The DEAL project, headed by HRK (German Rectors' Conference) President Prof Hippler, is negotiating a nationwide license agreement for the entire electronic Elsevier journal portfolio with Elsevier. Its objective is to significantly improve the status quo regarding the provision of and access to content (Open Access) as well as pricing. It aims at relieving the institutions' acquisition budgets and at improving access to scientific literature in a broad and sustainable way.
In order to improve their negotiating power, about 60 major German research institutions including Göttingen University cancelled their contracts with Elsevier as early as October 2016. Others have announced to follow this example.
At the end of 2016, Elsevier proposed a first offer for a nationwide license. The publisher rejects more transparent business models that are based on the publication service and would make publications more openly accessible. Its offer does not comply with the principles of Open Access. Despite its current profit margin of 40 percent, the publisher is still intent on pursuing even higher price increases.
Therefore, the negotiations had to be interrupted. The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany rejects Elsevier’s offer (PDF 25 KB). As a consequence, there is no access to full texts of Elsevier journals from January 2017 on.
All participants in this process are aware of the imminent effects this has on research and teaching. However, they share the firm conviction that, for the present, the pressure built up by the joint action of many research institutions is the only way to to reach an outcome advantageous for the German scientific community.
Our colleagues at SUB Göttingen (E-Mail) will be happy to help you with further information and advice on alternative services.