A bold open-access push in Germany could change the future of academic publishing | Science | AAAS
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-08-23
"In Germany, too, an agreement with Elsevier seems elusive. But Germany's consortium, named Projekt DEAL, plans to hold firm, and it thinks a successful outcome could help trigger what some call a 'big flip,' a global transition toward open access. 'If it works, it would be a model for the rest of the world,' says one negotiator, mathematician Günter Ziegler of the Free University of Berlin.
The proposed 'publish and read' deal would not only make German research more accessible but also reduce costs. Although the number of fully open-access (OA) journals is growing rapidly, thousands of journals still use the subscription model. Collectively, the world's academic libraries pay some €7.6 billion in subscription fees for access to between 1.5 million and 2 million new papers annually, or between €3800 and €5000 per paper, according to an estimate by the Max Planck Society. That creates huge windfalls for publishers such as Wiley, SpringerNature, and particularly Elsevier, which recorded a 37% profit margin last year. (AAAS, the publisher of Science, also benefits from the subscription model.) 'About 60% of our budget goes to pay these three publishers,' says Andreas Degkwitz, the chief librarian of Berlin's Humboldt University. 'It cannot go on.'"