Elsevier negotiation update

After the initial meeting with Elsevier representatives, our joint negotiating team (from OSU, PSU, and UO) decided to focus first on some issues that we thought would be quickly resolved, to create space to work on the pieces of the agreement that would be more challenging. A small group has been working on those quicker issues. With our next face to face meeting coming up on August 3, 2022, we thought this would be good time to update our OSU community on the progress so far.

We are structuring our negotiations around the sustainable scholarly communication principles that were endorsed by the OSU Faculty Senate in May 2022. Some of the principles are already embedded into our existing agreement with Elsevier. We are focusing our energy on 4 areas where we believe change is needed:

Authorized users:

We are working productively on defining language that will work with OSU’s systems. We expect this will be resolved soon.

Open access:

Our discussions here have focused on this statement from our negotiating principles: “If the publisher has the technical ability to do so, they will directly deposit scholarly articles into Oregon State University’s ScholarsArchive@OSU repository”. We have not been able to make progress on this so far, and will be devoting a future face-to-face meeting to this issue.


This one is mixed. Elsevier has agreed to remove the confidentiality clause from our final agreement. However, transparency is also connected to price, and that piece is more complicated. We are asking for “a fair and sustainable price to publishers for value-added services, based on transparent and cost-based pricing models.” We will be focusing our August 3rd face-to-face meeting on this issue.

The 3 Oregon libraries are suggesting a new model based on usage, calculated at the article level. This would be a significant shift from all of our previous contracts, where costs have been calculated at the journal level. We believe that our proposed model is the most transparent way to define costs. We also believe that our proposed model recognizes the value that Elsevier’s platform adds to researcher workflows, while it gives all three libraries a transparent and clear way to explain to our communities what we are paying for. If we are not able to come to agreement on this approach, we will be asking Elsevier to develop a counter-proposal that transparently connects costs to value.

User data:

We are working productively on language that will define protections for user data (data created when researchers use licensed materials and Elsevier’s platform).

Sharing and Fair Use:

Our discussions here have focused on expanding our ability to share licensed materials with other libraries. This will also be the subject of a future face-to-face meeting.

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