Switzerland and Elsevier sign R&P agreement 2024-2028

On 10 June 2024, swissuniversities signed a comprehensive Open Access agreement with Elsevier on behalf of the Swiss universities and other mandating organisations. The agreement with Elsevier guarantees to members of Swiss universities and participating organisations a full reading access to Elsevier’s entire journal portfolio. The agreement also allows to publish, without restriction, in over 2,500 Elsevier Open Access journals, including the Cell Press and The Lancet journal series, at no additional cost. Furthermore, all institutions now receive permanent access to journal content that was published during the years of their participation in the agreement (“Post Cancellation Access”).

In the negotiations, a key concern for swissuniversities was the focus on the quality of publications. Thanks to the “all-inclusive” agreement that has now been reached, there should be no incentive to increase publication numbers which generated additional income. With the flat-rate payment for publications, the agreement furthermore provides the participating institutions with a high degree of planning security as well as clarity and thus facilitates implementation.

The inclusion of the two portfolios Cell Press and The Lancet in the agreement eliminates the so-called “costs in the wild”: Publication fees for these journals, which were previously paid in a decentralized way, will now be financed centrally by the institutions.

The agreement now explicitly regulates the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in connection with licensed content. It guarantees members of Swiss universities and mandating organisations the greatest possible liberty in the use of AI tools for the analysis of Elsevier publications for research, teaching and innovation purposes. The agreement allows the analysis of open-access publications (under licences such as “CC BY”) with any AI tool or their use for the development of AI applications. The agreement also authorises any use of AI tools as long as it is guaranteed that the licensed content is not used for the further development of the model. The use of learning AI tools or the development of the university’s own AI applications is permissible insofar as these are hosted locally by the institution or operated by third parties exclusively for the institution.

The agreement is available on the website of the Consortium (direct link).

Update of 29 Nov 2023

Today, the mandating institutions were again informed about the current negotiations with Elsevier. The negotiations with Elsevier have not yet resulted in a mutually acceptable agreement. As the current agreement ends on 31 Dec 2023, preparations were put in place for a scenario without agreement as of 2024. The consortium of university libraries has worked closely with its ‘Working Group’ to prepare information and documents so that the mandating institutions can then undertake the necessary preparations:

Meanwhile, the negotiation team continues its effort to find a solution with Elsevier.