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Elsevier Alternative Access: Overview

What to know about the outcome of the UC's negotiations with Elsevier, and how to access the content you need.


What's happening?

As each of our multiyear contracts with large scholarly journal publishers comes to an end, the University of California (UC) works to hold down the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals and to align our journal contracts with the UC’s stance in support of open access.

Update as of July 10, 2019

UC has been out of contract with Elsevier since January, but until now the publisher continued to allow access to 2019 articles via ScienceDirect. As of July 10, 2019, UC’s direct access to new Elsevier articles has been discontinued.

For more information, visit the UC Office of Scholarly Communication's FAQ and Publisher Negotiations pages.  Updates will also be posted on the UC San Diego Library news center.

What content is affected?

  • A summary of titles affected and inaccessible years can be found here.
  • Elsevier journals that are accessed on the ScienceDirect platform and the Cell Press platform.  
  • Journal articles with a publication date of 2019.
  • For some journals which we subscribed to through 2018, the terms of our contract state that we have access only for as long as we maintain a current subscription.  With no contract in place, Elsevier will discontinue access to the full run of these journals.  (This accounts for less than 10% of Elsevier content.)

What content is not affected?

  • For most journals, articles published in 2018 or earlier are not affected.  This is because the UC's prior contracts provided for perpetual access to previously published content.
  • Elsevier publishes some journals as Open Access, either partially or in full.  Open Access articles are not affected.
  • Please note that we have never had access to all years of all Elsevier journals, so in some cases the content is not lost, because we never had it.
  • Elsevier ebooks are not affected.
  • Other Elsevier products we license are listed below.  These are not affected.
    • Engineering Village (including the Compendex and INSPEC engineering research databases)
    • Knovel (engineering and physical sciences ebook package)
    • Embase (biomedical research database)
    • Reaxys (chemistry research database)
    • Mendeley (free citation manager)
    • Methods in Enzymology (online monographs)
    • Handbooks in Economics (online monographs)


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Connect from Off-Campus

Access to subscribed databases and other electronic resources requires connection to the campus network. 

See this page for more information.