Representatives from seven Virginia universities will soon be in contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly publisher.

Working as a group, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, William and Mary, and James Madison University will be discussing the unsustainable cost of accessing Elsevier’s academic journals and options to make their public universities’ research more accessible to the public that paid for it.

On Oct. 2 at 9:30 a.m., the group will host a Sustainable Scholarship Virtual Forum to share information about the group’s collective priorities concerning equity, accessibility, and costs of bundled scholarly journal packages. Forum moderator Brandon Butler, the University of Virginia Library’s director of information policy, will also pose questions to the panel for discussion. Registration is open to all interested faculty, staff, students, and community members. Attendees can submit questions or discussion topics surrounding negotiation priorities and sustainable scholarship in advance through the forum’s registration site

“This is an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming negotiations, the libraries’ priorities surrounding equitable access to scholarship, the impact of changing models on access to research, and why the costs of large bundled journal packages are unsustainable. We will also discuss the possible futures of scholarly publishing,” said Butler. “As a group, we are working together to find the best solutions to continue to be responsible stewards of state funds while providing our faculty and students with the informational resources they need to research, teach, and learn.”

"It's important for Virginia Tech faculty to learn more and ask questions about this important topic. The scholarly publishing landscape is changing," said University Libraries Dean Tyler Walters. "We are at a crossroads where we need to prioritize equity, sustainability, and access to scholarly work. I've been discussing this topic with faculty groups and college leadership teams across the university since last fall. Now, this forum is an opportunity for faculty to hear from all of the library deans involved in the Elsevier contract negotiations."

Panelists include:
Carrie Cooper, Dean of University Libraries, William and Mary.
Stuart Frazer, Interim University Librarian, Old Dominion University.
Teresa L. Knott, Interim Dean of Libraries and University. Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries, James Madison University.
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, University of Virginia.
Tyler Walters, Dean of University Libraries, Virginia Tech.
John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, George Mason University.

All interested faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to register and attend the forum.