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Down to the Deadline

Many German researchers might not have online access to Elsevier journals as of January 1st, ScienceInsider reports.

Project DEAL, a consortium of hundreds of German institutions, and the publisher have been unable to come to an agreement regarding cost and open access terms, according to ScienceInsider, which adds that Project DEAL has rejected Elsevier's offer, saying it was too expensive and didn't go far enough for open access.

The German group, it says, was seeking an even broader open-access agreement than what Elsevier and a Dutch consortium hammered out last year. Under that agreement, Dutch institutions are paying slightly more to the publisher and, in return, Elsevier is to increase the percentage of Dutch papers that are open access each year.

"The Netherlands model doesn't go far enough for us," Project DEAL Horst Hippler the Project DEAL spokesperson tells ScienceInsider. He adds the consortium wants a deal in which the institutions pay a flat fee for "article processing charges" so all articles are open access. 

Earlier this month, Elsevier said in a statement that it was looking forward to continued negotiations with the German institutions.

Without an agreement, ScienceInsider says that some 60 institutions will lose their journal access at the beginning of the year.