World’s largest OA agreement signed with Springer NatureProjekt DEAL.
The agreement provides OA publishing services and full reading access to Springer Nature journals to scholars and students from across the German research landscape.
The signing of the contract follows the memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties on 22 August 2019, and, according to the German Rectors’ Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz or HRK), is a giant step forward in the OA transition, enabling greater visibility, impact, efficiency, transparency and sustainability in the dissemination of the fruits of German research, for the benefit of researchers everywhere.
HRK was tasked by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany to institute Projekt DEAL to negotiate nationwide transformative ‘publish and read’ agreements with the largest commercial publishers of scholarly journals on behalf of all German academic institutions, including universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions and state and regional libraries.
Through the agreement, authors affiliated with the 700+ German academic and research institutions will be able to publish their accepted manuscripts immediately (gold) OA in both Springer Nature ‘hybrid’ and fully OA journals, with the relative costs managed centrally by their institutions.
Peter-André Alt, president of HRK, the German Rectors’ Conference, said the announcement marks another important milestone for the transition of the scientific publication system towards open access.
“Effective immediately, well over 700 institutions can now provide their researchers with the possibility to publish open access in Springer Nature journals and provide their researchers and students with reading access to the portfolio of the academic publisher.”
The agreement is expected to see well over 13,000 articles a year from German researchers published OA, making it the largest of its kind.
The Publish and Read, ‘transformative’ component of the agreement entitles authors to publish immediately OA in Springer Nature’s collection of 1,900 ‘hybrid’ journals and provides participating institutions with permanent access to Springer, Palgrave, Adis and Macmillan journals in the Springer Nature portfolio. The Publish and Read (PAR) fee will be €2,750 for each article published and will be paid from central subscription funds.
The fully OA publishing element will come into effect from 1 August 2020 to allow new administrative processes to be set in place. It will enable centrally administered OA publishing in Springer Nature’s fully OA portfolio, which includes Scientific Reports and Nature Communications. A 20% discount will also be applied to the article processing charges (APCs) of the SpringerOpen and BMC imprints.
The contract will run from 2020 to 2022 with an option to extend to 2023. The signed agreement will be fully published on the Projekt DEAL website in conjunction with the start of the sign-up process for German institutions, towards the end of this month.
Commenting for Springer Nature, Dagmar Laging, vice president for institutional sales Europe, said: “We are delighted that Springer Nature is able to provide German authors with even more opportunities to publish their research fully and immediately OA.”
“Springer Nature is proud to be able to partner with Projekt DEAL through transformative agreements such as this, to make our shared goal of driving the sustainable shift towards OA even more of a reality and to make research findings from Germany available OA worldwide,” she said.
She said the arrangement had taken time to finalise, which reflected its scale and complexity.
“However, the shared belief, commitment and openness from both parties has meant we have been able to agree a solution which will enable scientists in Germany, whether from small or large institutes, whether from the hard or social sciences or humanities, to publish OA with us.”
Commenting for Projekt DEAL, Professor Dr Horst Hippler, former president of HRK and head of the DEAL negotiation team, said: “We are very pleased to take the vision of Projekt DEAL a major step further jointly with Springer Nature. The entity of this transformative open access agreement is ‘proof of concept’ for Projekt DEAL as a powerful framework for transition in scholarly publishing.”
He said it puts an end to hybrid APC payments by authors in parallel to library subscription payments; it operates with a reasonable PAR fee which allows institutional costs to shift gradually from recent licence spending to publication output over the term of the agreement; and it enables greater financial control as pre-payments decrease each year.
Making OA the norm
“Most importantly, this agreement lays the groundwork for authors and research institutions to make open access the default in scholarly communication. I would like to thank again the many people involved in the negotiation process and the hundreds of institutions in our scientific community – universities, libraries, research institutions – who endowed Projekt DEAL with their trust and mandate for the negotiations on their behalf,” he said.
Professor Dr Martin Stratmann, president of the Max Planck Society, said: “Enabling open access dissemination of research results to improve the scholarly endeavour has been a core mission of the Max Planck Society since promoting the Berlin Declaration in 2003, and we are therefore honoured to take up the task of organising the implementation of this transformative agreement on behalf of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and the German Rectors’ Conference.
“Transitioning today’s scholarly journals to open access is a massive undertaking, and we are committed to facilitating the transition for the sake of research and researchers everywhere, in full alignment with the principles of Open Access 2020 and Plan S.”