May 19, 2022

Iowa State University Library: Finalizes Elsevier Negotiations, Forgoes Multi-Year Package Deal in Favor of Individual Journal Subscriptions

From Iowa State University Library:

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.

Read the Complete Announcement

More From the Iowa State Elsevier Negotiations Page

The new agreement includes 428 journals. Selection decisions were based on criteria such as,

  • the number of articles published by Iowa State authors in the journal,
  • the number of times the journal’s articles were cited by Iowa State authors,
  • the percentage of the journal’s articles available open access,
  • subscription price, and
  • article downloads from the journal.

See Also Update: SUNY (State University of New York) and Elsevier Announce Three-Year Agreement on Access to 248 Core Titles From ScienceDirect Database (April 21, 2020)

See Also: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries Decides Not to Renew Elsevier Package of 2000 E-Journals (April 9, 2020)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.