Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.
Boiled down to dollars and cents, the battle between the University of California, the nation’s premier producer of academic research, and Reed Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of academic journals, can seem almost trivial. UC is paying almost $11 million this year for subscriptions to some 1,500 Elsevier journals. That’s not much when measured against the university’s core budget of $9.3 billion.
But in fact it’s a very big deal — big enough for the university to consider dropping the subscriptions entirely when its current five-year contract with Elsevier expires on Dec. 31. Scores of town hall meetings for UC faculty to discuss the ongoing negotiations between UC and Elsevier have been scheduled across the system as the deadline approaches. What faculty are likely to hear, in the words of Jeff MacKie-Mason, the university librarian at UC Berkeley, is that “we’re pretty far apart at this point.”