Tulane University Libraries Signs Transformative Open Access Agreement with Elsevier

Tulane University Libraries has signed a transformative open access agreement with Elsevier, one of the largest publishers of scholarly journals in the world, publishing more than 2,600 titles. The agreement is among the first of its kind between Elsevier and an independent U.S. library negotiating outside of a large consortium and comes just weeks after our announcement of a similar arrangement with the global publisher Wiley (nearly 2,000 titles).

The agreement covers the article publication charges in Elsevier journals for Tulane primary authors who want their articles to be published as open access or publicly available. The full cost of these charges will be built into the annual journal subscription costs paid by the library. To allow for this, the library and publisher agreed to a four-year license term and sustainable caps on overall subscription costs during that period. Elsevier's journals and eBooks reside on a platform well known to researchers called ScienceDirect.

The number of article publication charges (APCs) to be “waived” each year was determined by the publication history of Tulane primary authors and includes a gradual ramp-up of waivers described as a bridge to full public access for articles by Tulane authors in years three and four of the term. We expect the bridge to be mitigated somewhat by the gradual embrace of the open access option by authors. Tulane will receive APC waivers on up to 76 or 50% of 153 projected articles in 2023, 119 or 75% of 159 projected articles in 2024, 165 or 100% of its projected articles in 2025, and 172 or 100% of its projected articles in 2026. The agreement takes effect on January 1.

For Tulane authors, this web site contains a wealth of information about the agreement and how it works: https://www.elsevier.com/open-access/agreements/tulane-university

This page provides a title list in which authors can verify which journals are covered: https://agreements.journals.elsevier.com/tulane-university

Public access to research findings is important for many good reasons. It has added importance now for Tulane because new guidelines from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy call for the results of all federally funded research to be freely available without paywalls.

This is the fifth agreement with a major scholarly journal publisher that Tulane University Libraries has negotiated to waive the article publication charges for Tulane authors who want their articles to be published as open access or publicly available. The other publishers include Wiley with its nearly 2,000 journals, Cambridge University Press, with 400 journals spread across science, engineering, medicine, social science, and humanities disciplines; the American Chemical Society (ACS), with around 65 journals focused on chemistry and related fields; and the PLOS (Public Library of Science), a highly-regarded publisher of 12 fully open-access journals in science and medicine.

These publishers typically direct Tulane affiliate authors to the waivers described above at the journal end during the article submittal process, making access to them relatively easy.

Elsevier agreement