Elsevier Journals


The Elsevier ScienceDirect journals package predominantly includes journals that cover disciplines from natural sciences, medicine, and engineering disciplines, with less than 20% covering social sciences, business and the humanities. This package grants USF Libraries access to content published from 1995 to present for most journals included in the package, which, for the University of South Florida Libraries-Tampa campus includes 333 “perpetual access” subscription titles and nearly 2,000 “access-only” titles through the Freedom Collection as part of our “Big Deal” package. This means that if we cancel the entire package, we would lose all access to the “access-only” titles, maintaining perpetual access only to the smaller set of specifically subscribed titles.

The term “perpetual access” means that ”USF Libraries acquired the right to permanently provide access to the electronic resource.  The title will never be withdrawn” from the Libraries’ catalog and access to that material will not be cancelled for the materials acquired during the subscription period.

– See Glossary of Textbook Affordability Terms, USF Textbook Affordability Project

To date, USF Libraries have purchased journal backfiles in the following subject areas:
  • Agricultural & Biological Sciences
  • Business, Management & Accounting
  • Decision Sciences
  • Earth & Planetary Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics & Finance
  • Environmental Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology
  • Social Science
These backfiles include journal content from the first issue of a title through 1994. Because we own this content, we do not have to continue paying subscriptions costs on these volumes each year.


The University of South Florida has been subscribing to the Elsevier ScienceDirect journals package since 1997, and as part of a statewide deal since 2000. USF has perpetual access to the subscribed titles, but over time, some titles have been bought from or sold to other publishers, thus changing the composition of our subscription base. As journal ownership changes hands among various publishers, existing perpetual access agreements are not universally honored, and some titles may lapse absent aggressive tracking and legal enforcement efforts beyond the capacity of academic libraries.

Package Breakdown

  • Cost (2020): $1,105,047
  • Cost (2021): $1,105,047 (Elsevier allowed a flat rate for 2021)
  • Total list price for subscriptions and Freedom Collection: $9,005,730*
  • Titles Owned: 333
  • Titles Leased: 1,974
  • Total Usage: 669,150 (2020)
  • Avg Use per title: 270
  • Titles with 100+ uses: 1,142
  • Avg. List Price per Title: $3903
  • Avg. Cost/Article: $32
*If we subscribed to each title individually, not as a “Big Deal” package, this would be the cost.

Subject Areas