I'm currently at the CSU-Elsevier Negotiations: Update & Implications meeting that is soliciting input from SJSU community members.

Library deans want to put as much pressure on Elsevier as possible so that faculty and students keep their copyrights on submissions.

This fell apart in the UC negotiations. CSU hopes it can use that as leverage.

CSU library deans want a "transformative agreement" so that all of our faculty can share their content freely.

But the overall goal is to ensure that faculty/students retain access to the important content that is in Elsevier journals.

We are not an insignificant size, with UC already pulled out, if CSU pulls out, the entire state of California public education would be gone.

CSU authors are *paying* Elsevier to make their articles open access using grant money. And CSU is paying for ~600 journal subscriptions for reading access using state funds.

"It's an unsustainable enterprise."
"People normally call this double dipping."

There's a 5% cost increase every year, so with budgets staying stable, you have to cut stuff every year regardless.

"The financial aspect is paramount."

Libraries are moving from paying for journals to paying to make papers open access. Because a paper that is open access is open in perpetuity.

Right now CSU is paying almost $4 million for the ScienceDirect for all campuses, per year.

Some institutions have "read-and-publish" deals with publishers. Basically, if a CSU publishes an article in that publisher's journal, then it will automatically become open access.

Sometimes authors approach CSU/library to ask if they can get funding to make their paper open access. But there's no money left in the budget for that. Answer is always "no."

CSU is looking at a "Transformative Agreement".

Shift subscription money from reading model to publishing model. It would set a fixed cost for making papers open access.

It transitions our articles from behind paywalls to open access. But faculty still get work with reputable journals/publishers.

Elsevier costs 10% of the entire library budget. That's ridiculous.

I can tell the presenter thinks this is ridiculous too, because they've started replacing "s"s with dollar signs.

CSU faculty published 469 articles in 2018 in Elsevier journals.

Only 29 were published as open access.

Using Elsevier prices ($3k per article), it would have cost $1.4 million to make everything open access.

SJSU Library had to cancel at least 12 title subscriptions so far, just to keep up with rising prices.

CSU Negotiation Priorities:

1. Sustainable pricing
2. Open access for CSU faculty authored works
3. Authors' retain copyright (Creative Commons licenses!)
4. Text mining for research purposes
5. Agreement duration (elimination of multiple-year agreements)

CSU is currently in the third year of a 3-year contract, which ends Dec. 31, 2019.

Floor is now open for audience priorities and thoughts.

Missed the question.

Presenter said there are usage statistics of specific journals. Nature ones are very expensive, and library needs certain download counts to justify paying that money.

Open question:

Would you feel comfortable with the CSU walking away, just like the UC did?

My comment: Yes. Students can always get the papers elsewhere, contact the authors, or honestly, practice civil disobedience and use Sci-Hub (audience laughs). I don't want my taxpayer and tuition money to go into such a corrupt industry.

Anthropology librarian: I'm torn, but because the costs keep going up, we have no room at all for new content. And if we keep negotiating with Elsevier, the situation will never get better. So I'm okay losing new access.

Clarification: Apparently even if we don't renew the contract, we don't lose the current access to journals that we don't have. We just don't get access to newly published articles.

Feedback from UC system: When people hit the new paywall, only ~1% actually put in a request with the library to get the article itself.

Professor: My students will just find another article if they hit a paywall.

Library dean: Exactly, there are alternatives. It's just a question if those alternatives are good.

Library dean: Problem is that at this rate we're going to lose all of our other journals except Elsevier becaues that's all we can afford.

Question: if we cancel the contract, what are you going to spend the money on?

Library dean: There are soo many things we'd like to buy because we haven't had any increase in funding. More likely we'd end with a partial Elsevier contract, not full.

Library dean: SJSU does not have the leverage to negotiate on its own, we need to negotiate as part of the CSU.

A little bit of humor: Elsevier was ready to negotiate with Norwegians, but not the "country of California" 😂

Education faculty: I am deeply troubled by the major ethical flaws/etc. by Elsevier. They're not just double dipping, they're triple and quadruple dripping.

Library dean: Agreed.

Education faculty: I respect the UC's decision to walk away.

The problem is that faculty are "graded" on their research impact by published articles. We need to look at the impact on how faculty are assessed/measured, and whether they are incentivized to make their research so it has a larger impact.


Library dean: We are culpable in this. We are the reason Elsevier exists. We do all the work. We do the research. And they make all the money!

Audience: For PDFs that are going to be open eventually anyways!

Next steps: there will be a survey for unmoderated feedback that will go to the entire CSU.

Elsevier negotiations are proprietary, but updates will be on the library website.

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