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Open Access Publishing with Elsevier

In February of 2020 a group representing the consortium of universities and institutes of technology successfully concluded a deal with Elsevier which enhances research access and paves the way towards the transition to widespread open access (OA) publishing in Ireland. 

The three-year agreement (2020-22) means Irish researchers from 19 institutions will have continued access to 16 million publications from 2,500 journals published by Elsevier and its society partners on ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature.  

The deal also enables researchers at our partner Irish institutions to publish more than 70% of their research on an open access basis without having to pay an Article Publishing Charge (APC), currently costing on average €2,500 per article. This new deal represents a very significant step towards complete OA and will ensure that cutting-edge research from Ireland and beyond is available to the community in an affordable and sustainable manner. 

The agreement will be reviewed annually, and feedback from the scholarly community will be essential in ensuring that it meets the needs of all involved. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to publish Open Access? 

The process is straightforward.

Once your article is accepted for publication (i.e. post peer review) the corresponding author will receive an email from Elsevier which will take you to the “author journey” (a 5-step wizard). Step 4 will present you with Publishing Options. Choose Gold Open Access and an appropriate licence in Step 5.

Take a look at the presentation below “Publishing options: Irish Consortium of universities associated authors” on this site for more details. The presentation is also available as a download: Elsevier Author Journey.

Who can use this Open Access Deal?

This deal is available to corresponding authors who are members of NUI Galway, and the paper has been submitted after 1 January 2020. Papers submitted in 2019 or earlier are not eligible. Note that only authors using an NUI Galway corresponding address and email address are eligible for the deal.

While the majority of Elsevier journals are included you can check the spreadsheet Journals Included and Excluded in OA Deal (scroll down this page to the Downloads section) for exceptions. 

This deal has a limited number of included articles. What happens when we run out?

It is true that NUI Galway has a limited number of Author Processing Charges (APCs) that are included in this deal. The Library will be monitoring every month how many are used, so we will be able to give NUI Galway authors plenty of warning if we are likely to run out.

Are all Elsevier journals included in this deal?

Elsevier publishes more than 2,500 journals and the majority are included in this deal. However, there are exceptions. You can check if they are included in the deal by using this tool: The list that Elsevier uses in that tool is updated regularly.

You can also see a list of excluded journals only here.

What type of open access license should I select?

 The deal with Elsevier will provide you with the following open access licenses:

  • CC-BY: Allows users to copy, to create extracts, abstracts and new works from the Article, to alter and revise the Article, and to make commercial use of the Article (including reuse and/or resale of the Article by commercial entities), provided the user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license, indicates if changes were made and the licensor is not represented as endorsing the use made of the work.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND: Allows users to copy and distribute the Article, provided this is not done for commercial purpose s, and further does not permit distribution of the Article if it is changed or edited in any way, and provided the user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license, and that the licensor is not represented as endorsing the use made of the work.

Please check if your funding body requires a specific license. (e.g. SFI). Unless there are specific circumstances we recommend using the more open CC-BY licence.

I have multiple affiliations. Which one should I choose and can I change?

You will be eligible for the Elsevier Open Access deal if the main affiliation that you submitted to the Elsevier journal is NUI Galway. If you are also affiliated with another Irish participating institution you can use that but your request will be approved by that institution, not by NUI Galway.

You can change your affiliation if needed after submission. The author can contact they can change their affiliation in the author journey.

When will I get offered the option to publish Gold Open Access? At submission or acceptance?

At the moment (in 2020), the option to publish Gold Open Access will be offered after your publication has been accepted

However, Elsevier has started a pilot with some journals where we the author can indicate the choice under the agreement at submission. By end of 2020, the authors can indicate their choice at submission in all the Elsevier journals.

Can I browse journals that might be suitable for my field and research and are included in the Elsevier OA deal?

Yes, this is possible using Elsevier's tool:

The tool gives you the option to select a subject area. Leave the journal title blank after selecting a subject area and you get a list of journals in that field that are included in the OA deal with Elsevier.

The underlying list of that tool is updated regularly (quarterly) but journals that are just launched might not yet be included.

Publishing options: Irish Consortium of universities associated authors

Take a look at the below slideshow for a short guide on how to publish Gold Open Access using the Consortium Deal of Irish Universities.


  • Journals Included in Open Access Deal

    Journals Included in Open Access Deal .xlsx (109 KB)

  • Elsevier Author Journey

    Elsevier Author Journey .pptx (1.7 MB)