Imminent change to Elsevier access

June 26, 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January but, so far, the publisher has continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect. Although Elsevier has not yet provided us with official notification, we now have reason to believe that the publisher will shut off that direct access in the first half of July, after the July 4 holiday.

When that happens, we will no longer have direct access to 2019 articles (in all Elsevier journals) and the backfiles of certain journals (download the list). Everything else will still be accessible on ScienceDirect. Once the shut off is confirmed, we will publish a notice on the Library’s website.


Last year, the University of California entered negotiations for a new agreement with Elsevier that would not only continue UC’s access to its online journals, but also achieve the faculty-supported goals of containing journal subscription costs and providing for open access publication of UC research. Unfortunately, in late February the negotiations stalled. In the months since, Elsevier has continued to provide access to new articles via ScienceDirect without a contract in place.

Other ways to access Elsevier articles

The Library is prepared to help you access articles that are no longer available via ScienceDirect once our access is discontinued. Information about other ways to access Elsevier articles is available on the Library’s website, which provides guidance on how to:

If you’re stuck, the Library is here to help. Email the Library at

The Library will be carefully evaluating the impact of losing access to new articles on ScienceDirect over the coming months, and will do its best to ensure that you have access to the articles you need. Meanwhile, UC is hoping to re-enter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that it is willing to discuss a contract that addresses our goals of cost containment and open access.

If you have any questions or need help accessing an article, please don’t hesitate to contact the Library at at any time.

Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost 

Barbara Spackman
Chair, Academic Senate - Berkeley Division 

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian and Professor