Universities win temporary access to Elsevier journals

The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017, writes Quirin Schiermeier for Nature.

The institutions had formed a consortium to negotiate a nationwide licence with the publisher. They sought a collective deal that would give most scientists in Germany full online access to about 2,500 journals at about half the price that individual libraries have paid in the past. But talks broke down and, by the end of 2017, no deal had been agreed. Elsevier now says that it will allow the country’s scientists to access its paywalled journals without a contract until a national agreement is hammered out.

Academic-publishing experts around the world are keenly observing the situation in Germany. The nationwide deal sought by scientists includes an open-access option, under which all corresponding authors affiliated with German institutions would be allowed to make their papers free to read and share by anyone in the world. This would be a milestone for global efforts to make the results of publicly funded research immediately and freely available to scientists and the wider public in all countries, they say.
Full report on the Nature site