Response to the University of California's nonrenewal of Elsevier subscriptions

On Thursday, February 28, 2019 the University of California (UC) announced that it was not renewing subscriptions with Elsevier, the largest commercial publisher of scholarly journals, after months of contract negotiations that sought to secure “universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.” Since UC’s decision, Norwegian research institutions have also ended their subscription agreement with Elsevier.

The U of T Libraries supports initiatives that eliminate paywalls and reduce the cost of access to taxpayer-funded research, such as the principled stand taken in negotiations by the UC. The stand taken by UC requires support from all members of the university community. As we watch for further developments from UC's negotiations, we will look for ways to engage our faculty, researchers, and students in our own license negotiations as our journal subscription contracts are up for renewal in the coming years.

The University of Toronto partners with other Canadian universities through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) to negotiate access to Elsevier’s journal package. CRKN is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research and teaching enterprise in Canada.

The U of T Libraries commits to working closely with our partners and peers in Canada through CRKN.  We support CRKN’s intent to develop and promote a made-in-Canada approach to securing equitable access to the results of publicly-funded research and to negotiate a sustainable model for paying for it.