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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.


The Irish Science Direct agreement 2023-2025 was negotiated by representatives from a consortium of Irish universities, institutes of technology and TU Dublin, with assistance from IReL, THEA and the IUA. It 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. The agreement allows an estimated 70% of articles by eligible authors in the relevant Elsevier journals to be open access immediately on publication for each year of the agreement.

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

Open access provisions are only available for papers accepted for publication between January 1, 2023 and 31 December 2025.

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. 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.

Note. There is a limited annual publishing fund. Once the maximum article allowance for 2023 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 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.

Further information

Who to contact in UCC

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

For more general queries about Open Access: