Lib4RI-Update #32: Elsevier and Taylor & Francis: no agreement for 2024 yet


December 2023 marks the end of the first Read & Publish agreements with Elsevier as well as with Taylor & Francis. These agreements provide reading access to the journal portfolio of the two publishers and enable Open Access (OA) publishing for researchers affiliated with the 4RIs across the majority of their gold and hybrid journals. Entering 2024 without an agreement will restrict access to articles as well as stop free OA publishing for researchers in Switzerland.

Swissuniversities, the representative body of Swiss Higher Education Institutions, is in charge of the Swiss negotiations with Elsevier for a new “Big Deal”. These negotiations are guided by the negotiation mandate formulated earlier this year, cf. "Big Deal Negotiations: Aims and Governance". Despite the diligent efforts of the negotiation team to secure an agreement, Elsevier’s offers did not meet the minimum requirements. Swissuniversities has now decided to enter into a “no deal” state and has made preparations for a situation without an agreement. The negotiation team will nevertheless continue their negotiations with Elsevier.

Similarly, the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries has assessed that Taylor & Francis’ current proposal does not align with the national transformative approach. Their negotiators will continue to work on an acceptable Read and Publish agreement with Taylor & Francis, but it is likely that a deal cannot be finalised before the end of the year.

A contractless situation will have implications for both reading access and publishing OA in the Elsevier and Taylor & Francis journal portfolios.

Reading options for Elsevier and Taylor & Francis journals

Publishers usually grant a grace period. Hence, it is not expected that reading access will be disabled on 1 January 2024.

However, once Elsevier and Taylor & Francis disable access, our users will only be able to access content of journal articles published until the end of 2023, for which Lib4RI has acquired Post-Cancellation Access rights. We have selected the most essential journal titles based on usage. If you require access to further articles, please refer to swissuniversities’ factsheet “How to get the article” through alternative channels – or simply ask us.

Publishing Open Access in Elsevier’s journals

Articles submitted to journals published by Elsevier after 31.12.2023 will no longer be eligible for Open Access funding through Lib4RI. Please also note that all articles submitted before the end of 2023 remain eligible for publishing OA through the current agreement.

Researchers can still publish closed access in hybrid OA journals. While OA is optionally available upon payment of a publication fee (Article Processing Charges or APC), Lib4RI strongly encourages authors not to pay any APCs and instead to make use of the right to publish their accepted manuscripts OA in DORA. This usually involves an embargo period of 12 - 24 months. However, this embargo period can be avoided if you publish the accepted manuscript on your personal webpage; see the detailed instructions here.

Publishing Open Access in Taylor & Francis’ hybrid journals

Articles accepted for publication in hybrid journals published by Taylor & Francis will no longer be eligible for OA funding through Lib4RI in 2024.

Researchers can still publish closed access in these journals. Please make sure to submit your accepted manuscripts to DORA where they will be published OA after a defined embargo period.

Recommendation: do not pay APCs for Elsevier and Taylor & Francis

We would further like to discourage researchers from paying any APCs until the national negotiations are completed. APCs are a source of revenue that undermines the Swiss negotiation power. According to the regulations of the Gold OA fund, we will not be able to pay any APCs for articles in Elsevier OA journals from our OA fund until the conclusion of the negotiations.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these negotiations. Our top priority remains to secure access to essential resources for your research and to enable OA publishing. Switzerland needs to secure fair and sustainable agreements with scientific publishers in order to move into the future together. We therefore welcome swissuniversities’ persistency in negotiating a more acceptable deal.

For more details and frequently asked questions, please refer to the information provided by swissuniversities (Elsevier) and the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries (Taylor & Francis).

Read the entire Lib4RI Update #32

See also: Lib4RI-Update archive