After a tense two-year stalemate, Elsevier and the University of California this week announced they have struck a groundbreaking open access agreement.

The four-year deal is set take effect on April 1, and will enable UC researchers and faculty to access virtually all of Elsevier’s journal content while also giving UC authors the option to publish their research in Elsevier journals under an open access model—including in Elsevier’s prestigious Cell Press and Lancet titles, the first such open access agreements for those journals, according to the journal Science.

The agreement is a major milestone for the open access movement in the U.S., and comes after UC officials walked away from its subscription deal with Elsevier in February 2019, demanding that the publisher negotiate a fair transformative open access deal. No stranger to tough negotiations, Elsevier held its ground, cutting off UC’s access in July 2019. And in turn, some UC researchers publicly announced their refusal to submit articles to Elsevier journals or serve on Elsevier editorial boards.

Meanwhile, over the last two years UC officials have negotiated transformational open access deals with eight other scholarly publishers…