Elsevier changes: Message from the provost

May 20, 2019

Deans, Chairs and Faculty,

For decades, LSU has subscribed to a package of some 1,800 electronic journal titles from Elsevier publishing. Dramatic increases to subscription costs in recent years have become unsustainable, and a renewal in 2020 would come with a price tag of at least $2 million annually. The university administration, LSU Libraries, and the Faculty Senate have been grappling with the high cost of Elsevier’s journals, as have many other universities nationwide.

During the Faculty Senate’s final meeting of the spring semester, senators approved a resolution recommending the cancellation of the subscription package of Elsevier journals. Going forward, the Libraries will subscribe to Elsevier journals on a title-by-title basis, retaining the most highly used journals by the LSU community. The resolution further called for the creation of expedited document delivery to provide fast, unmediated access to articles in journals not on subscription.

The LSU administration supports this course of action. Once the current contract with Elsevier expires at the end of 2019, LSU will break away from the package agreement, and expects to spend $1 million on Elsevier titles, subscribing to fewer journals and providing access to all previously available material through alternate sources.

To access journals to which LSU will no longer be subscribing, LSU Libraries will offer two options:

  1. 24-hour delivery via Interlibrary Loan – The LSU Libraries’ current Interlibrary Loan service will be able to provide access to the canceled journal articles in about 24 hours. This option involves no additional charges to the LSU Libraries, and thus is the recommended option. It is available online via lib.lsu.edu/services/ill.
  2. 2-hour delivery via expedited delivery service – For faculty and graduate students who need faster access, the Libraries plans to implement a new expedited delivery service that will deliver articles in 2 hours, even outside of business hours. The Libraries will be charged a per-article fee and asks that the service be used only when necessary.

By November 2019, LSU Libraries expects to have a list of subscription changes, and will post the list to its web pages about the Elsevier changes at lib.lsu.edu/elsevier-changes.

As we go through the first year of changes with Elsevier, we’d like your feedback. We want to ensure that our faculty and students have the resources they need, and your input is vital to that end. Please provide any feedback at libraries@lsu.edu. Communications and updates about this important matter will continue during the fall semester.

I would like to thank the staff of LSU Libraries, the Faculty Senate, and all those who have helped us reach this important decision for LSU.


Stacia Haynie
LSU Executive Vice President & Provost