May 18, 2022

University of California and Elsevier Announce “Breakthrough” Open Access Agreement

UPDATE April 26, 2021: A New ATG! The Podcast Features a Conversation with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and Ivy Anderson on the University of California/Elsevier Open Access Agreement (via Charleston Hub)

We’re pleased to feature a conversation and interview with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and economics professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team, and Ivy Anderson, Associate Executive Director of the California Digital Library and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team about the University of California’s recent pioneering open access agreement with Elsevier. The interview is conducted by Leah Hinds, Executive Director of the Charleston Hub, and Tom Gilson, Associate Editor of Against the Grain.

—End Update–

Note: Today’s announcement (below) comes after more than two-years (February 28, 2019) after the University of California announced they would not renew their contract with Elsevier.

From the University of California:

The University of California today (March 16) announced a pioneering open access agreement with the world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, making significantly more of the University’s research available to people worldwide — immediately and at no cost. The deal will put more UC research into the hands of individuals across the globe at a time when international collaboration to fight COVID-19 has illuminated the value of open access to scientific findings.


The agreement is the largest of its kind in North America to date, bringing together UC, which generates nearly 10 percent of all U.S. research output, and Elsevier, which disseminates about 17 percent of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The deal will double the number of articles made available through UC’s transformative open access agreements.”


“Under the four-year deal, all research with a UC lead author published in Elsevier’s extensive portfolio of hybrid and open access journals will be open access by default. It is the first such agreement to include open access publishing in the entire Cell Press and Lancet families of journals, which are considered among the world’s most prestigious scientific and medical titles. University researchers will also be able to read articles published in Elsevier journals.”


“It’s a breakthrough agreement, and would not have happened without Elsevier and UC having worked together to find common ground,” said Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, university librarian and economics professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team. “Many people simply can’t afford the high price of journals, even though the findings in those journals may be critical to their work. Disseminating UC knowledge freely will spark new solutions to the world’s most pressing problems — and this deal will help make that happen.”

Direct to Complete Announcement

Details: Elsevier Transformative Open Access Agreement

FAQ and Additional Info


Berkeley’s University Librarian And Economics Professor Jeffrey Mackie-Mason, Co-Chair Of Uc’s Publisher Negotiation Team (via Berkeley News)


Direct to Memorandum of Understanding (via UCSF and Inside Higher Ed)

Statements, Media Coverage, and Comment (Latest Entry in Bold Font)

Posts From UC Libraries

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.