisc.ac.uk
Jisc media line: 07443 983571

General enquires

Anna Vernon, head of licensing
Email: anna.vernon@jisc.ac.uk
Mobile: 07702 332744