Informations about the DEAL-Project and about journal articles published by Elsevier

DEAL project: goals

Since the start of negotiations in 2016, DEAL has been pursuing the goal of negotiating nationwide licensing agreements for the entire portfolio of electronic journals published by the major scientific publishers.

DEAL strives for significant changes in both content and pricing. By means of nationwide consortium agreements, the individual scientific institutions are to be relieved financially, and access to scientific journals is to be improved on a broad and sustainable level. At the same time, Open Access features are to be implemented.

Participants in the DEAL project

DEAL has been initiated by the Alliance of German Science Organisations, which is represented by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK). The Alliance has set up a project group with experts from universities and research institutions as well as a project steering committee. The Project Steering Committee comprises members of the highest management levels of these institutions. Its speaker is HRK President Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Horst Hippler, who is also chairman of the negotiating group. All German universities and research institutions are eligible to participate in the project. The University of Bremen is one of them.

Scientific publishers as negotiating partners

In 2016, negotiations were mainly conducted with Elsevier. In 2017, the negotiations were extended to SpringerNature and Wiley.

State of negotiations 2018:


  • No change in access to e-journals
  • Additional content
  • Palgrave and Nature subscriptions continue


  • Access to electronic journals unchanged

Progress of negotiations with Elsevier

Intense negotiations with Elsevier, which started in 2016, have so far proven difficult. In order to strengthen the negotiating position, some 60 scientific institutions terminated their contracts with Elsevier by the end of 2016. The DEAL negotiating group considers  Elsevier’s offer to be insufficient. The publishing house continues to focus on a considerable price increase - despite its 40 percent return on sales. Currently there are no negotiations but they can be resumed at any time. By the end of 2017 about 200 institutions will have terminated their contracts with Elsevier. A list can be found at:

The State and University Library of Bremen has not renewed its contract, which expired at the end of 2017.

Effects on the Bremen Universities

From January 2018, any new issues of the e-journals published by Elsevier will no longer be available. Access to the archived volumes is guaranteed. Access is still possible up to and including the year 2017.

In addition to the subscribed titles, there will be no access to approximately 1000 other Elsevier journals, which could be accessed under the previous contract  as part of Elsevier’s so called Freedom Collection.


All those involved are aware that the non-availability of Elsevier’s journals will impose restrictions on teaching and research. The pressure that has been built up by the joint action of so many universities and research institutions is, in the opinion of all those involved, the only way to reach a successful result of the negotiations.

Contact us


Claudia Bodem
Tel: (0421) 218 59510