Elsevier Making Deals?

South Korean universities have successfully negotiated a better pricing deal from publishing giant Elsevier, according to a report from Science Magazine. This deal comes after a standoff between the consortium of hundreds of institutions and the publisher, where database access contracts were refused due to exorbitant price increases.

Earlier this month as Elsevier threated to cut access to ScienceDirect, a database containing content from over 3,500 academic journals, the two parties came to an agreement of a subscription price hike of between 3.5 and 3.9 percent, instead of the initial 4.5 percent as pushed by Elsevier.

“We want Elsevier to abolish the minimum flat rate system, in which our universities have to pay for digital content that nobody reads,” Lee Chang Won, secretary general of the Korea University & College Library Association, told Science Magazine.

South Korea’s pushback against Elsevier follows the trend of many similar efforts still underway in Germany, including Projekt DEAL. While over 200 German institutions have already canceled their Elsevier subscriptions in protest of skyrocketing prices, the publisher has still not terminated access, looking to continue negations.


Free the Science

ECS Open Access Word Cloud

What is clear is that an important part of the future is the increasing adoption of Open Access.

This piece, by ECS Executive Director, Roque Calvo, appeared in Interface, Spring 2014 issue. This is the heart of where we are headed as an organization. (The new Interface is out soon. Watch your mailboxes. Find out how to subscribe to our journals.)

Since the dawn of modern science, the key to scientific advancement has been the exchange of knowledge in publications, meetings, and through other collaborations; and in the past decade we have experienced a significant change in the way this scientific exchange occurs. Digital information and the Internet have dramatically improved our ability to disseminate science on a worldwide scale and should lead to global advances at a pace never considered before. But there are obstacles because these technological advancements in the digital age have come at a high cost to scholarly publishing; not for producing scientific content but for the cost of dissemination incurred by users of the research and their institutions.