Library Updates: Elsevier, Cambridge and PSEL

The UC Davis Library has provided updates on the following subjects, including news you may have missed this summer:

  • Elsevier journals UC did not renew its subscriptions for 2019, but the library has workarounds to obtain the content you need.
  • Cambridge University Press UC has an agreement in place for open-access publishing (the kind of deal UC continues to seek with Elsevier). Publishing is free in 2019, and a discount and UC financial support will take effect in 2020.
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering Library Closed through summer 2020.
  • The New York Times Free access continues, but faculty and staff may need to reauthenticate their subscriptions.
  • Fall exhibitions In the lobby of Shields Library, on the topics of gun violence and historic wine tastings.


Following a breakdown in contract negotiations between UC and Elsevier earlier this year, the university decided not to renew its subscriptions for 2019, and the journal publisher subsequently (in July) discontinued UC’s direct access to 2019 articles (and some older articles).

How did we get here? MacKenzie Smith, university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship, provides the background here (as published by The Conversation, July 15).

Elsevier workarounds

  • Looking for a 2019 Elsevier article? The library has published tips on other ways to access articles, such as how to find free versions when available. The library has also implemented new, faster interlibrary loan systems, including weekend and evening support, so that most articles are delivered within 24 hours — and some within just an hour or two. (For urgent interlibrary loan requests, use the “note” field to ask for an expedited copy, or contact the library’s interlibrary loan staff by email or phone, 530-752-1978.) The systemwide Academic Senate has encouraged stakeholders across UC to take advantage of these options and refrain from any new independent subscriptions to Elsevier journals at this time. “By ‘holding the line,’” the senate leadership wrote, “the UC can help change the system of scholarly communication for the betterment of all.”
  • Looking for an earlier article? It’s probably still available via ScienceDirect. UC has permanent access rights to articles published before Jan. 1, 2019, in most Elsevier journals, with these exceptions.
  • What’s next? UC is hoping to re-enter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that it is willing to discuss a contract that achieves the faculty-supported goals of containing journal subscription costs while moving toward full open access to UC research — an objective deeply rooted in UC’s mission, as a public university, to make knowledge freely and openly available. 

Send your questions by email.

Cambridge University Press

"Open Access" logo, with unlocked padlock

The agreement applies to research articles, review articles and proceedings papers with a UC corresponding author in most Cambridge journals (some society journals do not yet offer an open access option).

Learn more about open access publishing at UC.

Questions? Send an email to Michael Ladisch, the UC Davis Library’s scholarly communications officer.


The campus announced in early September that the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, which has been temporarily closed since June for asbestos abatement and installation of fire sprinklers and fire alarms as part of the QMAP Renovations and Seismic Retrofit project, must remain closed through summer 2020 due to a number of unforeseen construction, inspection and permitting issues.

The UC Davis Library began offering free online access to The New York Times last year, to all members of the campus community. Faculty and staff must reauthenticate annually to maintain their access. To set up your free account as a member of the UC Davis community for the first time, follow these instructions.

Fall exhibitions

On display in the Shields Library lobby:

2 people, tasting wineWine tasting
  • A Tale of Two Tastings, including the 1976 Judgment of Paris that put California wines on the global map. Through Feb. 3. (Location in the lobby: to the left of the main staircase.)
  • Gun Violence in America, in conjunction with the Campus Community Book Project. Through Oct. 31. (Location in the lobby: near the library entry.)

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Media Resources

Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556,

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