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German Universities Take on Elsevier

Linked by Paul Ciano on August 15, 2017

Chemistry World:

Tim Gowers, a mathematician at the University of Cambridge and an open access supporter who led a boycott against Elsevier in 2012, tells Chemistry World that he is ‘following the situation in Germany with great interest’. ‘I am very impressed that the German negotiators have had the courage and vision to stand up to the bullying tactics of Elsevier, and that they have had the necessary support from researchers who use the journals.’

Gowers is critical of the agreements that Dutch and UK research institutions have reached with Elsevier. He argues that UK negotiators ‘failed to obtain, significant changes’ and have ‘a lot to learn from the German example’. ‘We should be aiming for radically cheaper deals, rather than slightly improved versions of the current deals.’

Gowers hopes that German negotiators and Elsevier will both ‘refuse to budge’ and that contract talks break with no agreement. Under such a scenario he believes it will become clear that Germany’s researchers have not suffered any serious inconvenience. ‘This, I believe, is what would truly embolden other countries and lead to a collapse of the current system.’

Paul Ciano

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