Many university consortia are attempting bold new deals to breakdown the high costs associated with academic publishing and its current restrictions on open access. The new model driving these changes is known as “publish-and-read” and so far, there have been successes in establishing these sort of deals with publishers. The “publish-and-read” model combines publishing open access (author fees or institutional fees depending on who is paying to make it open) and standard subscription fees (viewing paywalled articles) into one fee or a “publish-and-read” fee. This model strikes at the heart of many of the inequities in the current academic publishing model that we have discussed in DigPins and in our Slack channel.
Several recent examples of “publish-and-read” deals have come out of the Netherlands. A consortia of 14 Dutch universities successfully signed deals with Springer Nature and Oxford University Press, as well as previous deals with other publishers, that guarantee all articles by university affiliated authors will be available as open access (“publish”) and the institutions will have access (“read” or standard subscription access) to a publisher’s content. Institutions in Sweden, Austria and the U.K. have also struck similar deals with publishers.
All eyes are currently on Germany as the Projekt DEAL consortia (150 + German university libraries) are attempting to broker a “publish-and-read” deal with the publishing giant Elsevier . While other institutions have signed “publish-and-read” deals with Elsevier, they have had to settle for less than desired terms – only 30% of affiliated Dutch articles were made open access rather than the full 100% that deals with other publishers guaranteed. The negotiations just recently stalled as DEAL issued a press release on July 5 calling Elsevier’s demands unacceptable. The standoff has resulted in subscription cancellations and the loss of Elsevier access for German institutions associated with DEAL but it is a loss that libraries and the constituencies they serve seem to be prepared to weather as they seek a seismic shift in the current academic publishing model.