[A2k] More expensive than science allows

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Thu Mar 27 10:04:28 PDT 2014


More expensive than science allows

University of Konstanz cancels license negotiations with scientific
publisher Elsevier

Due to the significant increase in the cost of services provided by
the science publisher Elsevier in recent years, the University of
Konstanz has decided not to continue its license agreement with the
major publisher of scientific journals. Elsevier made the headlines
already in 2012 because of its aggressive pricing when scientists
internationally called for a boycott of this publishing house within
the framework of the initiative "The Cost of Knowledge".

"For the University of Konstanz, the cost-benefit ratio with Elsevier
significantly deteriorated in recent years. Due to the low willingness
of the publisher to negotiate, we see no other option than to break
off negotiations," explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of the
University of Konstanz.

Scientific journals form an essential basis for scientific exchange.
The purchase of scientific journals is therefore essential for
research and teaching at a university. "Universities are in a way
forced to purchase a good back in the form of expensive subscription
fees - a good which is actually produced by their own scientists,"
illustrates Petra Hätscher, director of the service network KIM for
communication, information and media of the University of Konstanz.

The major publishing house Elsevier, which currently publishes more
than 2,500 scientific journals annually, carried out a substantial
price increase in recent years. The average price of the licensed
Elsevier magazines was last at 3,400 euros per year at the University
of Konstanz, or almost three times higher than the second most
expensive major publisher. "The University of Konstanz cannot and will
no longer keep up with this aggressive pricing policy and will not
support such an approach. For this reason, we have decided to replace
the license agreement with Elsevier by alternative procurement
channels," explains Ulrich Rüdiger.

The University of Konstanz is one of the leading, young international
universities (nationwide at No. 1, No. 20 worldwide in the
international university ranking "THE 100 Under 50"). Since 2007 it is
one of the eleven German universities whose "Institutional Strategy to
Promote Top-Level Research" are funded under the Excellence Initiative
of the German federal and state governments. The young campus
university is strong in research and combines top research and
excellent teaching in its mission statement of "Culture of

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