The mammoth University of California system announced that it will stop paying to subscribe to journals published by Elsevier, the world's largest scientific publisher. Talks to renew a collective contract broke down, the university said, because Elsevier refused to strike a package deal that would provide a break on subscription fees and make all articles published by UC authors immediately free for readers worldwide.
The stand by UC, which followed eight months of negotiations, could have significant impacts on scientific communication and the direction of the so-called open access movement, in the United States and beyond. The 10-campus system accounts for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output and is among the first American institutions, and by far the largest, to boycott Elsevier over costs. Many administrators and librarians at American universities and elsewhere have complained about what they view as excessively high journal subscription fees charged by commercial publishers.
UC and Elsevier blamed each other for the breakdown.
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