In 2020, the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) group entered negotiations with Elsevier, the largest publisher of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly journals, in an effort to reduce our shared access costs to the Freedom Collection, Elsevier's flagship academic journal bundle.

Through a negotiated amendment to our contract for 2021, six members of the VRL - the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, William & Mary, and James Madison University - addressed our priorities for affordability, accessibility, and equity by withdrawing from the Freedom Collection bundle and subscribing to a selection of essential titles.

A summary of the negotiations outcome:

  • Mason Libraries retained subscriptions to a core selection of 222 Elsevier journals (current title list)
    • For all other Elsevier journals, access to articles published from January 2021 forward will no longer be immediately available via Elsevier's ScienceDirect platform; however, they may be available through other Libraries' subscriptions or Open Access channels
  • Mason Libraries will retain access via ScienceDirect to backfiles from our previous subscriptions, including many articles published prior to January 2021
  • Open Access articles published in any Elsevier journal remain discoverable

These outcomes remain in effect for 2022.

Mason Libraries remains committed to providing our community with the published research and resources they need to pursue their scholarship and instructional activities. If an article is not immediately accessible, we will locate a copy for you via other networks. Visit our new Alternative Access site to discover alternate methods for locating articles in journals we no longer subscribe to. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your subject librarian or fill out this feedback form.

VRL joint statements & published resources

Resources for the Mason scholarly community