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Springer Nature and Germany's Projekt DEAL Finalise World's Largest Transformative Open Access Agreement

Berlin 9 January 2020

Springer Nature and MPDL Services GmbH on behalf of Projekt DEAL today announce that the formal contract for the world’s largest transformative Open Access (OA) agreement to date has been signed. Dated 1 January 2020, the agreement provides OA publishing services and full reading access to Springer Nature journals to scholars and students from across the German research landscape. It follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two parties on 22nd August 2019, and 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.

Through the agreement, authors affiliated with the 700+ German academic and research institutions which are part of Projekt DEAL, will be able to publish their accepted manuscripts immediate (gold) OA in both Springer Nature ‘hybrid’ and fully OA journals, with the relative costs managed centrally by their institutions. 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 Read and Publish, ‘transformative’, component of the agreement, effective immediately, 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 1st 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 January.

Commenting for Springer Nature, Dagmar Laging, VP 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

This arrangement has taken time to finalize which reflects 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, Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, former President of the German Rectors' Conference 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: 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; it enables greater financial control as pre-payments decrease each year. 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.”

Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann President of the Max Planck Society said: “Enabling open access dissemination of research results to improve the scholarly endeavor has been a core mission of the Max Planck Society since promoting the Berlin Declaration in 2003, and we are therefore honored to take up the task of organizing the implementation of this transformative agreement on behalf of the Alliance of German Science Organizations 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.”

About Projekt DEAL
The German Rectors’ Conference was tasked by the Alliance of German Science Organizations to institute Projekt DEAL to conclude nationwide “publish and read” agreements with the largest commercial publishers of scholarly journals. Projekt DEAL aims for agreements that secure immediate open access publication of the vast majority of new research articles by authors from German institutions, provide permanent full-text access to the publisher’s complete journal portfolio. The aspired fair and reasonable pricing for such services should be articulated with a simple and future-oriented model based on the number of articles published. The consortium comprises more than 700 mostly publicly funded academic institutions in Germany including universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions and state and regional libraries.

About Springer Nature
Springer Nature is a leading research, educational and professional publisher, providing quality content to our communities through a range of innovative platforms, products and services. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals and resources reach millions of people – helping researchers, students, teachers and professionals to discover, learn and achieve more. Through our family of brands, we aim to serve and support the research, education and professional communities by putting them at the heart of all we do, delivering the highest possible standards in content and technology, and helping shape the future of publishing for their benefit and for society overall.

About the Max Planck Society / MPDL Service GmbH

The Max Planck Society conducts basic research in the natural sciences, life sciences, and humanities. Since its foundation in 1948, eighteen Nobel laureates have emerged from its ranks. The Max Planck Society with its 86 Max Planck Institutes and facilities is the international flagship for German science: in addition to five foreign institutions, it operates another 20 Max Planck Centers with research institutions such as the Princeton University in the USA, the Paris University Science Po in France, the University College London in the UK, and the University of Tokyo in Japan. Equally funded by federal and state governments, the Max Planck Society had an annual budget of 1.8 billion Euros in 2018.
The Max Planck Society, as a member of the Alliance of Science Organisations behind Projekt DEAL, instituted MPDL Services GmbH, an affiliate of the Max Planck Digital Library, as a 100% subsidiary of the Society specifically as the contracting party for the DEAL contracts and to facilitate implementation of the agreements among German institutions.

Press Contacts

Springer Nature: Susie Winter
Director of External Communications and Engagement

+44 (0) 203 426 3325

German Rectors’ Conference : Ralf Kellershohn
Deputy press spokesman
+49 (0) 30 20 62 92 27

Max Planck Society: Dr. Christina Beck
Head of Communication / Press Officer
+49 (0)89 2108 1275