Gavia Libraria

Germany v. Elsevier: keeping on keeping on

Germany’s Projekt DEAL just put out a list of individual institutions, research centers, and research libraries who (as best the Loon can tell via Google Translate) have declined to sign individual contracts with Elsevier extending their access to its journal stable past 2017. (If the Loon has misunderstood, do please correct her in the comments.)

The Loon is not sure how much of Germany’s higher-education and research establishment this list represents. (Edited to add: One estimate from Twitter is that this list represents roughly 20% of the German higher-education student body.) It certainly looks quite impressive, doubtless part of the point: any on-the-fence German Elsevier subscriber now has peer pressure pushing toward the no-more-Elsevier side.

This fits neatly into the strategies and considerations the Loon has previously posited for Germany, which is simply keeping on keeping on with its polite blame-the-vendor intransigence.

After last week’s gloom-and-doom about Elsevier’s BePress acquisition, perhaps a ray of hope? Germany seems roughly as likely to sign on with an Elsevier vertical as the Loon is to advise doing so. Elsevier’s reputation for trustworthiness in Germany is being quite comprehensively demolished. Whatever Germany decides on or develops as alternatives may well prove exemplary to the rest of us… and should prevent the Elsevier monopoly some seem to fear.

If it needs saying—perhaps it does not?—the Loon is lost in admiration for Germany’s strategists and on-the-ground strategy implementors here. They haven’t bobbled once, and they simply refuse to ride the fence as Finland is doing. May they inspire many imitators.

2 thoughts on “Germany v. Elsevier: keeping on keeping on

  1. Gavia adamsii

    I estimate that these institutions represent nearly a third of all German institutions. Their share of licence fees will be even higher than that because some of the largest universities are among them.