Just a few weeks after Wageningen UR buys an expensive, digital archive from the scientific journal Nature, the documents are made widely accessible. Wageningen UR is not pleased and hopes for a refund.
At the beginning of November, the Wageningen UR library bought Nature’s digital archive from 1950 to 1994, a deal involving thousands of euros, says information specialist Wouter Gerritsma. Just a few weeks later, the top journal announced that it will soon make its archive, going back to 1869, available through the online platform Readcube. This way the articles are accessible to all institutional subscribers. The announcement caused some long faces at the WUR library. ‘I am thoroughly fed up,’ says Gerritsma. The only consolation is that the Wageningen archives can be printed and distributed, unlike the articles found on Readcube.
The library is not leaving it at that, however, says Corrie van Zeist, who conducted the negotiations with Nature. ‘This is not acceptable. We shall certainly be sending an email about it.’ Not that she expects to gain much by doing so. ‘Nature is a difficult publisher to negotiate with.’ In a response, Nature says it does not discuss individual negotiations. But the journal does assert that what Wageningen bought is a different product, namely downloadable, printable PDFs.