University Libraries at Virginia Tech joined its fellow Virginia research libraries at University of Virginia, James Madison University, George Mason University, College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Old Dominion University, in endorsing MIT's framework for publisher contracts.

As this Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) consortium moves toward 2021 contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest STEM academic publisher, VRL will work as a team to be mindful stewards of state funds and ensure research is publicly available to advance knowledge for the benefit of our global society. 

Over the past 30 years, the cost of journal subscriptions has increased 500 percent, far outpacing libraries’ annual budget increases. 

Much of the research conducted at public universities and published in expensive subscription-based scholarly journals is funded by tax dollars — in the form of faculty salaries and federally funded grants. Research is produced for the public good, but it is not always available to the general public who paid for it. This is where open access or public access to research will change the traditional landscape of publishing research.

In 2021, representatives from University Libraries at Virginia Tech, along with its VRL consortium colleagues, will be at the negotiating table with Elsevier. The universities will be discussing the unsustainable cost of accessing its academic journals and options to make Virginia universities’ research more accessible to the public that paid for it.

During the fall and spring semesters, University Libraries Dean Tyler Walters is meeting with faculty groups across campus to discuss these issues and gather feedback. 

For more information surrounding this issue and what the campus community should know as Virginia's public research libraries move toward negotiations, visit the University Libraries’ Access Matters web page.