The University of Aberdeen and Elsevier

The University of Aberdeen and Elsevier

Elsevier ScienceDirect Contract Negotiations

The contract between academic publisher Elsevier and UK Universities was renewed on 23 March 2022. This brings to a successful conclusion negotiations that had been ongoing since March 2020.

See here for the latest news and read on for the background to the negotiations.

The University of Aberdeen subscribes to around 2259 Elsevier ScienceDirect journals - a significant portion of the literature that our researchers engage with daily. In 2020, our annual academic journal subscription costs with Elsevier amounted to £724,021. This accounted for almost 25% of our entire Library content budget for the year.

These pages provide information on the negotiations between the HE Sector and Elsevier and the latest news.

What happened?

The UK Universities sector entered negotiations with Elsevier with two core objectives:

  • to reduce costs to levels UK universities can sustain, and
  • to provide full and immediate open access to UK research.

The aim was to secure a read and publish agreement with Elsevier, converting subscription expenditure to support immediate open access publishing, and maintaining access to paywalled content for a reduced fee.

UK Universities agreed their priorities for the next Elsevier agreement in 2020 and began negotiations in March 2021. The negotiations were governed by two groups; the Universities UK content negotiation strategy group and the content expert group. Representatives from each group sat on the official negotiation team and Jisc, the UK not-for-profit digital services provider for education and research, facilitated the overall negotiations.

A new three-year contract which meets the objectives of the sector was signed on 23rd March 2022.

Simon Bains, University Librarian, worked with a consultative group of academics from the University to ensure the academic community‚Äôs views were properly represented. He is very happy to receive feedback on this topic at

Adapted from an original version written by Hannah Haines for the University of Cambridge and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Jisc has produced the following video to highlight the key issues.