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Still Talking It Out

About 200 universities in Germany may soon lose their access to Elsevier journals, Nature News reports.

The academic publisher and Project DEAL, a consortium of hundreds of German institutions, have been in talks over journal subscriptions for about two years, it adds. Last year, the two groups were also trying to hammer out a deal on cost and open access policies.

According to Nature News, that's still going on as Project DEAL is seeking online access to about 2,500 Elsevier journals and wants to pay about half what individual libraries do. In addition, it says the consortium wants to make all papers with corresponding authors with affiliations at German institutions open access at no added cost. That, Nature News says, has been the point of contention.

"Results of scientific research must be open to the public, and the costs of open access must be affordable," a Project DEAL spokesperson tells Nature News.

At the same time, an Elsevier spokesperson says that 19 percent of research articles published in their journals in 2016 had a German author and that fees and open-access publications "can be quite expensive for countries like Germany with a large research output."