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Research & Postgraduate Students: Elsevier OA Deal



The Irish ScienceDirect agreement 2020-2022 was negotiated by representatives from a consortium of Irish universities, technological universities, institutes of technology and TU Dublin, with assistance from THEAIReL and the IUA.

Negotiations with Elsevier began in June 2018 and were successfully concluded in February 2020. It gives participating institutions continued read-access to the Elsevier’s Freedom Collection of journals and allows corresponding authors from member institutions to publish articles open access in over two thousand Elsevier journals without publication charges.


The agreement allows an estimated 71% of articles by eligible authors in the relevant Elsevier journals to be open access immediately on publication for each year of the agreement.


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

All Irish authors with Elsevier will continue to be able to post copies of their articles to their institutions open access institutional repositories. Repositories may also use ScienceDirect APIs to automate downloads of structured metadata (including abstracts) for articles their authors published with Elsevier.


For more information see: Elsevier-Ireland Agreement.

 How can ATU avail of the Agreement?

Once the article is accepted for publication (i.e. post peer review) the corresponding author will be be sent an e-mail with a link to an author workflow tool. The corresponding author is presented with Publishing Options. If the corresponding author selects Gold OA as part of the agreement the Library will validate the eligibility of the Corresponding Author under the agreement. For more detailed instructions, see the Author Workflow document below.


 Recently published articles availing of this agreement 


Graham, C.T., O'Connor, I., Broderick, L., Broderick, M., Jensen, O. & Lally, H.T., 2022. 'Drones can reliably, accurately and with high levels of precision, collect large volume water samples and physio-chemical data from lakes'. Science of The Total Environment, 824, 2022/06/10/, p. 153875. Available from:


Ruas, S., Rotchés-Ribalta, R., Ó hUallacháin, D., Volpato, A., Gormally, M., White, B. & Moran, J., 2022. 'Assessing stone walls habitat quality – which factors affect bryophytes and macrolichens on farmland stone walls in Ireland?'. Ecological Indicators, 139, 2022/06/01/, p. 108948. Available from:


Talbot, A., McCormack, M., Dwivedi, A., O'Connor, I., Valdenegro, V. & MacCarthy, E., 2022. 'Investigation into the potential use of dietary supplementation to reduce the impact of amoebic gill disease'. Aquaculture, 552, 2022/04/15/, p. 737983. Available from:


The author must be the corresponding author affiliated with an eligible institution.

The article must have a submission date between 1.1.2020 and 31.12.2022

On publication, the final published article will be made freely available on ScienceDirect under the author’s choice of open access license (CC-BY or CC-BY-NC-ND).

How to publish your article OA?

Once your article is accepted for publication in an applicable journal, you will be presented with the open access publishing option.

 How is the OA article allowance allocated?

Each participating institution has been allocated an annual OA allowance. The allocation of OA publishing charges is based on 70% of 2018 articles. In 2018 ATU researchers published 4 articles in Elsevier journals so in 2020 our OA publishing charge allocation is for 3 articles. During the first year this number will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Publishing volumes and activity will be monitored on an ongoing basis, and the agreement will be reviewed annually in order to ensure the agreement is meeting the needs of the ATU community.

Please note: In order to ensure that the same or a larger allocation of APC's are released each year ATU's full allocation must be used annually. 

 What happens if ATU's OA allowance is used up?

This deal to facilitate OA works on a first come, first served basis. Once our allowance has been fulfilled in a calendar year Elsevier's system will offer corresponding authors the option of either publishing via the traditional subscription model (in which case your article will not be OA) or finding another way to pay for the APC, such as from a funding allocation.

Agreement between Irish higher education institutions and Elsevier

For authors who wish to publish in ScienceDirect, finding a way to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC) which would make the article immediately accessible to all has been a challenge. This deal works to address that for corresponding authors who are registered in ATU Galway-Mayo.

Transformative Agreements

A transformative agreement is a contract that tries to move the payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher. In short transformative agreements are a move away from pay to read (subscription cost) toward pay to publish (article processing charge). In some instances, transformative agreements are a way for publishers to transition their traditional subscription journals to fully open access.

What journals can I publish in as OA?

A list of the eligible journals at the time of writing is available here. Note that this list is subject to change during the agreement.

Authors may also search the Elsevier Journal Finder, which assists in identifying relevant journals prior to submission and provides details of whether journals are included in the Irish agreement or not.

There are approximately 200 excluded journals which Elsevier advises it cannot support the application of APCs in this proposal.

If you wish to publish in these titles, you can continue to avail of Green Open Access as appropriate

Author Workflow

Green OA

Irish authors can continue to choose to publish under the subscription model and self-archive their manuscript in line with Elsevier’s sharing policy.

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