[Taxacom] Max Planck Society cancels 1,200 Springer journals

Neal Evenhuis neale at bishopmuseum.org
Mon Oct 29 16:51:20 CDT 2007


>Richard Sietmann, Max Planck Society terminates licensing contract with
>Springer publishing house
><http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/97652>, Heise Online,
>October 19, 2007.
>Following several fruitless rounds of talks the Max Planck
>Society (MPG <http://www.mpg.de>) has, effective January 1, 2008,
>terminated the online contract with the Springer publishing house which
>for eight years now has given all institutes electronic access to some
>1,200 scientific journals. The analysis of user statistics and
>comparisons with other important publishing houses had shown that
>Springer was charging twice the amount the MPG still considered
>justifiable for access to the journals, the Society declared. "And that
>'justifiable' rate is still higher than comparable offers of other major
>publishing houses," a spokesman of the Max Planck Digital Library
><http://www.mpdl.mpg.de/>  told heise online....
>According to the MPG the failure of the talks with Springer
>marks "what for now is the high point" in a dispute with a number of
>globally operating scientific publishing houses. The soaring prices in
>the scientific information domain have already caused a change of
>attitude in a number of players. Thus MPG is one of the initiators of
>the "Berlin Declaration
><http://oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html>  on Open
>Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities" -- the key
>demand of which is open access to the results of publicly funded
>research -- which to date has been signed by more than 240 scientific
>When publishing houses have the market power to charge excessive
>prices and the legislator is unwilling to subject such inappropriate
>behavior to any form of legal control the only course that remains is
>for the scientific community to take matters into its own hands, the MPG
>stated. "Even at the very last minute the Springer publishing house had
>not been prepared to lower its inflated prices," MPG Vice President Kurt
>Mehlhorn said. "The MPG therefore had had no other option but to
>terminate the contract," he added.

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