One of the primary concerns about read-and-publish deals is that in the long term, the “barriers currently imposed on readers will be erected for authors instead,” said Jefferson Pooley, professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College.
“There is an obvious momentum for read-and-publish deals, and for better or worse — I think worse — it’s becoming clear this is the strategy that publishers are employing in response to Plan S,” Pooley said.
While read-and-publish deals might work fine for wealthy U.S. institutions, they are not as likely to work well for institutions that don’t have strong library budgets.
“I think the result in the U.S. and in the world will be the creation of an authorial underclass — people who don’t have access to authorship in journals because their institutions didn’t have a subscription deal in the first place that they could transition into a read-and-publish deal,” said Pooley.
“It strikes me as Pyrrhic victory if open access comes at the cost of erecting new barriers to authorship,” he said.