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IReL and Open Access: Elsevier

IReL, the Irish Research eLibrary is a nationally funded electronic research library. IReL also seeks to secure open access agreements with publishers.

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Irish HEIs & Elsevier sign a new transformative agreement to continue to support open access to research in Ireland

UCC is part of a consortium of Irish higher education institutions who have successfully concluded a new ScienceDirect 3-year agreement (2023-2025) with Elsevier.  It is estimated that consortium member institutions, with corresponding authors whose papers are accepted for publication by the Elsevier journals covered, will be able to publish more than 70% of those articles on an open access basis.   This new agreement includes a 20% increase in the number of articles that researchers across the consortium can publish open access.  

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.

For more information about this agreement and how to avail of it please contact UCC’s Scholarly Communications Librarian Donna Ó Doibhlin, or the APC team at

The agreement gives participating institutions (including UCC) 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. 

Instructions for Authors

For your article submission to be included under the agreement, you must be the corresponding author and affiliated to 'University College Cork' at the time the article is accepted for publication. In the article submission process you must correctly identify your institution as 'University College Cork'. You must use your UCC email address, and not addresses from other domains. 

When a paper has been accepted for publication, the corresponding author is sent an e-mail with a link to an author workflow tool. The corresponding author is presented with Publishing Options.  If the author selects Gold OA as part of the agreement, their institution will then validate their eligibility. Please see further information in this Elsevier presentation

Note. There is a limited annual publishing fund. Once the maximum article allowance for 2024 is reached authors will not be offered the option to publish open access at no cost, as the eligibility recognition will be switched off for articles accepted for publication after that point.

What happens if my institution’s OA allowance is used up?

Open access publishing  is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If the allowance is used up during each year of the agreement, Elsevier’s editorial systems will instead offer corresponding authors the options of:

  1. open access via an article processing charge invoiced to the author, or 
  2. If the journal is a 'hybrid', traditional no-charge subscription-based publishing, where the article will be available only to subscribing readers and institutions. 

Authors can continue to make their articles available using the Green open access model, subject to the journal’s policy. Deposit the accepted manuscript in CORA UCC's open access repository. Contact the CORA team at

What journals are included?

A list of the eligible journals is available. 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. 

Please note that some journals like The Lancet and Cell Press titles are not included in the deal because the publishing costs of these journals are significantly higher than the per article publishing costs of other journals.

Who to contact in UCC

For queries about Open Access agreements and IReL resources, please contact:

For more general queries about Open Access:

Further information