Iowa State University Library finalizes Elsevier negotiations, forgoes multi-year package deal in favor of individual journal subscriptions

The Iowa State University Library finalized negotiations over its 2020 journal agreement with Elsevier. Under the new agreement, the library will subscribe to journals on a title-by-title basis instead of a multi-year package deal, giving greater control over spending while still providing essential content to campus.

During negotiations, the library pursued three goals: reduce costs, remove confidentiality restrictions, and progress toward open access. These goals aligned with our Principles for Advancing Openness through Journal Negotiations, endorsed by the Iowa State University Faculty Senate, Library Advisory Committee, Student Government, and Graduate and Professional Student Senate in 2019.

The new agreement achieves a significant cost reduction by moving to individual subscriptions at a discounted price. In addition, it does not include confidentiality language and can be publicly shared. Although we anticipated greater progress toward open access in this agreement, we are committed to carrying the discussion forward in 2020.

Campus-wide support played an integral role throughout this process, and we would like to thank the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Iowa State governing bodies, faculty, students, and all who participated and advised during negotiations.

The University Library will continue its work to transform scholarly communications, upholding the values rooted in academic freedom and the land-grant mission of advancing research and sharing knowledge beyond the campus borders for the common good.

For more information about the agreement, access options, and more, visit