Access to the ScienceDirect Freedom Collection with 2,298 journal titles published by Elsevier ends on December 31, 2017.
Our access to ScienceDirect is via a UH System Libraries consortial arrangement coordinated by UH-Manoa, Hamilton Library. Manoa has carried most of the costs over the years and we are grateful for their generosity to the other campuses. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, they can no longer afford to maintain this resource under existing terms.
Elsevier journals are expensive and it would be difficult for Leeward to afford a journal package let alone a single journal title in many cases. Recently, a group of German universities canceled their Elsevier contracts en masse to put pressure on the Dutch publisher during contract negotiations. Universities in other countries such as Taiwan and Finland have made similar attempts to force the publisher to agree to more favorable pricing and to guarantee that publicly-funded research will remain open access. Will that pressure tactic work here? It’s possible but it will be difficult due to our relatively small size and Manoa’s need to cut costs.
Our EBSCOHost Academic Search Complete database includes many Elsevier titles. However, these titles are under a publisher (Elsevier) embargo. The embargo means that recently published articles are not available until 6-18 months after publication. Back issues are full text.
ScienceDirect will be available through the end of the year. After it ends, the library will still provide full-text article coverage to nearly 25,000 journal titles through Academic Search Complete. I am open to hearing your concerns about the loss of this resource and to discuss what options we have for access to scholarly resources. Contact me to schedule a meeting or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, this is an issue important to higher education. The loss of the Elsevier titles is upsetting because these are prestige scholarly publications that are respected and relied upon for current research in your disciplines. Unfortunately, academic publishers have used this (prestige) to their advantage and employ practices that result in exorbitant costs and restricted access. It’s unbelievable to think that publications like Cell require authors to pay up to $5000 to publish an article on research that is often publicly funded. After paying that fee you would think that the authors would at least have access to their article, but no. The article is published behind a pay wall and is only available if the individual or institution, i.e. library, pays for it. In this instance, a one-year institutional subscription to Cell is $2020 per year. This is the major reason why open access (scholarly publishing) and open educational resources (teaching materials) are such important issues that we need to address.
- 9/5/17: This post was updated to remove confidential pricing information.
- 9/6/17: Updated to clarify that it is the current UH System Libraries consortial agreement with Elsevier that is ending.