Access to thousands of journals in danger of being blocked > Observant Online
"A sinister radio silence is all that is left, after negotiations between Dutch universities and Reed Elsevier publishers have failed. Licences are due to run out on 1 January and researchers will no longer be able to read the latest editions of many journals, including The Lancet. What exactly is the problem? Dutch universities and government want publishers to change over to an open access model, in which articles based on publically funded research will be freely accessible for anyone. Things are not that far yet. At the moment there is a transitional phase, which is very unfavourable for universities. They have double expenses, which is referred to as double dipping. The institutes pay subscription fees for the journals and they also have to pay (an average of two thousand euro) for each open access publication. It works like this: the author pays, not the subscriber. Universities expect a gesture from the publishers. A breakthrough was achieved recently with the Springer publisher. University umbrella organisation VSNU and Springer had reached agreement, a press release stated: “Open access publishing is the way of the future.” Exactly what that entails, remains to be seen. Negotiations are still going on. Discussions with Elsevier, the largest publisher, came to a standstill at the beginning of November. The proposal that the publisher presented, was brushed from the table by VSNU. And then all was quiet. What was Elsevier’s proposal? What was unacceptable for VSNU? What will happen now? Nobody knows, says Henk van den Hoogen, programme manager at the university library ..."