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The collective ambition of UK Universities is to negotiate a Read-and-Publish deal with Elsevier that meets the sector’s requirements on costs and open access.

In October 2021, the UK Higher Education sector was unified in supporting the rejection of Elsevier's sixth proposal, on the grounds that it did not yet meet the two core objectives of the negotiations: to reduce costs to levels which are sustainable, and facilitate rapid transition to full and immediate open access to UK research. A statement by the sector is available at University AllianceGuild HE Research; Russell Group, and Million Plus. You can also read Jisc's response to this statement

At the end of December 2021, Elsevier presented a 7th proposal for a new contract to UK Universities. The sector’s Elsevier Negotiation Team has evaluated this proposal against the UK Universities sector’s requirements, in discussion with Jisc’s strategic groups and sector bodies. A rapid sector consultation on the 7th proposal is now underway - please read this update for further details on how you can contribute to this before Monday 17 January 2022.    

As negotiations continue, institutions are positioning themselves to ensure that there are realistic solutions both for publishing open access and for alternative access to content if the decision is to not sign an agreement. This alternative solution is known in the UK University sector as 'Plan B'. Importantly, this Plan B does not just apply to Elsevier but would come into play in the event of opting out of deals with other big commercial publishers in future negotiations.

At Cambridge we are doing our best to engage our research communities with the Elsevier negotiation so that any decisions around the deal and potential implementation of Plan B will only take place following communication and engagement with research-active members of the University.