[The decision to not renew] comes after 13 months of intense negotiations with SpringerNature, conducted by the National Consortium Couperin.org representing over 250 institutions of higher education, research and health: universities, schools, research organizations including the CNRS, hospitals such as Hospices Civils de Lyon.
Negotiations have stalled as a result of the divergence of economic approach between the publisher and the higher education and research institutions.
French academic research has mandated the consortium to get a reduction in price of the subscription contract. This requirement is based on a qualitative analysis of the Springer collection and usage.
The lack of agreement between SpringerNature and Couperin.org consortium is for the publisher a shortfall of over € 5M per year [$6.15 million/USD] ; inaccessibility of Springer journals in the French research units will have on these reviews a negative impact in terms of citations and articles submissions.
Although Couperin.org and its members were expecting the publisher to cut access to Springer journals on April 1, a SpringerNature spokesperson tells The Scientist that the publisher will continue to provide French institutions with access to its journals while discussions continue. “Springer Nature is disappointed by Couperin’s decision. . . . It is with regret that our concessions have been deemed to be insufficient,” the spokesperson writes. “[As] requested by Couperin, we are considering a further proposal and during this time access will remain open.”
Sandrine Malotaux, the head of Couperin.org’s document negotiations department, tells The Scientist in an email that subscriptions to SpringerNature’s other titles are not included in this agreement. Discussions for 2019 contract renewals, she adds, have not yet begun.
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