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A message from the Dean on publishing partner negotiations

October 29, 2019


Dear Colleagues,

As many of you are aware, our Libraries team has been working throughout the year to prepare for negotiations with our publishing partners, including Elsevier, SpringerNature, and Sage whose existing journal subscription contracts expire at the end of 2019.

We strive for a transparent process to keep all stakeholders informed about negotiations and potential changes that may impact scholarship. To that end, we have created a new web page: “Publishing Partnership and Negotiation Updates” under Sustainable Scholarship on the Libraries web site. We will post status updates and other related information on this page.

Update on Elsevier:

As noted online, the Negotiation Team met with Elsevier representatives on Tuesday, October 15th. It was a productive discussion, and we are making movement toward the Libraries Negotiation Priorities. The negotiating team continues to meet and are in communication with Elsevier. While we remain optimistic, we will continue to plan for a range of scenarios, contingent on the outcome of the negotiations. To that end, we have formed a cross-disciplinary Alternative Access Team comprised of faculty and librarians to advise on planning and recommendations in response to potential contract changes.  The University of California’s alternative access plan provides an example of the type of scenarios that could be considered.

We are working in a landscape that asks us to think differently about how we approach these “big deal” negotiations. We have reached a tipping point that has opened the door for new ways of working, exemplified by many of our libraries colleagues nationwide (MIT, UC, UNC and others). We are working collaboratively to share ideas for more sustainable models with publishers that are in alignment with our missions as public universities.  I am proud of the work our team has done to adapt these ideas for UW Libraries—especially in the development of the UW Libraries Licensing Principles and negotiating  priorities – these documents serve as our guideposts-- not only for Elsevier, but for all future negotiations with Libraries vendors.

To expedite answers to your questions regarding all contract negotiations and to facilitate an efficient feedback loop, please email SustainableScholarship@uw.edu.  Thank you in advance for directing your questions to this dedicated email.

Going forward, we will send out notifications when we have negotiation news to share and, as noted, all updates and links for more information will be documented on the negotiation update web page.

Thank you in advance for your trust and partnership as the negotiating team continues to advocate on behalf of all students and faculty for whom the Libraries serves.

In partnership,

Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson
Vice Provost for Digital Initiatives and Dean of University Libraries