Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication


University Libraries - Dean's Office


University Libraries


In March 2021, the University of California and Elsevier announced a new transformative deal which included slightly-discounted article processing fees as UC's route to open access in Elsevier journals. Librarians and researchers expressed immediate concern that this deal upheld inequities in the research system. The UC/Elsevier transformative deal, however, is just one of many that include expensive pay-to-publish structures. This commentary proposes an alternative contract between libraries and publishers that would enable wider reading and lower costs, called Read & Let Read. The three main points of a Read & Let Read deal include a half-dollar valuation of individual journal articles, prepayment on a university’s estimated usage, and an equal payment made for usage outside of the university. If a Read & Let Read deal were implemented at UC, UC would pay a slightly higher amount of money to Elsevier than they are expected to at present, and would not flip any articles to open access. Instead, they would contribute toward a more equitably-distributed system of scholarly readership.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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