The Max Planck Society (MPG) has terminated its licensing contract with the Springer publishing house. Effective as of January 1, 2008, the termination cancels access to some twelve hundred scientific journals for the thousands of graduate students, researchers, scientists, and staff at its eighty research institutes.
The society based its decision on an analysis of user statistics and comparisons with other major publishing houses, which showed that Springer was charging twice the amount the MPG considered justifiable.
The MPG is one of the initiators of the Berlin Declaration 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 organizations.
More details are available in an October 19 article in Heise Online.