Better than the German Wiley DEAL? The Couperin Consortium reaches a price reduction of more than 13% over four years in an agreement with Elsevier

ElsevierFor some, this may seem better than the Wiley Deal in Germany: French universities and research institutions have agreed in principle, through their Couperin consortium, to renew their national licence with Elsevier. In a letter sent on April 11 to Elsevier by Lise Dumasy, president of Couperin, details of the agreement, which is valid for 4 years, effective as of January 1 this year, are revealed.

With this agreement, French universities and research institutions will have access to the publisher’s “Freedom complete edition” journal bundle including e.g. The Lancet and Cell Press. However, the consortium does not guarantee to the publisher that all its members will adhere to the national licence.

Here are the main points:

  • Most surprising: This agreement provides for a gradual 13.3% reduction in license costs over 4 years -5% in 2019, -4% in 2020, -3% in 2021 and -2% in 2022, in total -13.305% over four years.
  • There is 25% discount on article processing charges (APC). There will also be a compensatory clause if these APCs increase by more than 3.5%. Excluded from this discount are – as I understand it – only the society journals, e.g. The Lancet and the Cell Press titles. Included are all Open Access journals and hybrid journals. The 3.5% threshold refers to annual price increases.
  • Regarding Green Open Access the agreement allows automatic access 12 months after formal publication to the “accepted author manuscript” (AAM) or post print directly on Elsevier’s service Sciencedirect. After 24 months the pdf file of this manuscript will be deposited on the HAL platform (the CNRS Open Access Repository). The license to make AAMs available is more restrictive than most Creative Commons licenses. It allows reading, downloading, printing, translating, text & data mining but does not allow redistribution or re-use (neither commercial or non-commercial).

Finally, the agreement includes the progressive deposit (from 2020 to 2022) of articles published between 2002 and 2012, which will make it possible to apply text & data mining.

Here you can read the letter sent by the president of the Couperin consortium to Elsevier. I would also like to draw your attention to Martin Clavey’s posting that I have mainly reported here. Information about the Wiley DEAL mentioned at the introduction can be found in Marcel Knöchelmann’s posting on Le Publikateur.

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