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CSU & Elsevier Open Access Pilot


The California State University (CSU) system negotiated a two-year gold open access pilot agreement with Elsevier that enables corresponding authors affiliated with the CSU to publish open access in eligible Elsevier journals at no cost to authors.

View the Elsevier agreement page.


This agreement is a renewal of the 2020-2021 pilot agreement, under which CSU corresponding authors published a total of 564 open access articles, greatly expanding global access to the research output of the CSU.

For more information about the 2022-2024 agreement, please refer the CSU Libraries Network Announcement and Elsevier Agreement Page.

To take advantage of the 2022-2024 agreement:

  • Corresponding authors must be affiliated with the CSU; and
  • The article must have an acceptance date between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024.

The Chancellor's Office has negotiated this deal through the 2020-2021. Any manuscripts submitted up until Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible, even if they are accepted for publication after this date.

From the official press release from 2020-2021:

"CSU authors will continue to be able to choose the copyright model they prefer. For authors who wish to go Open Access, all Author Publishing Charges (APCs) will be waived in both 2020 and 2021 for CSU corresponding authors. This option is unlimited and does not impact publishing decisions."

Read the full press release from the CSU Libraries Network.

Instructions for Authors

These instructions have been developed by Melissa Seelye of the CSU Publishing Interest Group. They can also be found on the CSU Confluence site.

A video provided by Elsevier is also available and demonstrates the steps in having your article published Open Access.

Submitting Your Manuscript

Step 1: Use Elsevier’s journal search tool to ensure your desired journal is eligible under the agreement.

Step 2: Submit your manuscript to an eligible journal.

  • As noted above, the corresponding author must be affiliated with the CSU, and manuscripts must be submitted between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Publishing Your Accepted Manuscript Open Access

Step 1: When you receive an email confirmation that your manuscript has been accepted for publication, click the link for your publication agreement and log in to Elsevier’s platform.

Step 2: This will bring you to a “Finalize Publishing your Article” page. Click the “Publishing Agreement” button at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: As the corresponding author, confirm your CSU affiliation.

  • Enter the primary CSU institution with which you are affiliated, and then click the “Save and Continue” button.

  • Note: If your corresponding department appears in the list of options, you can select that; otherwise, the overall institution is sufficient.

Step 4: Add co-author information.

  • If you have co-authors, add their names and affiliations before clicking the “Save and Continue” button.

  • If you do not have co-authors, select “No,” and then click the “Save and Continue” button.

Step 5: Add research funder information.

  • If you received research funding, select “Yes” and add the requested information before clicking the “Save and Continue” button.

  • If you did not receive research funding, select “No,” and then click the “Save and Continue” button.

Step 6: Choose your publishing option.

  • Select “Publish Open Access” to publish your article open access at no cost to you provided that you are affiliated with the CSU. Then click the “Save and Continue” button.

  • Note: The CSU’s agreement with Elsevier will cover the associated article publishing charge (APC) for all corresponding authors affiliated with the CSU.

Step 7: Select your user license.

  • If you opted to publish your article open access, you will then be prompted to choose a CC BY 4.0 or CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Once you make your selection, click the “Save and Continue” button.

Step 8: Select your status.

  • Indicate whether you are the sole author, one author signing on behalf of all authors, or signing as an authorized representative and on behalf of your employer. Then click the “Save and Continue” button.

Step 9: Read and agree to the terms of the license agreement.

  • Carefully review the terms of the license agreement, and check the box at the bottom of the page to indicate your agreement. Then click the “Accept Agreement” button.

Step 10: Review the information you submitted.

  • Verify that the information you submitted is correct, and then click the “Finish” button.

Next Steps

Step 1: Once you complete the above steps, you and your co-authors will receive a confirmation email.

Step 2: Your article will be published open access within 24 hours.

  • If you selected the “Publish Open Access” option for your article, it will be made open access on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform within 24 hours of completing the above steps.

Step 3: CSU librarians will verify your affiliation and approve your request.

  • Your request to publish your article open access under the CSU’s agreement with Elsevier will be sent to CSU librarians, who will verify your affiliation with the CSU and approve your request. You will receive a confirmation email once this process is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are CSU students eligible to take advantage of this agreement?

Yes, all corresponding authors affiliated with the CSU are eligible, including faculty, students, staff, etc.

What if I submitted a manuscript to an eligible Elsevier journal between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 but did not select the open access option?

Each month, Elsevier sends CSU librarians a list of articles associated with CSU-affiliated corresponding authors who did not, for whatever reason, choose to publish open access. CSU librarians will reach out to these authors to encourage them to change the publishing option for their articles to open access.

Are all types of works eligible for this agreement?

No, this agreement only covers the following types of peer-reviewed works: case reports; data; full length articles; microarticles; original software publications; practice guidelines; protocols; review articles; replication studies; short communications; short surveys; video articles. It does not cover editorials or other types of publications that are not subject to peer review.

What should authors enter for the affiliation details of team/lab co-authors in the author journey?

If affiliation details are not applicable for a particular co-author (i.e., in the case of a team or lab), the corresponding author can omit that co-author from the form in their author journey. This will not affect the metadata that is ultimately associated with the publication; Elsevier only uses the affiliation information entered through the author journey to determine what APC waiver programs may apply.