Virginia’s Research Libraries to Host Virtual Forum in Advance of Elsevier Negotiations

Posted on: August 31, 2020

Logos of seven Virginia universities: UVA, Virginia Tech, VCU, William & Mary, George Mason, JMU, and Old Dominion

Representatives from seven Virginia universities will soon be in contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly publisher.

Working as a group, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, William and Mary, and James Madison University will be discussing the unsustainable cost of accessing Elsevier’s academic journals and options to make their public universities’ research more accessible to the public that paid for it.

On October 2 at 9:30 a.m., the group will host a Sustainable Scholarship Virtual Forum to share information about the group’s collective priorities concerning equity, accessibility, and costs of bundled scholarly journal packages. Forum moderator Brandon Butler, the University of Virginia Library’s Director of Information Policy, will also pose questions to the panel for discussion. Registration is open to all interested faculty, staff, students, and community members. Attendees can submit questions or discussion topics surrounding negotiation priorities and sustainable scholarship in advance through the forum’s registration site

“This is an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming negotiations, the libraries’ priorities surrounding equitable access to scholarship, the impact of changing models on access to research, and why the costs of large bundled journal packages are unsustainable. We will also discuss the possible futures of scholarly publishing,” said Butler. “As a group, we are working together to find the best solutions to continue to be responsible stewards of state funds while providing our faculty and students with the informational resources they need to research, teach, and learn.”

“I hope we’ll have solid turn-out from JMU for this important conversation,” said Dean of Libraries Bethany Nowviskie. “I was grateful for the positive response of our Faculty Senate in January, when I attended to discuss this statewide partnership and the unsustainable nature of our current Elsevier arrangement.”

“The JMU Libraries is committed to serving the research and teaching needs of our faculty,” Nowviskie added, “and I believe we can do that while also fostering more equitable systems of scholarly communication, aligned with our mission as a public institution devoted to the common good.”

Panelists include:
Carrie Cooper, Dean of University Libraries, William and Mary
Stuart Frazer, Interim University Librarian, Old Dominion University
Teresa L. Knott, Interim Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries, James Madison University
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, University of Virginia
Tyler Walters, Dean of University Libraries, Virginia Tech
John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, George Mason Universit

All interested faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to register and attend the forum.

Originally posted on August 31, 2020. 

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