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DEAL negotiations suspended: Elsevier blocks access to newest content on ScienceDirect

News from Jul 10, 2018

DEAL project

The goal of the DEAL project is to achieve nation-wide agreements with major academic publishers, such as Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley, to license electronic journals (e-journals) for libraries, universities, and other academic institutions in Germany.

The intention is to bring about financial relief for academic institutions through fair prices as well as significant improvement in the accessibility of academic literature for the academic world. That would involve an obligatory open-access component regarding state-funded academic work.

Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité Berlin are among the more than 200 academic institutions which have not renewed their license agreements with Elsevier for 2018. Since 1 January 2018, Freie Universität has therefore not been in a contractual relationship with Elsevier.

Current developments

Elsevier has not yet agreed to offer services adequate to academic requirements guided by the principles of open access within a financially sustainable price model. Therefore, the DEAL negotiating group does not consider negotiating conditions for a transitional agreement for the second half of 2018 to be fulfilled, and talks with Elsevier have been suspended again as of July 2018.

Elsevier blocks access to most current content

Elsevier has responded by deciding to restrict access to ScienceDirect, which the company, up to now, was still providing, while negotiations were still ongoing. However, in support of the DEAL project, Freie Universität Berlin had earlier terminated its journal contract with Elsevier, and the termination was effective as of 31 December 2017. Consequently, Freie Universität Berlin is now losing access to content that has been or will be published after 31 December 2017. Archive access will be limited to particular sources, as results from diverse previous contracts with Elsevier.

Measures for providing access to literature

For articles that are not accessible online, please use alternative legal procurement channels, including, for example, direct exchange within the academic community.

In most cases, the University Library can provide articles through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is free of charge for all Freie Universität faculty and staff.

Staff at the University Library and at all Freie Universität libraries will be happy to assist you in obtaining Elsevier articles you require for your academic work. The University Library has set up a team to answer your questions.

E-mail: deal@ub.fu-berlin.de

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