May 26, 2022

MIT Libraries Has Ended Negotiations with Elsevier For New Journals Contract

From MIT Libraries:

Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts.

Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research and the Committee on the Library System in October 2019, the MIT Framework is grounded in the conviction that openly sharing research and educational materials is key to the Institute’s mission of advancing knowledge and bringing that knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges. It affirms the overarching principle that control of scholarship and its dissemination should reside with scholars and their institutions, and aims to ensure that scholarly research outputs are openly and equitably available to the broadest possible audience, while also providing valued services to the MIT community.

“I am disappointed that we were not able to reach a contract with Elsevier that honors the principles of the MIT Framework, but I am proud knowing that the MIT community — as well as hundreds of colleagues across the country — stand by the importance of these principles for advancing the public good and the progress of science,” said Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries. “In the face of these unprecedented global challenges, equitable and open access to knowledge is more critical than ever.”

More than 100 institutions, ranging from multi-institution consortia to large research universities to liberal arts colleges, decided to endorse the MIT Framework in recognition of its potential to advance open scholarship and the public good.


“We hope to be able to resume productive negotiations if and when Elsevier is able to provide a contract that reflects our community’s needs and values and advances MIT’s mission,” said Bourg. “In the meantime, we will continue to use the framework to pursue new paths to achieving open access to knowledge. The groundbreaking agreement we reached with the Association for Computing Machinery in collaboration with the University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and Iowa State University is one such example of building the business models of the future.”

See Also: Why MIT Ended its Contract with Elsevier? (via MIT Libraries)

UPDATE: Elsevier Has Posted: “Learn More About Elsevier’s Negotiations with MIT”

From the Statement:

Ultimately, at Elsevier, we see the MIT’s Framework as a strong roadmap for progress of science and the public good – we share and support this end goal. The challenge is how to get from where we are today to what the framework outlines. We appreciated our collegial dialogue with the MIT negotiating team in exploring novel approaches and pilot constructs to meet the faculty’s needs.

We regret that MIT has decided to end our negotiations at this stage but hope to find the path forward together in the interests of the research communities we both serve and the important work they do.

Read the Complete Statement (755 words)

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.