On Monday, Dutch publishing company Elsevier announced that it would restore journal access to German universities while negotiations continue between the company and DEAL, a consortium of institutions calling for a nationwide license. More than 60 institutions canceled their individual subscriptions for 2017 in anticipation for the license. They had to use other resources to gain access to publications since the beginning of the New Year.
“We strongly believe that access to high-quality research is important for German science. The continuing access for the affected institutions will be in place while good-faith discussions about a nationwide contract carry on. This reflects our support for German research and our expectation that an agreement can be reached,” Elsevier said in a statement. Elsevier has restored access to the universities similar to the way it extends access when renewal discussions are going on.
In addition to striking a nationwide license agreement, DEAL is also trying to gain open-access to papers written by German authors. They plan to engage in other negotiations with other publications including Wiley and Springer Nature later this year, according to Nature news.
Institutions' discontinued prescriptions to Elsevier's journals had moderate to severe effects on German research scientists, while some just found the situation irritating, reports Nature. While some senior scientists could access articles through their international colleagues, entry-level scientists had to rely on inter-library loans or other publications to access information relevant to their fields.