Skip to Main Content
university logo

University Library

Open Access Research

This guide contains information about open access resources and events held by the University Library.


Elsevier and California State University (CSU) entered into an agreement in 2020 to provide CSU researchers with access to Elsevier journals and supports open access publishing. When publishing in applicable Elsevier journals, CSU authors can choose to publish open access at no additional cost to the author. CSU authors will continue to be able to choose the copyright model they prefer.


For authors who wish to go to Open Access, all Author Publishing Charges (APCs) will be waived from 2022 to 2024. This option is unlimited and does not impact publishing decisions.

Eligibility Requirements

•The article must have an acceptance date between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024.

•The corresponding author must be affiliated with CSU.

•The article must be from an Elsevier participating journal. You can check journal eligibility here.

Instructions for CSU-Affiliated Corresponding Authors

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, 2022 and December 31, 2024.

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

1) 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.

2) What if my manuscript was accepted into an eligible Elsevier journal but I 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.

3) 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.

4) Do CSU faculty publish with Elsevier? Yes. According to ScienceDirect, CSU authors published 8,680 articles in Elsevier journals from 2010 to 2019.

5) Previously, are CSU authors charged a fee for publishing Open Access articles in Elsevier journals? Some faculty want the articles they write to be available for free, that is via open access, instead of behind a subscription paywall. To make an article available via open access, Elsevier imposes an Article Publishing Charge (APC) of approximately $3,000 (depending on the journal) on authors. Under the APC model, Elsevier profits, in effect, twice from publicly-supported educational institutions by (1) charging for subscriptions which limit access to these journals to subscribers and (2) imposing APCs that authors or other funders pay if they seek to make their research publicly available.

In 2018, CSU authors published approximately 1,100 articles in Elsevier journals. Only a small number of these articles were published as open access. Collectively, it would have cost the CSU system approximately $3.3 million to make all of the Elsevier articles published by CSU authors freely available to all readers—even though, in many cases, the articles were funded by public research grants and written and edited by faculty at publicly-supported universities. These APC costs would have been on top of annual subscription fees paid by the CSU for access to ScienceDirect.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300