ACS, Elsevier, and ResearchGate resolve litigation, with solution to support researchers

ACS and Elsevier, members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, have agreed to a legal settlement with ResearchGate that ensures copyright-compliant sharing of research articles published with ACS or Elsevier on the ResearchGate site. The lawsuits pending against ResearchGate in Germany and the United States are now resolved. The specific terms of the parties’ settlement are confidential. Dr. James Milne, Chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and President, ACS Publications, said: “The settlement is good news for researchers. ACS, Elsevier, and ResearchGate have agreed on a technical solution that enables authors who have published research articles with ACS or Elsevier to share their work on the ResearchGate platform in a copyright-compliant way. Automated checks occur instantly at the point of upload, helping researchers to save time. “I’d like to thank all parties for their cooperation on this solution. Asking the courts to resolve ResearchGate’s responsibilities in connection with copyright compliance was a necessary step. Publishers in the Coalition for Responsible Sharing actively promote and enable the sharing of research articles as they support researchers to make progress that benefits society. We’re pleased that this settlement helps remove uncertainty for researchers sharing their work on the ResearchGate site.” Ijad Madisch, Co-Founder and CEO of ResearchGate, added: “Today’s joint announcement marks a new chapter in the relationship between ACS, Elsevier, and ResearchGate, and we’re pleased to have landed on an automated solution that makes it easier for authors to share works published with ACS and Elsevier on ResearchGate. This automated solution performs a series of checks to determine applicable sharing options at the point of upload – with no additional overhead for researchers. This helps scientists and researchers who use ResearchGate every day, and we look forward to continuing to work with publishers across the industry to deliver the best solutions for researchers.” At the point of upload, the ResearchGate platform will check rights information for ACS and Elsevier published content. ResearchGate will then immediately determine how the content can be shared on its site. Authors can store their copyrighted ACS and Elsevier published Version of Record articles privately in their ResearchGate profiles and share them privately when requested by other users. The platform also identifies articles that may be shared publicly. -Ends-

German science organizations strike open-access deal with Elsevier | Science | AAAS

“A new open-access publishing deal announced today has finally put to bed a long-running tussle between German science organizations and the publishing giant Elsevier. The agreement will allow German academics to publish open-access, or free-to-read, papers in the publisher’s journals at discounted fees, and give their institutions access to the full range of Elsevier titles at no extra cost.

Compared with the previous subscription-based arrangements, “We get a lot more for lots less money,” says Günter Ziegler, president of the Free University of Berlin and lead negotiator of Project DEAL, a nationwide consortium of universities and science funders that brokered the agreement. “That’s quite an achievement.”

The deal has been a long time coming. Project DEAL was set up in 2014 to negotiate agreements that would allow German-authored papers to be read for free after publication around the world while also giving German institutions full access to a wide range of journals, including paywalled ones. Negotiators hoped such agreements would both increase access and reduce institutions’ costs. The goal was a “publish and read” agreement, in which publishers are paid based solely on the number of articles published and in return provide access to all their journals….”

DEAL Consortium and Elsevier Announce Germany-wide Open Access Agreement – DEAL Konsortium

“The DEAL Consortium is delighted to announce a transformative Open Access agreement with the global publisher Elsevier.

This milestone agreement will have a profound impact on the landscape of scholarly publishing and research access in Germany.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, authors from participating institutions across Germany will publish their research in Elsevier’s journals as Open Access aricles under a open license retaining their copyright. This includes well-known journal brands such as Cell Press and The Lancet.

In addition to this new publishing opportunity, participating institutions will secure comprehensive reading access to almost the entire Elsevier journal collection hosted on ScienceDirect.

Learn more about the agreement here.”

Elsevier und DEAL schließen Open-Access-Vertrag |

Fünf Jahre nach gescheiterter DEAL-Verhandlung einigen sich Wissenschaftsverlag und deutsche Wissenschaftsorganisationen auf Publish-and-Read-Vereinbarung

Der internationale Wissenschaftsverlag Elsevier und das DEAL-Konsortium haben sich nach langen Verhandlungen auf einen Publish-and-Read-Vertrag geeinigt: Die Vereinbarung ermöglicht es Forschenden an teilnehmenden Einrichtungen, als submitting corresponding authors in über 2.500 Elsevier-Zeitschriften (inklusive der Zeitschriften von Cell Press und The Lancet) Open Access zu veröffentlichen. Dafür zahlen die Einrichtungen eine Publish-and-Read-Gebühr in Höhe von 2550 Euro pro Artikel. Bei einer hohen Teilnahmequote sinkt die Gebühr um 2% auf 2500 Euro. Teilnehmende Einrichtungen erhalten zudem 20% Rabatt auf die Listen-APCs der Elsevier Fully-Gold-Open-Access-Zeitschriften und 15% Rabatt auf die von Cell Press and The Lancet. Darüber hinaus erhalten sie einen Lesezugang zu nahezu allen wissenschaftlichen Zeitschriften von Elsevier (ebenfalls inklusive der Titel von Cell Press und The Lancet). Die Opt-In-Vereinbarung wurde am 1. September 2023 unterzeichnet und läuft bis zum 31. Dezember 2028.

Gescheiterte Verhandlung 2018 und Rückgang des Marktanteils

2018 scheiterten die DEAL-Verhandlungen mit Elsevier ( berichtete). Infolgedessen kündigten rund 200 deutsche Forschungseinrichtungen ihre Lizenzverträge mit Elsevier, woraufhin der Verlag den Zugang dieser Einrichtungen zu seinen Zeitschriften ab Juli 2018 beschränkte. Eine Studie aus dem Jahr 2021 belegt einen Rückgang des Marktanteils von Elsevier bei Artikeln von DEAL-Institutionen sowie der Zitationen von Elsevier-Artikel durch DEAL-Autor*innen ab 2018 ( berichtete). 2020 geriet Elsevier in die Kritik, da der Verlag auf die Bekämpfung sogenannter Schattenbibliotheken statt auf Open-Access-Verträge setzte.

Zwischen dem renommierten Wissenschaftsverlag Wiley und DEAL existiert bereits seit 2019 eine Open-Access-Vereinbarung; Springer Nature unterzeichnete im Januar 2020 eine DEAL-Vereinbarung.


Elsevier (1.09.2023-31.12.2028) | DEAL Konsortium

Der transformative Open-Access-Vertrag mit Elsevier ist der dritte Vertragsabschluss des DEAL-Konsortiums. Mit rund 11.000 Publikationen, die Forschende jährlich in Elsevier-Zeitschriften veröffentlichen, ist der Vertrag von zentraler Bedeutung für die deutsche Wissenschaftslandschaft und die freie Verfügbarkeit ihrer Forschungsergebnisse.

Teilnehmen können rund 900 Einrichtungen in Deutschland, darunter Hochschulen, Forschungsorganisationen, Forschungseinrichtungen des Bundes und der Länder, Ämter und Behörden und viele mehr.


The DEAL Consortium and Elsevier Announce Transformative Open Access Agreement for Germany | Hochschulrektorenkonferenz

The DEAL Consortium, representing the German research institutions, and Elsevier, a global leader in scientific information and data analytics, are delighted to announce a transformative open access agreement for Germany. The landmark five-year agreement, signed on 1 September by Elsevier and the DEAL operating entity, MPDL Services gGmbH (MPDLS), is set to run until the end of 2028 and is designed to make a large part of German research openly accessible worldwide.

The agreement, forged through collaboration and mutual understanding, supports the transition to open access in Germany, enabling researchers to publish open access and read content across Elsevier’s extensive portfolio of high quality and trusted scientific journals including leading brands such as Cell Press and The Lancet, while meeting DEAL’s objectives of affordability and sustainability. 

Under the terms of the agreement, authors from participating institutions can publish their articles in Elsevier’s journals with immediate open access based on a per-article fee charged to their institution, enabling researchers around the world to access and benefit from their results. In addition, institutions will receive discounts on the list prices for their researchers’ publications in fully open access Elsevier journals. Participating institutions will also have reading access to virtually the entire portfolio of Elsevier journals on ScienceDirect, the world’s largest platform dedicated to peer-reviewed primary scientific and medical research. 

The transformative agreement is designed to offer good value to the German research community. Institutions will soon be invited to participate in order to bring it into effect.

Transformative Zombies | By Every Means Necessary

by Dave Ghamandi


“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” – Antonio Gramsci



The maligned “transformative agreement” is racking up a body count. Or, more accurately, it’s helping to create zombies…zombie journals. There has been a cluster of editors and editorial boards resigning (or getting fired!) from oligopoly-owned journals this year. And even though I once referred to “transformative agreements” (TAs) as “a new monster [vomited up by the publishing oligopoly] to haunt us,” I didn’t see this connection developing. I love seeing defections because they speak to a level of consciousness, disgust, refusal, and collective action that’s all too rare.[1] In this post, I will explore who’s defecting, why, where they’re headed, and, of course, an analysis of the contradictions in motion.



Jisc launches critical review of open access and transitional agreements | Jisc

Jisc launches critical review of open access and transitional agreements.

To kick start the slow shift towards fully open access academic publishing, Jisc has launched a review.

Commissioned and governed by Jisc’s strategic groups with input from Deltathink, an open access data and analytics company, the aim is to gather evidence, agitate discussion in the higher education sector and make recommendations for action.

Exploring the open access landscape in general and the particular role of transitional agreements (TAs), the review findings will be published early in 2024.

Jisc’s head of research licensing, Anna Vernon, explains why the review is necessary:

“The UK has been a leader in the transition to open access, driven by funder policy and institutional demand for a publishing ecosystem that is affordable, fair and transparent.

“However, two decades on from the first talks on open research, overall progress remains slow.

“We know the UK higher education institutions Jisc represents in sector negotiations with publishers are frustrated with the status quo.

“We hope this review will kick-start the process by supplying the evidence to drive sector consensus on what future open access publishing models should look like.”



Read your open access publishing agreements, or: how you might accidentally give Elsevier or Wiley the exclusive right to profit from your OA article | Authors Alliance

“For open access publications, I’ve unfortunately found this attitude to be especially prevalent because authors tend to think that by publishing on an OA basis, the only contract terms that really matter are those of the Creative Commons license they choose for their article.

That can be a dangerous strategy.  Elsevier and Wiley OA publishing agreements, which have long-standing issues along these lines as noted here, here, here, and here, highlight the problem really well.

Those publishing agreements do provide what many authors want in OA publishing–free online access and broad reuse rights to users. But, if authors select the wrong option, they are also giving away their own residual rights while granting Elsevier or Wiley the exclusive right to commercially exploit their work. That includes the right for those publishers to exclude the author herself from making or authorizing even the most basic of commercial uses, such as posting the article to a for-profit repository like Researchgate or even SSRN. This is not a result I think most authors intend, but it’s hard to spot the problem unless you read these publication agreements carefully….”

‘Significant reservations’ over Springer OA deal | Times Higher Education (THE)

UK universities have agreed a new three-year read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature, despite many expressing “significant reservations” over the high cost of publishing open access in prestige titles.

As part of the new deal with the German-British publisher announced on 3 April, universities will have unlimited open-access publishing in Springer and Palgrave hybrid titles, while free-to-read publishing will be available in Nature and Nature research journals, although this option will be restricted to a certain number of papers.

Based on modelling, this cap on Nature-branded titles would be “sufficient” for British institutions, said Jisc, the UK’s higher education IT consortium, which has been negotiating with Springer Nature on behalf of UK institutions for more than a year.

While the agreement would “result in real-term cost savings for all institutions” and was accepted by all universities that responded to a consultation, a large number had “significant reservations” about the deal, added Jisc.

These concerns centred on the high cost of publishing open access outside the agreement and limited transparency, particularly regarding how Springer Nature’s article-processing charges (APCs) are calculated, with gold open access for Nature priced at £8,490. Springer Nature was one of several major publishers – along with Elsevier – which opted in November not to participate in Plan S’ Journal Comparison Service, in which journals shared information about their costs and services.

Paul Ayris, pro-vice-provost at UCL (libraries, culture, collections, open science) told Times Higher Education that the sector would only “grudgingly” accept the new deal because it “bakes into the system the high prices that we’ve seen with subscriptions”.

“Those APCs of €9,500 are a huge amount to pay. It’s too much for one article, and that level seems to have been built into the new deal. Springer Nature can’t explain how they’ve arrived at this price, either,” he added.

Although libraries recognised this was the “best possible deal that could be achieved at the moment”, Dr Ayris said, the transformative deals agreed with publishers were not delivering the change that many academics or librarians had anticipated. He added that they would exacerbate global inequalities because poorer nations would be unable to pay high-cost APCs.

Other concerns included Springer Nature’s approach to author rights retention, which some respondents felt created barriers to equitable open-access publishing worldwide, Jisc said.

The deal with the world’s second-largest publisher comes after the rejection of a previous offer in February because of cost concerns, with UK universities also vetoing a proposed deal last year that would have required them to pay nearly £1 million extra.

Welcoming the new agreement, Stephen Decent, principal and vice-chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University, said it would “further extend the reach and impact of UK research by providing open-access publishing in 2,500 Springer Nature journals”, which would lead to about 6,000 papers a year being published in a free-to-read format with the world’s second-biggest academic publisher.

“While this is an important deal that delivers concessions, the goal of fully accessible open research still eludes us,” added Professor Decent, who called for “a more inclusive and open research culture, where all contributions to research are valued, regardless of the type of output or where they are published”.

Carolyn Honour, chief commercial officer at Springer Nature, said the new deal would “for the first time” cover all Springer Nature journals and would also “open up access to UK research” and extend “publishing opportunities to a broader range of institutions and disciplines”.

The publisher would “remain committed to working transparently, through the publication of data and resources, and extensively with our global partners, to drive progress towards this goal”, added Ms Honour.