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Sustainable Scholarship : Elsevier Negotiations 2020-2021

Learn more about ongoing negotiations with publishers, alternative access resources, and the future of sustainable scholarship at Purdue.

Dean McNeil's Latest Statement to Campus

May 3, 2021

West Lafayette, IN - After a months’ long negotiation process that included extensive input from faculty, staff, and students, Purdue University and its regional campuses have now finalized a one-year contract with academic publisher Elsevier. At a cost of $1.86 million, the new deal reduces Purdue’s total spend with Elsevier by close to $1.5 million. Purdue deemed the new title-by-title contract necessary after years of increased subscription fees.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies has diligently worked to preserve access to a large number of Elsevier titles while promoting the importance of shifting the cultural needle away from ownership of academic scholarship towards a cost-effective, sustainable model of access.

You can find the new list of subscribed titles online in the Libraries’ Sustainable Scholarship libguide, along with a guide to alternative access methods for obtaining articles no longer subscribed to by Purdue University. Transition to the new reduced title list will begin on May 11, 2021. All members of the Purdue University system may request articles via Interlibrary Loan at no charge to users. Additional access information for West Lafayette campus can be found here.

In addition to the 578 subscribed journals, Purdue will continue to have access to past articles from several hundred other journals to which Purdue University has perpetual access rights.

Dean of Libraries Beth McNeil worked closely with Elsevier during the negotiation process. She said of the adjustment to reduced Elsevier titles: “My hope is that faculty, staff, and students across Purdue’s campuses will come to understand that though we are reducing subscriptions with Elsevier, we are increasing our ability to help you access the scholarly information you need, when you need it. With extensive input from faculty, we have developed alternative means to access journals that are not part of the core Elsevier contract.  Our goal has been to reduce the large and increasing cost of the contract, with the least possible impact on convenient access to journals.”

The contract will be revisited for 2022 and adjustments to the subscribed title list may change. “It is a one-year contract,” McNeil said. “That means we have flexibility in the future to adapt and change to best fit the needs of our campuses. This year will tell us more about what titles are most in-demand by our faculty, staff, and students. Our ultimate goal is to make scholarship more sustainable at Purdue while maintaining access to the information resources that help our scholarly community thrive.”


Elsevier Negotiations Team

Sylvie Brouder: Chair of the University Library Committee, Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University 

Tricia Jauquet: Technical Services Librarian, Purdue University Northwest Libraries

Beth McNeil: Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Rebecca Richardson: Assistant Dean for Collections and Access, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Nathan Rupp: Director of Technical Services and Information Technology, Purdue University Fort Wayne Libraries

Christopher Springer: Contract Analyst, Purdue University Procurement Services 

Kirke Willing: Senior Director of Finance for the College of Liberal Arts, College of Education, Krannert School of Management, Purdue Libraries, The Graduate School and Honors College, Purdue University

Timeline/Previous Memos to Campus


Fall 2020: Purdue University enters negotiations with Elsevier

October 2020: Libraries informs campus of negotiation proceedings 

November 2020: Libraries Launches Sustainable Scholarship site and solicits feedback from all Purdue campuses

December 2020/January 2021: Negotiation team deliberates and makes final renewal/cancellation decisions

January 2021: Purdue informs Elsevier of final decisions

May 2021: New contract goes into effect and non-renewed titles are discontinued (May 11, 2021) 


Questions? Contact:

Purdue West Lafayette: Rebecca Richardson,

Purdue Fort Wayne: Nathan Rupp, and/or refer to this document on PFW document delivery services and library policies here

Purdue Northwest: Tricia Jauquet,