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The University subscribes to over 1,800 Elsevier ScienceDirect journals, comprising a significant portion of the literature that our researchers engage with daily. Our authors also publish extensively in Elsevier journals, although there is currently no open access agreement in place and open access fees are paid on an article-by-article basis where funding is available.  

The contract between Elsevier and UK Universities is due for renewal in December 2021, with negotiations led by a UUK/Jisc Negotiations Team on behalf of the sector. 

The sector is entering negotiations with the aim of securing a read and publish agreement that converts subscription expenditure to support immediate open access publishing and maintains access to paywalled content for a reduced fee. So-called ‘transitional’ or ‘transformative’ agreements (TAs) are supported by Plan S funders with the goal of achieving full and immediate open access.  

At Cambridge we are currently in an information and data gathering stage that will inform institutional responses to proposals and influence negotiations. The Library is working with the Journal Coordination Scheme (JCS) Steering Group and senior leadership (JCS Chair and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research). To support planning and analysis throughout the process we are keen to hear all voices, from across disciplines and roles, to ensure the University’s decision is rooted in the interests of researchers at all levels. Plans for a broad University consultation are being developed and notices about this will be circulated in due course. In addition, data about past usage of, and publishing in, Elsevier journals will help us to form a picture about the implications of any future proposed deals. 

In the meantime, we welcome feedback and expressions of interest from anyone wishing to participate in future events and engagement plans. You can contribute through this form or write to us at