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Scientific knowledge is freely available

For years, research institutions and academic libraries, arguing with the major publishers over money and Open Access. Now one of the three companies has admitted for the first time on a national license for Germany.

By Kathrin Zinkant Kathrin Zinkant

Kathrin Zinkant, born in 1974, accompanied the fate of the science for the SZ in Berlin. Looking for scientific evidence in the Federal policy, as well as to Hand and foot in the current research debates. The ethics is always with you. Studied biochemistry, and FAS, time, Friday and taz worked. Is, by nature, a Fan of the TV series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage".

boycotts, organised resistance, sanctions and tough negotiations: What happened in the relationship between the three largest scientific publishers in the world and the European, in particular German research in the past three years. A long time it had looked as if the uprising of the academic science against the profit-oriented publication policy of Elsevier, Springer and Wiley is having no success.

However, shortly after the turn of the year, the DEAL project has now celebrate the first Triumph: at Least with the American publisher, Wiley, has agreed the merger of more than 700 scientific institutions from Germany, to a national license. On Tuesday morning, the consortium and Wiley signed in Berlin a three-year contract. The agreement ensures researchers access to tens of thousands of articles from more than 1700 journals. For scientists, the article you self-publish in one of the journals, in the future, a lump-sum contribution of 2750 Euro to Wiley numbers. However, the authors decide themselves whether their article Open Access, i.e. accessible to everyone, to be published. Further Details of the deal the publisher and the consortium in four weeks, then the contract itself will be public.

libraries and institutions have been refusing for years, the exploitation companies

On first glance, that scientists are happy about foreseeable million for the publication of findings from mostly publicly-funded research figures may come as a surprise. In Wiley journals last about 10 000 articles per year from Germany have been published, according to the new contract, a sum of nearly 30 million euros, which will flow to the publisher. But the fact is, it was before the agreement is worse: The science is not paid yet just to provide publishers with content for journals available and offered also free Expertise for the peer review, the peer review. The research also had to pay heavily to the community created knowledge base. Numerous universities whose libraries had to annually negotiate new contracts with exorbitant price increases, then refused, the three-fold exploitation, and to bring the publishers of the future returns of up to 20 percent. Already in 2016 the contracts were not renewed, notably with the major publisher Elsevier has since argued fiercely, temporarily Elsevier imprisoned even the additions of the facilities.

Against this Background, the joy of the Participants about the now achieved three-year national contract with Wiley is understandable. "The agreement is an important milestone," said the head of the project DEAL, Horst Hippler, on Tuesday. "It is revolutionary that we go all the way to an Open-Access publication practice together with Wiley."

Whether the availability of Knowledge will in the future be more cost-effective, but is not identified yet. And, as before, researchers have to pay for it, and to write studies and examine them to each other. Preprint Server, to which studies published in the scientific Community are discussed, are an Alternative that completely dispenses with the publishers. However, in a high-level Journal, such as Nature, Cell or Angewandte Chemie to publish in science is still a career-defining. It is only the scientists themselves could make a change.

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