Elsevier Cuts Off UC Access to 2019 Articles

The exterior of the UC Davis Library study room.
The UC Davis Library has provided tips to access journal articles in the absence of direct access from Elsevier. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Elsevier is discontinuing the University of California’s access to its 2019 journal articles, the latest development since contract negotiations with the Dutch company stalled in February.

This means members of the UC community will no longer have direct access to 2019 articles in any Elsevier journal, such as The Lancet and Cell, as well as older articles in some other publications. UC has permanent access to articles published in 2018 or earlier in most Elsevier journals, according to the terms of the university’s prior contracts with the publisher.


Articles published before 2019 in the vast majority of journals used by UC scholars should continue to be available via ScienceDirect, according to a letter to the UC Davis academic community, posted today (July 10) by MacKenzie Smith, university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship, UC Davis; and Dennis J. Ventry Jr., UC Davis law professor and vice chair of the systemwide Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication.

The process of discontinuing access is complex, so access to specific journals or articles may fluctuate until Elsevier’s rollout of these changes is complete, Smith and Ventry wrote.

The UC Davis Library encourages the campus community to find journal articles with tools like Google Scholar, the web browser plugins Unpaywall and Open Access Button, and interlibrary loan requests.

"Meanwhile, UC is hoping to reenter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that they are willing to discuss a contract that integrates our goals of containing costs and facilitating open access to UC research,” Smith and Ventry wrote.

The systemwide Academic Senate’s executive body, the Academic Council, today encouraged the university community to act in solidarity, “holding the line” and refraining from purchasing any independent subscriptions to Elsevier journals at this time. “The UC can help change the system of scholarly communication for the betterment of all,” the council said in a statement, issued by Chair Robert C. May, professor of philosophy and linguistics, UC Davis; and Vice Chair Kum-Kum Bhavnani, professor of sociology, UC Santa Barbara.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Jessica Nusbaum, UC Davis Library, 530-752-4145, jlnusbaum@ucdavis.edu

Primary Category