German research organisations: Elsevier blocks negotiations on nationwide licences

24. March 2017

Publisher Elsevier has once again failed in yesterday's negotiating session with Project DEAL, acting for German research organisations, to present an offer that goes any way at all to address the demands of the research sector.

“After five sessions I am forced to question whether Elsevier is actually serious about entering into a viable contract based on Gold Open Access,” said President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof Dr Horst Hippler, who is heading the negotiations for the research organisations. According to Prof Dr Hippler, the negotiators for Project DEAL would nevertheless be willing to continue discussions – if Elsevier were to present a serious and negotiable offer.

The goal being pursued by the research organisations through Project DEAL is to achieve nationwide licensing agreements for the entire portfolio of electronic journals (E-journals) from major academic publishers from the 2017 licence year. The effects of a consortium agreement at the national level should relieve the financial burden on individual institutions and bring wide-scale, lasting improvements in access to scholarly literature for researchers. An open access component is also planned.

The Open Access “Gold Road” means that a research text is published for the first time on an Open Access basis. Quality assurance is mostly carried out in the peer review process.