May 25, 2022

Netherlands: Dutch Researchers Being Asked to Boycott Elsevier Publications, Resign from Editor Positions

Multiple reports follow.

From Times Higher Education:

Universities in the Netherlands are preparing to ask their researchers to resign from editorial positions with Elsevier journals amid deadlock over a new subscription deal with the publisher.

The universities have been in dispute with the Amsterdam-based publisher since late last year after they refused to renew their “big deal”, via which they get access to all of Elsevier’s  subscription journals, unless it permitted, without significant price rises, 60 per cent of the country’s scientific output to be open access by 2019 and 100 per cent by 2024.


The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has surveyed Dutch editors-in-chief of Elsevier journals to assess their willingness to resign their positions in order to impose further pressure on the publisher. If this does not work, it will reportedly go on to ask Dutch researchers to stop reviewing for Elsevier journals, and may, as a last resort, ask them to stop publishing their papers in the publisher’s titles.

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From Univers (Tillburg University)

Gerard Meijer, who handles the negotiations with Elsevier, says that the parties have not been able to come close to an agreement. As a first step in boycotting the publisher, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has asked all scientists that are editor in chief of a journal published by Elsevier to give up their post. According to the VSNU in daily NRC, the reactions varied from very willing to consider this to some reluctance.

If this way of putting pressure on the publishers does not work, the next step would be to ask reviewers to stop working for Elsevier. After that, scientists could be asked to stop publishing in Elsevier journals.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Open access fact sheet: Elsevier open access negotiations in deadlock (June 2015; via VNSU (Assoc. of Universities, Netherlands))

See Also: Dutch boycott of Elsevier – a game changer? (via Unlocking Research, University of Cambridge)

Ed. Note: We’ve been posting about negotiations between universities in the Netherlands and Elsevier since last Fall. For example, see: See Also: Netherlands: Negotiations Between Dutch Universities and Elsevier Over Open Access Have Failed (November 4, 2014)


“Dutch Universities Dig In For Long Fight Over Open Access” as Talks With Elsevier Resume (January 8, 2015)

Thanks for Contribution: @MattRWeaver

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.