“Designing an access and pricing model that satisfies the needs of a diverse membership like TLCUA’s presents a unique challenge. Starting with clear objectives and sticking with them is one of the basics of successful negotiation. TLCUA tested that principle by beginning with two goals that could be satisfied in multiple ways. TLCUA’s lofty goal of a single pricing model that meets the needs of all members and is unrelated to historical spend proved untenable, as members were dealing with different financial pressures and different needs for access. Instead, the coalition agreed on several package options for members.
All the options address TLCUA’s concern with financial sustainability, with reduced spends ranging from 2.5% to 30%. All options include a price decrease in the first year. The contract term aligns all TLCUA contracts to end in 2024. Three-year contracts have a 0% price increase in year two and a 2% price increase in year three, while four-year contracts have a 0% increase in year two, a 1% increase in year three, and a 2% increase in year four.
In the agreement, TLCUA and Elsevier agreed to remove references to outdated CONTU guidelines in the interlibrary loan provision. In addition, the parties agreed to remove non-disclosure terms from licenses. Both changes are important for libraries to work together to meet the needs of the scholarly community….
The agreement includes two provisions focused on increasing access to scholarly publications. First, authors affiliated with a TLCUA member are entitled to a discount on APCs during the contract period. Authors publishing in Elsevier Gold OA journals receive a 10% discount, while those publishing in Hybrid OA journals receive a 15% discount. Cell Press titles, The Lancet, and certain society titles are excluded from the discount. Elsevier has extended similar discounts to other groups. There is no cap on the number of articles TLCUA members can publish as open access using these discounts.
Second, TLCUA asked Elsevier to explore alternatives to authors permanently transferring copyright to publishers, without requiring the author to pay an APC for open access publishing. Publishers say that signing over copyright to them allows them to recoup the costs of producing a journal, plus some profit. In the United States, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, which seems longer than needed to meet the goal of providing publishers appropriate recompense for the valuable services they provide. Elsevier, like many publishers, has an author rights statement, which outlines ways authors may use their own work without requesting permission from the publisher. TLCUA acknowledges that Elsevier’s author rights statement meets many needs, but seeks a more robust protection for authors. Not only are author rights statements subject to change by the publisher, but when journals are acquired, the new publisher may not offer the same privileges….”