Deadlock breaks as RLUK announces new ‘big deal’ with Elsevier

Research libraries have reached a “new and improved” deal with the journal publisher Elsevier that ends a four-month stand-off between the two.

Earlier this year, Research Libraries UK said that it would not renew the “big deals” to secure access to the entire journal portfolios of Elsevier and fellow publishing company Wiley-Blackwell if they did not make “significant real-terms price reductions”.

Wiley-Blackwell announced in late October that a three-year deal had been reached with Jisc Collections, the negotiating body for libraries, on “mutually beneficial terms”.

Announcing yesterday that it had now also struck a five-year deal with Elsevier, RLUK estimated that the deal with the two publishers will save the sector around £20 million over the course of the deals.

The organisation said that this was money “that institutions would otherwise have had to find from cancelled journal subscriptions, fewer book purchases and reduced services for students and researchers.”

The Elsevier deal will offer institutions multiple access options, depending on their needs.

Ron Mobed, chief executive officer of Elsevier Science and Technology said: “Over the last few months we have worked together with Jisc Collections to create a long-term arrangement.

“We believe this agreement makes a major contribution to sustaining and advancing the UK’s position as a global leader in research.”

Phil Sykes, chair of RLUK, also welcomed the deal and said that it heralded “new benchmarks” for relations between the libraries and publishers.

“RLUK’s members will no longer accept massive unjustified price rises,” he said.

“We will continue to scrutinise all offers carefully in the future to make sure we get best value for money and to ensure that we do not pay for new, untested journal titles as part of ‘all-or-nothing’ packages.”

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com

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