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In March 2022, publisher Elsevier entered into a "read & publish" agreement (also known as a "transitional” agreement) with UK Universities. 

If you are a corresponding author at the University of Cambridge and wish to publish in a hybrid Elsevier journal that is included in this agreement (such as Cell Press and the Lancet), you can publish your review and primary research articles open access with no article processing charge (APC), as this fee has been met centrally.

The agreement does not cover any additional charges you may encounter during the publication process, including submissions fees, editorial page fees, or discretionary fees such as colour charges, and these can't be paid centrally on your behalf.       

This agreement is in place for articles accepted from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2024. In addition, University of Cambridge corresponding authors publishing in Elsevier's fully gold open access journals will receive a 15% discount on the Article Processing Charge (APC).  

Why is this agreement newsworthy? 

This agreement was attained through landmark negotiations between the UK Universities sector and Elsevier, in which UK Universities worked together to achieve core objectives from a deal with the publisher, including the requirement to materially reduce existing expenditure, and to provide full and immediate open access publishing to all UK researchers at all UK institutions.  

The UK Elsevier agreement sets a new standard for negotiations with major suppliers, not just in terms of cost reduction and increased service offering, but in what UK Universities can achieve when working collectively and in partnership.  

The University of Cambridge stood with UK Universities to achieve a sector-wide deal with Elsevier. Building on engagement with the academic community, the University also, through the process, strengthened its determination to develop alternative academic-led open solutions that advance open science. Work is now underway in the University to define and plan sustainable options to enable authors to engage ever more closely with scholarly communication solutions that are open, with publishers that are trusted and aligned to our academic mission. 

Throughout the negotiations we maintained several webpages to engage the Cambridge community with ongoing developments, providing information on data analysis, details of ‘Plan B’ preparations in case of a no-deal scenario, and routes to submit feedback. We have now closed these pages, but you can read more about the University of Cambridge’s involvement in these negotiations in the stories below. If you would like further details, please email