Should universities accept Elsevier’s negotiation with Jisc? Who knows? It’s secret.
November 25, 2016
So I came across this tweet from Laurent Gatto, who’s head of the Computational Proteomics Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK:
My immediate reaction was not to retweet. Why? Because I am not comfortable recommending rejection (or acceptance!) of something I’ve not seen. I said so, and Laurent explained the real issue:
So I have two simple questions:
First, How can this massive spending on public money possibly be confidential? What justification can there possibly be for that? And second, how can there be meaningful discussion of the offer on the table if no-one knows what it is?
And then I remembered the classic explanation of confidentiality clauses from Elsevier’s David Tempest: “we have this level of confidentiality […] Otherwise everybody would drive down, drive down, drive drive drive”.
So my first reaction was to say that if anyone comes across a leaked copy of the draft agreement, let me know and I will link to it from this post. But I am also open to hear from anyone who thinks there is a legitimate reason, that I’ve not thought of, to enforce confidentiality. So if you have a reason, please mention it in the comments. If not, but you know where there is a leaked copy, email me privately on firstname.lastname@example.org.