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 Creativity".