Elsevier and the German institutions have been sparring over journal subscription rates for about two years. In 2016, Project DEAL — a consortium of a few hundred German institutes — and the academic publisher sought to come to an agreement on cost and open-access terms. As of last month, the two were still trying to come to an agreement. Project DEAL was seeking online access to some 2,500 journals, but wanted to pay half what individual libraries do. It also wanted the publisher to make papers with corresponding authors from German institutions open access at no added cost. However, the publisher said that would be an expensive proposition for a country like Germany that has a large research output.
Nature News now notes that though 2017 ended without a resolution, German researchers still have Elsevier access as talks continue.
"We will continue our conversations in the first quarter of 2018 to find an access solution for German researchers in 2018 and a longer-term national agreement," Harald Boersma, an Elsevier spokesperson, tells Nature News.