SCELC Supports the University of California’s Push for Open Access to Research

An Open Letter from the SCELC Board of Directors (Approved September 13, 2019)

LOS ANGELES, CA—SCELC, a California based consortium of 113 private academic and nonprofit research libraries, fully supports the University of California in their decision to not renew their Elsevier subscriptions until a transformative open access agreement can be reached. As North America’s largest publicly funded research university system, UC’s position puts it in the forefront of the global movement to shift the publication of research to open access, placing control of researchers’ output in the hands of its creators. Unsustainable journal subscription price increases have far exceeded the capacity of library budgets, and open access models such as that being negotiated by the UCs offer a long-term viable alternative that benefits both libraries and public access to the research that is often supported by public and grant funds.

California is in a unique position. As the world’s fifth largest economy, with a rich mix of academic institutions that are both public and private, the state is poised to lead the way to new models of publication and support for research, while preserving access to research for libraries of all types. In California SCELC libraries represent nearly all academic institutions that are not part of a state system, and the collective expenditure of SCELC libraries on electronic journal packages from some of the major publishers exceeds aggregate expenditures of the state systems. Consequently, SCELC plays an important economic role in support of future publication models in California, in particular for open access efforts such as those being led by the University of California.

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