What now? Elsevier deal rejected by Germany’s Project DEAL

Recently it’s been announced that all members of Project DEAL in Germany are expecting they will have no full text access to all Elsevier academic and scientific journals from 1st January 2017. They will still have access to most archived journal issues. So what’s happened and how has this situation developed? About 60 major research institutions who are members of the DEAL Project in Germany cancelled their Elsevier contracts in October 2016. The aim is to boost their joint negotiating power with Elsevier. However, yesterday Elsevier’s first offer was rejected by the German group with the result that their institutions will have no full text Elsevier journal access from 1st January 2017.

Why have over 60 research institutions taken such drastic action? The offer was rejected because the members of the DEAL Project felt it didn’t comply with open access and fair pricing.

What will happen when full text access to major scientific articles stops abruptly on 1st January? Only time will tell and who will buckle first? Will it be Elsevier or will support within the research institutions slowly crumble as they field their customers’ complaints? Again, only time will tell. One institution acting alone has very little influence but over 60 acting together and the situation changes radically. We can be sure there will be a lot of interested people watching to see what the next move will be by both sides as this story unfolds.

We live in interesting times.