The UK's higher education digital services body Jisc has signed what is being described as a "landmark" agreement with publisher Elsevier, giving academics access to research "at costs lower than the industry average".
The five-year contract gives subscription access to around 1,850 journals on Elsevier's ScienceDirect e-platform.
Elsevier and other academic publishers have faced extensive criticism from academic quarters on journal costs in recent years.
Gino Ussi, executive vice president at Elsevier, said: “With this agreement, Jisc Collections and Elsevier have lived up to their shared responsibility of providing the best possible value for the UK research community and set the stage for a fruitful partnership going forward."
Professor Sir David Eastwood, vice chancellor at the University of Birmingham, said: “I am delighted that we have reached an agreement that recognises the needs of the sector, and the need to ensure affordable access to high-quality content for UK researchers. The agreement offers stability for the sector and for Elsevier, and we hope to build on the many positive aspects of our discussions.”
The two parties also agreed to co-operate on a range of Open Science initiatives.
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