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Elsevier subscription negotiations: Overview

Elsevier Deal March 2022

Durham stands with UK Universities in Elsevier deal 

On 23 March 2022, an agreement between UK Universities and the academic publisher Elsevier was announced. 

An agreement has been reached and includes both unlimited open access publishing and access to paywalled journal articles for a reduction on current institutional costs. The three-year deal has also secured a cost reduction and price cap on publishing in Elsevier’s fully open access journals.  

The deal has been accepted by UK Universities as it meets the core requirements set out by the sector, including the need to significantly reduce existing expenditure and provide full open access publishing to all UK researchers at all UK institutions.  

Read more about what this means and changes in the way Durham members can publish in Elsevier journals. 

Elsevier Negotiations Overview

Negotiations for a new agreement between UK Universities and the publisher Elsevier commenced in March 2021, led by the sector and facilitated by Jisc.  

In these negotiations, universities on behalf of their researchers and students have two main objectives:  

  • to reduce costs to sustainable levels 
  • to provide full and immediate open access to UK research. 

The Elsevier contract is due for renewal in December 2021. 

Why are the negotiations taking place? 

Open access to research allows for greater impact, expanding access worldwide and the potential for collaborative work to benefit the national and international research community. 

Elsevier is now the only major publisher that does not have a combined open access agreement in place. Costs to provide access to Elsevier’s journals are high - higher than with any other publisher and continuing to increase - but do not include an open access agreement. This means that additional fees must be paid to allow research to be made openly available through Elsevier, putting increased pressure on institutional funds and making costs unsustainable. 

Elsevier is now the outlier; the only major publisher not to offer a transitional open access agreement to UK universities. Elsevier’s competitors are all providing integrated contracts for access and open access publishing at a significantly lower cost per article. 

The negotiations process 

The first round of negotiations is currently underway, with the Library working closely with Jisc and the wider University to support this process for the best possible outcome. If you have any feedback or wish to be kept up to date with the negotiation process, please contact 

To find out more about the negotiations, visit 

Elsevier Subscription Negotiations overview. 

Open Access agreements: Jisc and Elsevier negotiations

Watch this video for Jisc’s approach to negotiating open access agreements on behalf of the UK research community.

Elsevier enquiries

If you have any feedback or wish to be kept up to date with the negotiation process, please contact