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German universities plan to operate without subscribing to Elsevier’s Journals

German universities have coped “easily” when cut off from Elsevier journals and do not need to rely on pirate article-sharing sites such as Sci-Hub, according to a negotiator from Germany’s biggest network of research centres.

Martin Köhler, who has helped to lead negotiations between the Dutch publishing giant and the Helmholtz Association, gave Times Higher Education details of Germany’s strategy to survive “no deal” with Elsevier – shedding some light on whether other countries could take a similar stance.

A consortium of all German research organisations is locked in hostile and so far unsuccessful contract negotiations with Elsevier, demanding full open access for German-authored papers and a model in which they pay per article published, not a flat journal subscription fee.

Part of their strategy is to demonstrate that German academics can operate without Elsevier subscriptions, and an increasing number of institutions have said they will not renew their contracts at the end of the year, now including the vast majority of Helmholtz centres, which have a combined revenue of €4.38 billion (£4 billion).

Times Higher Education | German universities plan for life without Elsevier

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